BALTIMORE, JULY 8 -- On a muggy, 91-degree night, Mike Boddicker survived trouble in the first inning, trouble in the second and trouble in the fourth, sixth and ninth. He survived on a night when his chronically sore right elbow felt only "so-so" and on a night when his bad back tightened up in the second inning.
By the 10th inning, he was "done," and for a change the Orioles made a long night count for something as Eddie Murray homered with two out in the last of the 10th for a 6-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox before 17,299 at Memorial Stadium.
Murray's 18th homer and fourth in as many games put the final touch on the Orioles' first series conquest since May 27-28. They have won six of their last 22 home games.
For Boddicker (6-4), the victory was his first in seven starts and he had to throw 132 pitches to get it. He won it after falling behind by 2-0 in the second inning and 5-2 in the fifth. He did it after the Orioles (33-51) loaded the bases with one out in the ninth and didn't score.
As with practically all of Boddicker's starts, the Orioles again were amazed at his poise, intelligence and assortment of pitches. Tonight, he threw slow and hard curveballs, a couple of nasty sliders and he spotted fastballs around the plate.
"Like always, he battled," Orioles catcher Terry Kennedy said. "He just keeps going on. That was his kind of game. He's the best I've ever caught. He never gives in."
If the night was a big one for Boddicker, it also was for Murray, who has a chance for his eighth appearance in the all-star game, albeit as a reserve. Although his numbers have gotten lost in the Orioles' terrible season, he's still on pace for 35 homers, 97 RBI.
He got the game-winner tonight after White Sox reliever Jim Winn (4-5) had thrown him three straight balls, and almost everyone in the ballpark figured Winn would throw a fourth ball and start over with Larry Sheets, who had hit his 15th homer in the seventh.
Instead, Winn threw a fastball down the middle, and Murray hit it 20 rows into the right field bleachers.
"No question he was going to be swinging on 3-0," Orioles Manager Cal Ripken Sr. said. "We wanted to give him a chance to drive in the run. I was a little surprised Winn pitched to him after throwing three balls. I thought he might start over with a fresh count on the next hitter."
Especially since Murray has eight of his 18 homers against the White Sox. That's a Baltimore season record against one opponent since the balanced schedule was adopted in 1979.
Murray didn't speak with reporters after the game, but White Sox Manager Jim Fregosi said, "Winn pitched great. I just thought his 3-0 pitch to Eddie Murray wasn't a real good idea. You've got to pitch around him. It's 3-0, and you're supposed to sit two feet outside. If he hits it, he hits it."
Winn added, "It was 3-0, what else was I going to do? It was the same pitch I was throwing all night, a fastball. I thought I threw the ball well. It was the same pitch everyone else was grounding into the dirt."
With two victories in three games, the Orioles won their first series since taking one from California six weeks ago. They'd played 11 series since and lost them all.
The Orioles, outscored by 28-13 in the first three innings of their last 12 games, were behind again tonight as the White Sox got an RBI single by Harold Baines in the first and a triple by Steve Lyons and a groundout by Kenny Williams in the second for a 2-0 lead.
Sheets' homer tied it in the fourth, but the White Sox came back in the sixth on a single by Ivan Calderon, a double by Greg Walker and Carlton Fisk's 10th homer.
Down 5-2, the Orioles came back again, this time in the last of the seventh. Sheets was safe on Walker's error at first, Ray Knight singled and Kennedy tripled off the right field wall for two runs. Ken Gerhart followed with an RBI single that made it 5-5.
Despite the heat, Boddicker was terrific after the sixth, allowing only one base runner. He said, "You have to gear yourself for the heat. It's expected. You worry about it, and you never make it. But it's surprising what the body can take. There was actually a little breeze out there sometime. I felt great until after the 10th. I was sitting there and had just gotten a drink and all of a sudden, it hit me."
By then, the Orioles were about to score the winning run, this after leaving a man on third in the second and hitting into double plays in the fifth, seventh and ninth.
"This is what we have to do," Ripken said. "We get back in the game and the pitcher holds them. If we're going to get back to .500, we have to keep doing this."
As expected, the Orioles announced that reliever Don Aase soon will undergo an arthroscopy on his right shoulder, ending his season. Aase, 32, will have the operation in Los Angeles and begin rehabilitation there.
"It's frustrating," he said, "but I'm going through it because I want to come back and pitch. I'd like to pitch at least two more years, then maybe two more after that. I've got a lot of work in front of me, but I've been through it before. A lot of it depends on what kind of damage they find after they get inside the shoulder."