BALTIMORE, JUNE 27 -- A Baltimore Orioles game with a 1990 beginning and middle was given a 1989 end when seldom-used rookie Chris Hoiles hit a three-run home run off Sergio Valdez in the 10th inning tonight for a 6-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians at Memorial Stadium.

Hoiles's first major league homer ended a five-game losing streak for Baltimore -- three defeats by one run and a pair by two runs.

After Gregg Olson (4-2) struck out the side in the Indians' 10th, Valdez (2-4) entered at the start of the home 10th and began by walking Mickey Tettleton on a 3-2 pitch. Rene Gonzales sacrificed and Joe Orsulak was intentionally passed, the 11th walk the Orioles received tonight.

Up came Hoiles, who had gone hitless in four at-bats tonight and said he thought Manager Frank Robinson would pinch-hit for him.

"When I saw that he wasn't going to," Hoiles said, "I just wanted to hit the ball as hard as I could."

He lined a 1-0 pitch into the left field seats for his first hit at Memorial Stadium and his first hit anywhere since June 6. For the Orioles, it was the first hit in the game since the second inning and first homer with runners on base after 14 homers with none on since June 9 -- including two tonight, by Tim Hulett in the first inning and Mike Devereaux in the second.

"It's a great feeling," Hoiles said. "I don't think words can describe it."

He was leading the Class AAA International League with a .394 batting average and was second in the league with 10 homers in 38 games when he was called up June 4. Since then, he had made only four starts, including one Tuesday night, and seven appearances.

He had begun to wonder whether his batting skills had eroded and Robinson had conceded he may have been hurting Hoiles by having him sit on the bench for the Orioles rather than playing for Rochester and enjoying a banner season.

"It was very frustrating, coming up from Rochester hitting the way I was," said Hoiles, who never had batted higher than .320 or hit more than 17 homers in an entire season as a minor-leaguer. "Right there {the homer} is what I can do. I hope he has enough confidence in me to keep playing me."

Said Robinson: "I want to see what the kid is capable of doing. I had been sitting him and sitting him. I said, 'Let's give him some opportunities.' "

Opportunities were one thing the Orioles did not lack tonight. They scored two runs in the first, but left the bases full. And Cal Ripken struck out with runners on second and third and two out in the ninth.

"Tonight, all I look at is the ending -- and it was pretty good-looking," said Robinson, whose team was three for its last 39 with runners in scoring position before Hoiles's homer. "We certainly needed that one."

Olson, who lost games twice last week, joked about his own night's work: "That's the first one-two-three inning I've had in two months, maybe three. I really needed something like that to get me back confidence-wise."

Preceding Olson was Mark Williamson, with 2 1/3 hitless innings in relief of starter John Mitchell.

Mitchell allowed three runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. On the plus side, he preserved a 3-3 game in the sixth after Cleveland put a runner on third base with one out.

On the minus side, when the Orioles gave Mitchell a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, he gave it back in second. And when Baltimore went ahead, 3-2, in the second, he let the Indians make it 3-3 in the third on a homer by diminutive Jerry Browne.

In the sixth, Cleveland's Mitch Webster led off with a double into the right field corner and took third on a groundout to second by Candy Maldonado. The Orioles played the infield in for Chris James, who entered batting .352 with 11 RBI in his last 13 games. Mitchell got James to hit a chopper to shortstop Ripken, who backhanded it and threw out James while Webster held third.

Following an intentional walk to Ken Phelps, Brook Jacoby smoked a rising liner toward third. Craig Worthington jumped and made a one-handed catch.

With two out in the seventh, Felix Fermin and Browne singled. Robinson called for Williamson, who was not available Tuesday night because of flu.

Williamson said before the game he still felt less than perfect ("All my bones hurt," he said), but he got Webster to ground out.

"I feel better," he said after the game, "but I'm going to take a nice warm shower, get something to eat and Travelodge it into bed."

In their seventh, the Orioles finally prompted Indians starter Bud Black's removal -- about six innings after they should have. He faced 13 batters in the first two innings, but allowed only three runs on five hits and two walks.

In any case, after two-out walks to Hulett and Randy Milligan gave Black six walks and 131 pitches for the night, Cleveland Manager John McNamara called on right-handed Rudy Seanez. He fired his first two warm-up pitches to the backstop and threw two balls to Ripken. Next pitch, Ripken flied out.

Seanez walked Tettleton, hitting for Bob Melvin, to begin the eighth. Worthington was supposed to bunt but ended up taking a called third strike. He compounded his problem by arguing vociferously with home plate umpire Jim Joyce. Robinson came trotting out of the dugout to intervene, but before he could, Joyce ejected Worthington.

Orsulak, hitting for Brad Komminsk, and Hoiles followed with popouts.