BALTIMORE, JULY 12 -- Dave Schmidt, who threw 20 pitches and lasted just one-third of an inning Friday night against the Twins, pitched a two-hitter today against the same team as the Orioles defeated Minnesota, 5-0, before 27,486 at Memorial Stadium.

Mike Young hit his eighth and ninth homers of the season -- driving in four runs -- and Eddie Murray added his 20th homer for emphasis as the Orioles reached the all-star break with a record of 35-53, their worst at that point of a season since 1955.

Schmidt (9-2) increased his team lead in victories. Joe Niekro (5-6) took the loss.

"He pitched outstanding. No other words to describe it," said Orioles Manager Cal Ripken Sr., who told Schmidt to go as long as he could in light of the right-hander's recent outing. "I didn't expect nine innings from him. We got a whole lot of inning bonuses."

"A lot of times in my career, even in relief, I've pitched my best after my worst," Schmidt said. "I was pretty much embarrassed after Friday night. I don't remember being as low in baseball."

The Orioles got three complete games in the four-game series. Consecutive ones by Schmidt and Mike Griffin were the first since April 26-28, when Mike Boddicker and Mike Flanagan did it.

Schmidt retired the first 17 before shortstop Greg Gagne singled cleanly to left in the sixth inning; he later gave up a single to Al Newman. Schmidt did not walk a man, struck out seven and faced only one batter above the minimum.

Niekro was not sharp; he reached a three-ball count on the first five batters. Young was the first not to look at three balls, hitting a 2-2 pitch over the wall in center for a 2-0 Baltimore lead. The drive came after a walk to Murray.

Young said the pitch was a knuckleball that didn't knuckle.

"In talking with Fred Lynn and Eddie Murray {about Niekro}, they said to try to catch the ball before it starts breaking," Young said.

Schmidt was ahead in the count to eight of the 10 batters he faced in the middle three innings. He only had one three-ball count in the fourth through sixth, and three in the first six innings.

Niekro got behind again in the fourth, and Murray made him pay, sending a 3-1 pitch over the 405-foot sign in center for his sixth homer in eight games.

Larry Sheets then lined a single to right. Young followed with his second homer, on a 1-0 fastball, to left-center that cleared the reach of leaping Kirby Puckett, making it 5-0.

Young had not had an extra-base hit since June 17 and was one for 20 (.050) since June 30.

"I was a little surprised that he threw me a fastball up and away," Young said.

In the top of the sixth, Tom Brunansky worked the count to 3-1 before flying out to Sheets. Tim Laudner struck out for the second time and Gagne singled on an 0-1 pitch to stop Schmidt's perfect string. The right-hander came back to strike out Dan Gladden for the second time to end the inning.

The pitch to Gagne was a slider that stayed up, Schmidt said. But aside from that one, he said, he had control of the pitch all game.

"It's good to see that pitch coming back," Schmidt said. "It's been on vacation the last couple of years."

The Ripken-Ripken combination at shortstop and second base turned its first major league double play in the seventh. With one out, Kent Hrbek grounded to second baseman Bill, who fed brother Cal Jr. to touch off an inning-ending double play.

Bill said game situations haven't been the best part of playing in the majors so far.

"The biggest thrill has been when we {take} our defensive positions and there's B. Ripken and C. Ripken up there on the {electronic} screen," he said.

And now that the Orioles have reached the midpoint of the season, and their pitching has shown signs of life, Cal Ripken Sr. would like to keep playing.

"I don't need any break," he said. "Hell, I'm going to miss coming to the ballpark for three days."

Orioles Notes:

The Orioles optioned catcher Dave Van Gorder to Class AAA Rochester after the game. Although no roster replacement was named, manager Ripken said Floyd Rayford probably will be recalled . . .

Murray and Sheets have hit in 10 straight games. Sheets also stole his first base of the season, the third in his four-year major league career . . .

Today's victory gave the Orioles their first winning homestand (4-3) since their season-opener against Texas . . .

Ripken Jr. is four for 28 (.143) in his last eight games and is homerless in his last 25 . . . Schmidt's complete game was only the third in 61 games by an Orioles pitcher other than Boddicker.