BALTIMORE, SEPT. 7 -- A lot of people think Reggie Jackson talks too much, and Manager Doug Rader of the California Angels may be one of them.

Sam Horn, the Baltimore Orioles' struggling slugger, took some of Jackson's advice to heart tonight and enjoyed his best night since opening day in leading the Orioles to a 6-2 victory.

Horn rapped a homer, double and single, batting in four runs and scoring two. Both extra-base hits were to left field after Jackson, the Angels' new television commentator, advised Horn to stop trying to pull everything.

"Reggie told me to get started on hitting to center field," Horn said. "He told me with my power I didn't have to pull everything. So I concentrated on hitting the ball up the middle instead of pulling and I wound up hitting some outside pitches a long way."

There were other bright spots as the Orioles pulled out of a six-game skid, their longest of the season.

Right-hander Ben McDonald threw eight strong innings, allowing four hits and one walk, to earn his first victory since Aug. 13. McDonald had lost four in a row, during which the Orioles managed only six runs.

Reliever Gregg Olson worked the ninth and retired three straight batters after yielding a single to Dante Bichette. It was the first appearance since Aug. 28 for Olson, who had been bothered by a sore elbow.

"Everything was normal," Olson said. "I felt fine out there. I took it easy warming up and I didn't push myself too far, but once I got in the game, it was just like it was before."

Steve Finley, the Orioles' leadoff man, rapped out four straight hits, matching a career high, as he extended his batting streak to seven games.

Although Baltimore collected 11 hits, the winning run crossed on a balk by Bob McClure. It was part of a strange seventh inning that saw the Orioles snap out of a 2-2 tie with four runs.

With one out, Rene Gonzales bounced one just beyond the reach of leaping third baseman Jack Howell for a double. That marked the end for starter Joe Grahe, the rookie right-hander from Miami whose last start against McDonald resulted in a 5-2 victory over Louisiana State in the 1989 College World Series.

McClure, a lefty, relieved. But lefty or righty, it didn't matter to Finley, who lined a single to right for his fourth hit, Gonzales stopping at third.

Manager Frank Robinson sent Bill Ripken up as a pinch hitter for the second time in his career, to bat for Brady Anderson, whose .264 average was the highest in the Orioles' starting lineup. Ripken hit a 2-0 pitch to right field, deep enough to score Gonzales, but the play was undone and Gonzales scored, anyway, as first-base umpire Tim McClelland charged McClure with a balk.

"They told me I didn't stop," the 37-year-old McClure said. "That's the first time I've had that called in 12 years."

The count was still 2-0 on Ripken, but Rader called in right-hander Mike Fetters and Robinson responded with left-handed batter Joe Orsulak. When Orsulak walked, it was charged to McClure, even though he had not thrown a pitch to Orsulak.

Cal Ripken fouled out, but Horn drove Fetters's first pitch into the left field bleachers, 320 feet away. It was his 11th homer and marked the Orioles' first three-run shot since Aug. 3.

"A three-run homer -- that's an old friend that hasn't been around much lately," Robinson said. "Sam Horn is capable of hitting to left field with power. The opener in Kansas City, when he hit the two homers, he also took an outside pitch to left for a single. I was glad to get the homers, but I think I appreciated that single more.

"When he gets away from that kind of thing -- and he has been getting away from it -- he isn't as good a hitter."

The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on an error by Howell and Horn's double off the wall in left. The ball appeared catchable, but left fielder Luis Polonia stopped short and waited for the carom. The ball hit so low on the wall that it skidded away from Polonia, enabling Cal Ripken to score from first.

In the sixth, Horn singled to right and raced to third on Mickey Tettleton's double into the left field corner. Horn scored on Craig Worthington's infield out, as drawn-in shortstop Dick Schofield dove to his left to make the stop and threw to first, but had no play at the plate.

Over six innings, McDonald permitted only three base runners, Polonia getting two singles and Howell one. In the seventh, though, McDonald issued his only walk to Lance Parrish and was immediately burned when Brian Downing drove an 0-1 pitch into the left field bleachers.

"I'd gotten him out before with a fastball outside and a fastball inside," McDonald said. "I went inside again and made a pretty good pitch, but he was guessing fastball inside and got the pitch he wanted. It was a mistake, but fortunately for me we got enough runs that I was able to get away with it."

McDonald struck out six, half on called third strikes in the first inning, when Polonia was standed after singling and stealing second and third.

"The five full days of rest did me a lot of good," McDonald said. "I had my good stuff and, normally when I do, I go out and pitch a good ballgame."