In what has been a season filled with poor pitching, the Baltimore Oriole staff may have hit rock bottom.
Six Baltimore pitchers surrendered a major league record 10 home runs to Toronto Monday night in an 18-3 loss to the Blue Jays at Toronto.
The previous record for homers in one game by one club was eight, a feat accomplished eight different times. The last time the mark was reached was July 4, 1977, when the Boston Red Sox hit eight solo homers against the Blue Jays.
"Tonight was an embarrassing ballgame," said an angered Cal Ripken Sr., the Oriole manager. "I'm not the only one who's embarrassed. Every one in that clubhouse is embarrassed."
Ernie Whitt led the Toronto home run parade with three--a solo homer to ignite a five-run second inning, a solo homer in the fifth, and a three-run homer to cap a seven-run seventh inning.
"I'm on cloud nine," said Whitt. "Maybe one day, when I'm talking to my grandchildren, I can tell them a story about the night we broke the record."
Whitt has hit 5 homers in his last 12 at-bats.
"I've never been in a streak like this before," he said. "When I hit home runs, I usually hit two or three a week and then I don't hit any for a month. But this is unbelievable."
George Bell added two homers for the Blue Jays and took over the major league lead with 45. Rance Mulliniks also had two homers, while Lloyd Moseby, Fred McGriff and Rob Ducey each hit one. Ducey's three-run blast was his first major league homer.
Almost lost in the long-ball display was the end of Cal Ripken Jr.'s consecutive-inning streak. It stopped at 8,243, when the Orioles' shortstop was replaced by Ron Washington in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The Blue Jays, winning for the 8th time in their last 11 games, hit three homers in the second inning, two in the third, one in the fifth, one in the sixth, two in the seventh and one in the eighth.
Oriole starter Ken Dixon allowed three homers, and relievers Eric Bell two, Mike Griffin one, Mike Kinnunen two, and Tony Arnold two.
"The only thing we're going to be first in this season is homers allowed," Ripken Sr. said.
The Oriole pitching staff has given up 204 homers. Only two other major league teams during this century have given up more homers in a season. The record is 220 set by the Kansas City A's in 1964.
Mike Hart also homered for Baltimore, meaning that the two clubs combined for 11 homers and matched the all-time record accomplished on two separate occasions in the American League and four times in the National League.
Detroit 3, Boston 0--Left fielder Kirk Gibson drove in the Tigers' first run and made two superb throws to cut down Boston runners at the plate as the Tigers beat the Red Sox to keep pace with Toronto in the East.
Detroit's Doyle Alexander, 6-0 since coming to the Tigers in a trade Aug. 12, allowed eight hits and worked out of bases-loaded situations twice in seven innings. Alexander struck out four and walked four. Mike Henneman worked the last two innings, earning his fifth save.
Milwaukee 6, New York 4--Ernest Riles and Dale Sveum each hit solo homers and reliever Dave Stapleton won in his first major league appearance as the Brewers beat the Yankees at New York.
The victory moved the Brewers one-half game in front of the Yankees and into third place in the East.
The 25-year-old Stapleton, 11-3 at Triple-A Denver this season, was recalled earlier in the day and pitched 3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Len Barker. He allowed only three singles and induced the Yankees to hit into two double-plays.
Mark Clear went the final 1 innings for his fifth save.
Chicago 8, Minnesota 2--Dave LaPoint pitched four-hit ball over 8 innings, and Greg Walker drove in four runs as the White Sox beat the Twins at Chicago.
LaPoint (4-3) struck out four and walked six before needing help from Bob James. James got the final out after giving up a two-run single to Randy Bush.
LaPoint joined the White Sox from St. Louis July 30 and last pitched a shutout May 5, 1985, when he was with the San Francisco Giants. His last complete game was two months later, Aug. 13.
Minnesota loser Frank Viola (15-9), gave up eight hits in five innings. Viola, who has the second best ERA in the league, has not won on the road since July 27.
Texas 2, Oakland 1--Oakland reliever Steve Ontiveros walked Darrell Porter with the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Rangers their fourth straight win.
Ontiveros (8-8) had walked Pete O'Brien intentionally and Larry Parrish unintentionally, setting the stage for Porter's game-winning RBI.
Dale Mohorcic (7-4) won in relief, pitching only the top of the 11th.
The loss dropped the Athletics out of a second-place tie with the Kansas City Royals in the American League West.
Cleveland 11, Seattle 8--Brook Jacoby drove in three runs, and Jay Bell hit a two-run homer to lead a 16-hit attack as the Indians beat the Mariners at Seattle.
Seattle's Mickey Brantley hit three home runs and went 5 for 6 with 7 RBIs.