Home sweep home: Orioles top A's, 7-4 7th straight win completes 2nd sweep

Mark McLemore stroked a career-high five hits, scored thre runs and drove in three others last night as the Orioles completed their longest undefeated home stand in almost 13 years with a 7-4 win over the Oakland A's.

The victory extended the Orioles' season-high winning streak to seven games, matching Toronto for the longest such streak in the American League this year. The Orioles completed their only home stand in a stretch of 26 games with a 6-0 record, sweeping three-game series against Seattle and Oakland.


Not since Aug. 1-7, 1980, when they had an identical record against Minnesota and Chicago, had the Orioles gone undefeated on a homestand of this length or longer. Their current six-game streak at Camden Yards is the second longest in the new park, exceeded only by the nine in a row they won early last year.

McLemore entered the game hitting .289 after going only 11-55 (.200) in his past 14 games, a spin that caused his average to plunge 39 points. He recouped almost half the loss (19 points) with his performance last night as his average jumped to .308.


McLemore capped his evening with a two-out, two-run single off A's relief ace Dennis Eckersley to break open a game that had been in doubt throughout. The Orioles combed four Oakland pitchers for 15 hits, with Bob Welch (4-5) taking the loss.

Rick Sutcliffe (6-2), with help from Mark Williamson and Brad Pennington, who earned his second save, picked up the win.

Sutcliffe found all of the escape routes in the first two innings, when the A's had six runners, but didn't score a run and left six men on base. Brent Gates, Rickey Henderson and Sierra had consecutive singles in the first inning, but to no avail.

Before Sierra hit his liner to right, Sutcliffe used his patented spin move to steal a needed out. Gates was trapped off second base on the play, and when Henderson couldn't advance Sierra's hit was wasted as Terry Steinbach struck out to end the inning.

The Orioles got a first-inning lead, 1-0, on a two-out single by Mike Devereaux, but Cal Ripken was out at the plate despite a jarring collision that knocked Steinbach out of the game.

In the second inning, Sutcliffe gave up two walks and a single, but all came after there were two outs. Gates then drilled a sharp bouncer that appeared headed for center field, but Sutcliffe saved two runs by deflecting the ball and recovering in time to make a play at first base.

Sierra scored the A's first run in the third inning with his ninth home run of the season, but the Orioles bunched two hits and a walk to reclaim the lead, 2-1, in their half of the inning. Devereaux again delivered the key hit, a single to right-center field, but once again the trailing runner was thrown out as Sierra got his second assist as Baines was easily caught trying to reach third base.

The A's went right back to the long ball in the fourth inning, with Dale Sveum reaching the same area of the right-center field bleachers that Sierra had an inning earlier. But the Orioles weren't finished jabbing at Welch.