By staying in a groove, Dave Schmidt has helped pull the Baltimore Orioles out of a couple of ruts.
Backed by first-inning home runs by Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray and Ray Knight off Ron Guidry, the former reliever allowed three hits in pitching the Orioles to a 4-0 victory over the New York Yankees Wednesday night at Baltimore.
"I've fallen into a good groove right now," said Schmidt, who snapped Baltimore's 10-game losing streak on June 14 and a three-game slide this time.
"If I can keep getting us into the seventh, regardless of what the score is, just giving us a good game and keeping us there so we have a chance to win, then that's my job," said Schmidt (8-1).
The three home runs by Baltimore, which leads the majors with 111, came with two outs.
Ripken, in a 1-for-10 slump, hit his first home run in 10 games and 17th of the season. Murray followed with his 14th homer, only his second hit in 15 at-bats, both home runs, and his third RBI in 22 games.
Knight, in a 1-for-21 skid, hit his eighth homer after Mike Young drew a walk.
Guidry (0-3) was making his fourth start after five relief appearances.
Yankee first baseman Don Mattingly returned to action after spending 15 days on the disabled list with a back problem. He went 0 for 3, ending a 15-game hitting streak.
Toronto 5, Detroit 3--Rance Mulliniks drove in three runs with his second and third homers of the season, and George Bell added his major league-leading 25th home run as the Blue Jays beat the Tigers at Detroit and snapped Jack Morris' nine-game winning streak.
Mulliniks homered in the first inning to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead and added a two-run shot in the seventh to put Toronto ahead, 5-2. His only previous two-homer game was last season against Boston.
The victory gave the Blue Jays a one-game lead over New York in the AL East. The third-place Tigers, who had won 27 of their previous 37 games, are six games back.
Morris (10-3), who gave up seven hits, hadn't lost since April 20.
Boston 8, Milwaukee 7--Todd Benzinger drove in the first four runs of his major league career with a pair of bases-loaded singles, and Wade Boggs extended his hitting streak to 25 games with a single and a homer at Boston, leading the Red Sox to their fifth consecutive victory.
Staked to a 6-0 lead on three-run bursts in the fourth and fifth innings, Bruce Hurst (8-5) allowed only three hits until he was shelled in a five-run Milwaukee seventh that brought the Brewers within a run.
Oakland 4, Kansas City 2--Curt Young and Dennis Eckersley combined on a five-hitter, and Mike Davis drove in three runs with a pair of singles to lead the Athletics at Oakland.
Young (9-4) pitched seven innings and allowed four hits, losing his shutout on Juan Beniquez's two-run homer in the seventh. He struck out five and walked two.
Kansas City left-hander Danny Jackson (3-10) became the first 10-game loser in the major leagues this season.
Minnesota 14, Cleveland 8--Kent Hrbek's towering three-run home run capped a four-run fourth inning as the streaking Twins routed the Indians at Minneapolis.
The Twins, who have won 14 of their last 17 games, lead second-place Oakland by four games in the American League West.
Seattle 10, Chicago 7--Alvin Davis hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning, and Mike Kingery followed with a solo homer two pitches later, leading the Mariners to a win at Chicago.
Mark Langston (9-6) allowed 8 hits in 7 innings to get the victory. Edwin Nunez pitched the final two innings and earned his ninth save.