ARLINGTON, TEX., MAY 27 -- It may not have looked like much, but to Bob Milacki it was progress.

He lasted only four-plus innings in the Baltimore Orioles' 7-5, 11-inning victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night at Arlington Stadium. He yielded five runs on eight hits and three walks.

"I'm not happy with it," he said, "but it was something to build on. My last four starts I had pitched so badly there was nothing to build on."

In those four starts, he had totaled only 13 1/3 innings but allowed 23 hits, 14 earned runs and 10 walks. And in his most recent start, he had faced only six batters and gotten one out. It was the earliest exit of his career and left him shaken.

"I was kind of nervous" Saturday night, he said today. "I didn't know what I was going to do. You could maybe say I wasn't fully confident. I kept saying, 'Go after them, and whatever happens happens.' "

In the second inning, he gave up four runs on four hits and nearly was taken out. "I had to make a decision about whether to go get him," Manager Frank Robinson said. But that would have given Milacki three consecutive starts of fewer than four innings.

"That's no good," Robinson said. "And I think he benefited from what he did."

None of the eight hits he gave up came with him ahead in the count, and only one came with two strikes. Cecil Espy got a fourth-inning single on the first ball he had hit out of the infield in 21 at-bats, making his season batting average .061 (two for 33). Hits also went to Jeff Kunkel (four for his previous 38), Geno Petralli (10 for 52), Pete Incaviglia (four for 28), Ruben Sierra (one for 27) and Julio Franco (three for 23). Also, of Milacki's 81 pitches, 38 were balls.

But he said: "I didn't go 2-0 as much. Except on the walks, I usually evened it up one time. And I only made two bad pitches, one to Incaviglia {a two-run homer} and one to Sierra {a double}."

He said he improved the location of his sinker, which had been dropping too far out of the strike zone to entice batters. "I wasn't driving through the ball to the plate," he said. "I was being a little tense and my ball didn't have any life to it."

Said pitching coach Al Jackson: "It was better, but he still has a lot of ground to cover. He's a far better pitcher than this." Olson Stingy

Outfielder Mike Devereaux, on the disabled list because of a pulled hamstring, ran for a third consecutive day and said "it seems to getting better." . . . The Gregg Olson update is as follows: One run in his last 53 innings over 36 games, .119 batting average, 102 1/3 innings without allowing a homer (only the third such streak in Orioles history to exceed 100 innings). The Rangers are two for 38 against him all-time (.052). . . . Mark Williamson has retired 25 of the last 29 batters he's faced. . . . Rangers right-handed stopper Jeff Russell has bone chips in his right elbow. He is trying to get through the season and then have surgery, but in his last eight games he has yielded 12 hits and eight runs (six earned).