KANSAS CITY, MO., JULY 16 -- As the good people of Kansas City gave the newest Los Angeles Raider three long, loud booings, the Baltimore Orioles opened the second half of their season with an honest-to-gosh victory.

They got it, 5-4, at the expense of the Kansas City Royals before 39,036 at Royals Stadium. Combined with Sunday's victory over the Minnesota Twins, it was their first two-game winning streak since May 27-28.

It wasn't without suspense, though. The Orioles took a 5-3 lead into the ninth and, with the tying run on second and the winning run on first, Tom Niendenfuer got Danny Tartabull on a fielder's choice grounder to end it.

By that time, the Orioles' biggest problem tonight was the sore back of Mike Boddicker, who was resting in the clubhouse, barely able to walk. Boddicker (7-4) got the victory, but lasted only six innings and again left with severe muscle spasms.

"I'm very concerned," Orioles Manager Cal Ripken Sr. said. "He just can't keep going out there in the kind of agony he's in. We're going to have to do something. I told him on the bench, 'You're going through too much pain for anyone.' "

Thirty minutes after the game, Boddicker limped out of the clubhouse with an electric heating pad under one arm and said, "It's some kind of muscle strain, and it's bad. But as far as I'm concerned, I'm going to take my next start. I'm winning again, and it's important to me."

He said the back injury affected "only my control, which is my forte. I couldn't get the fastball where I wanted it all night. Everyone was {waiting} on curveballs, and they got 'em. That's why I gave up the two home runs. Every time I threw a fastball where I wanted it, I got a strikeout or a weak groundball."

The Orioles got eight hits off three Kansas City pitchers. Among the hits was Bill Ripken's first in the major leagues and homers by Eddie Murray and Mike Young.

What this game will be remembered for, though, is Bo Jackson's reception in his first appearance here since it was reported he intends to play football for the Raiders this fall.

He was booed first when the starting lineups were announced and two more times before and after he struck out in the second and fourth innings. He was cheered when he made a diving catch on a liner by Cal Ripken Jr. in the third. His final two at-bats were met with a mixture of cheers and catcalls.

But otherwise both the Royals and Jackson seem intent on going on with business as usual. Kansas City General Manager John Schuerholz held a team meeting Wednesday to tell his players as much, and several players today played down some of their critical comments of last weekend.

Jackson accepted the booing in stride, saying, "Fans are fickle. I'm not out there to listen to booing. I'm out there to play. If I let it get to me, that would show what kind of person I am. I've been criticized ever since I got here, so it's nothing new. You have some who will stand by you only when you're going good, and some who will be on you the first chance they get. I think the ones who boo are jealous. I guess they don't have anything better to do. I have nothing to prove to nobody."

He said he also didn't mind that one fan tossed him a football with the words, "It's a hobby."

"It's not the first time," Jackson said. "I got a lot of them in Memphis, and I told the grounds guy to keep it for me. I'm going to save them as souvenirs. I use that kind of criticism as fuel for my fire. Anyone who can't take criticism is a fool."

The attention directed at Jackson may have taken the Royals' minds off their biggest problem, which is pitching. Danny Jackson has struggled through a 4-10 season, and Charlie Leibrandt hasn't won since June 20.

Tonight, he was in trouble from the beginning, when Bill Ripken doubled high off the left field wall -- missing a home run by inches -- for his first major league hit. (He later blooped a single to left in the seventh for his second.)

Considering that he allowed 10 base runners in 6 1/3 innings, Leibrandt didn't do badly. Murray's seventh homer in nine games (21st for the season) gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead in the third, but Kevin Seitzer's two-run homer tied it in the last of the third.

The Orioles then got a 3-2 lead on a single by Young, a walk to Lee Lacy and Seitzer's error in the fourth. Again, the Royals tied it, this time in the sixth on a home run by Jim Eisenreich. It was Eisenreich's third homer in 44 at-bats since he returned to the big leagues after a three-year absence.

The Orioles took the lead for good in the top of the seventh when Gerhart singled and eventually scored on Cal Ripken Jr.'s infielder grounder. Young's third homer in two games made it 5-3.

Mark Williamson pitched 2 2/3 innings in relief of Boddicker, but, in the ninth, the Royals scored on Willie Wilson's triple and Seitzer's double. Ripken Sr. brought in Niedenfuer, who walked Brett, then got Tartabull for the last out.

If the Orioles had blown the lead, Boddicker might have been less than surprised. This was the eighth time he has left a game with a lead, and only the third time he has gotten a victory.

Orioles Notes:

Once the Orioles' hottest hitter, Ray Knight is batting .148 in his last 22 games, and his average has slipped from .304 to .261. He's also three for his last 25 with runners in scoring position . . .

Center fielder Fred Lynn was held out of a third straight game because of a bruised thigh. "I want to make sure he's okay," Ripken Sr. said. "If you come back and play too soon, especially on this {artificial turf}, you could really get messed up." . . . The Royals dropped Bret Saberhagen, who pitched three innings in Tuesday's All-Star Game, from this weekend's rotation. Mark Gubizca, Danny Jackson and Bud Black will start the remaining three games . . .

Murray's homer extended his hitting streak to 11 games . . . With the recall of Floyd Rayford from Rochester, the Orioles have made 43 roster moves and used 37 players this season. The club record for players used in a season was 54 in 1955. That year, the Orioles used 23 pitchers . . . Tonight's game broke the Orioles' seven-game road losing streak and was only their second victory in the last 17 road games . . . Knight isn't the only Oriole in a hitting slump. Alan Wiggins went hitless in five at-bats, and is hitting .167 since May 8. His average for the year is down to .239.