ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Ben McDonald, who has become the workhorse of the Orioles' pitching staff, came up with another big performance here last night.
The 6-foot-7 right-hander was perfect through four innings andominant throughout his stay on the mound while earning a 5-1 victory over the California Angels. In winning for the first time in his past five starts, McDonald allowed four hits, walking two and striking out a career-high 10.
The powerful performance required only 114 pitches from McDonald, who threw first-pitch strikes to 24 of the 33 hitters he faced. He also threw 23 of 30 breaking pitches for strikes.
"When I have a good breaking ball and throw it over the plate, can strike some people out," said McDonald. "But it [the %J career-high 10 strikeouts] is not that big a deal to me."
The win enabled McDonald to improve his record to 10-11, which is not nearly as indicative of his effectiveness as his 3.37 ERA, eighth best in the American League. Last night's game was his 28th start of the season, and he increased his number of innings pitched to 179, both club-high totals. The complete game was his fourth, tying him with Fernando Valenzuela for team leadership.
Chris Hoiles, who had three hits, including a double, and drove itwo runs, and Cal Ripken, with a pair of singles and an RBI, led the Orioles' eight-hit offense. David Segui had a run-scoring double and Jack Voigt added an RBI single to account for the Orioles' other two runs.
Mark Holzemer (0-2) allowed seven hits and all five of thOrioles'runs in seven innings and was charged with the loss.
The win was the third in a row for the third-place Orioles aftethey opened this nine-game trip with two straight losses in Texas. It enabled them to gain another game on the New York Yankees and move to within 3 1/2 games of second place, while remaining six games behind the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East.
Holzemer, promoted from Triple-A Vancouver Aug. 20, was making only his third major-league start. His two previous appearances were both against the Milwaukee Brewers, who stung the left-hander for 17 hits and 12 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings.
The 24-year-old rookie encountered little difficulty until thOrioles scored three times in the fourth inning. Holzemer had walked one, hit a batter and allowed a two-out single to Mark McLemore in the third, before Harold Baines led off the fourth inning with a single to left field.
Ripken put runners on first and third with a single to right-centefield and Baines scored the first run on a ground out by Hoiles. After Tim Hulett walked, Segui doubled over third base, driving in Hoiles with the second run.
BVoigt then drilled a single through the middle to make it 3-0, but Segui was thrown out when he tried to follow Hulett across home plate. Brady Anderson flied to left for the third out, but the Orioles came back with another pair of runs an inning later.
McLemore opened with a walk and eventually scored wheRipken scalded a two-out single through the left side. Hoiles made it 5-0 with a long double into the left-field corner before Hulett lined to center fielder Chad Curtis for the final out.
While his teammates were busy providing him a rare early leadMcDonald shut down the Angels during the early innings. The big right-hander struck out four and didn't allow a ball out of the infield while retiring the first 12 hitters.
"He got ahead of the hitters and was throwing first-pitch strikes,said Hoiles. "That makes it a whole lot easier for him, and tougher for the hitter.
"When a guy has five or six different pitches and he's throwing them for strikes, it makes it very tough to hit. I know that firsthand," said Hoiles. "You start to guess."
McDonald's spell was broken when Chili Davis led off the fiftinning with a walk and went to third on the Angels' first hit, a single by J. T. Snow. However, McDonald escaped with minimal damage.
Eduardo Perez, whose home run in Baltimore last Thursday waonly the sixth allowed by McDonald in his past 20 starts, was overpowered by a third-strike fastball. Greg Myers got a run home with a sacrifice fly, but Kurt Stillwell hit a harmless grounder for the third out.
An inning later the Angels got two more hits, singles by RoCorreia and Tim Salmon, but McDonald again came up with a big strikeout. Curtis was frozen by a fastball away for the second out of the inning, just before Salmon's hit. Segui made a dazzling play at first base on a sharp drive by Davis to end the threat.
McDonald gave up a single to Curtis, who extended his hittinstreak to 14 games, and a walk to Snow in the ninth inning before ending the game by striking out Perez.
"Ben had all of his pitches working for him tonight," saimanager Johnny Oates. "And he still had a good fastball in the last inning."
* Orioles-Angels scoring Orioles fourth: Baines singled to left. Ripken singled to right-center, Baines to third. Hoiles grounded into fielder's choice, shortstop Correia to second baseman Stillwell, Baines scored, Ripken forced at second. Hulett walked, Hoiles to second. Segui doubled down the left-field line, Hoiles scored, Hulett to third. Voigt singled to center, Hulett scored, Segui to third, Segui out advancing, center fielder Curtis to catcher Myers, Voigt to second. Anderson flied to left fielder Polonia. 3 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on. Orioles 3, Angels 0.
Orioles fifth: McLemore walked. Devereaux flied to center fielder Curtis. Baines grounded to second baseman Stillwell, McLemore second. Ripken singled to left, McLemore scored. Hoiles doubled down the left-field line, Ripken scored. Hulett lined to center fielder Curtis. 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on. Orioles 5, Angels 0.
Angels fifth: Davis walked. Snow singled to center, Davis to third. Perez struck out. Myers hit sacrifice fly to left fielder Anderson, Davis scored. Stillwell grounded to second baseman McLemore. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 left on. Orioles 5, Angels 1.