ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Mike Devereaux broke out of a 2-for-40 slump with a two-run homer and Mark Williamson and Jim Poole combined for 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief last night as the Orioles held off the California Angels, 4-3.
The win was the fourth in a row for the Orioles, who trail first-place Toronto by 5 1/2 games, and marked the first time they've beaten Chuck Finley in Anaheim Stadium. Despite allowing 13 hits, Finley (14-11) lasted the entire game, throwing a staggering 157 pitches.
In addition to Devereaux's first-inning homer, Brady Anderson had three hits plus a walk, stole two bases and scored two runs, and Chris Hoiles also had three hits as the Orioles built an early lead. But they failed to capitalize on two opportunities to break open the game.
"We swung the bats OK," said Orioles manager Johnny Oates, "but you've got to give Finley credit. He made us swing at some bad pitches."
For the second straight start, Arthur Rhodes (4-3) was unable to get through the sixth inning, but this time he did qualify for a win. The24-year-old left-hander, making his sixth start since coming off the disabled list Aug. 4, struggled through two innings and then cruised through the fifth before the Angels caught up with him.
In his most recent appearance, a week ago in Texas, Rhodes left with one out in the sixth inning and the Orioles leading 3-1. Last night his duration of time in the game was identical, and he again was chargedwith three runs, all of them coming when he was in the game, while giving up five hits, walking two and striking out four.
It was a two-run homer by Tim Salmon, who drove in all the Angels' runs, that set the stage for the departure of Rhodes. He turned a 4-3 lead over to Williamson with the tying run on base and one out in the sixth.
"I came in feeling like I had good stuff," said Williamson, who got Eduardo Perez and Rene Gonzales on ground balls to end the inning. "I just told myself to be aggressive and go after people. Those first two outs were big ones, but I felt it would take two
hits in that situation to beat me."
When Perez led off the ninth with a single, Poole came on to get pinch hitter Luis Polonia to hit into a double play and J. T. Snow to ground out to end the game and claim his second save of the season.
For Poole, facing two hitters almost qualified him for overtime. The left-hander has been used mostly in a specialized role to face left-handed hitters. But after getting the left-handed-hitting Polonia, Oates left Poole in the game to face the switch-hitting Snow, whose power is primarily from the left side.
"I guess I expanded my role," joked Poole. "And I even got a bonus out [on the double play]."
"The bullpen has pitched well for us all year," said Oates. "They were down a little bit at the All-Star break, but other than that they've done a good job."
Originally, Finley was scheduled to face the Blue Jays tonight and miss the Orioles series. But he and fellow left-hander Mark Langston asked Angels manager Buck Rodgers to keep both on a steady rotation of pitching every fifth day.
Rodgers granted the request and moved Finley up one day. The left-hander went into the game with a 6-4 lifetime record and a 2.98 ERA against the Orioles, including a 5-0 mark at Anaheim Stadium.
Going by the numbers, the Orioles' first two runs came from an unexpected source. Other than Tim Hulett, who was hitless in six at-bats, Devereaux went into the game with less success against Finley (5-39, .128) than anyone else.
But after Anderson opened the game with an infield hit and stole second while Jeffrey Hammonds was striking out, Devereaux found a pitch to his liking. He drove the high offering deep into the left-field seats, his 12th home run and first since Aug. 14. The two RBI were the first for Devereaux against Finley.
The Angels halved the 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, when Chad Curtis tripled and scored on an infield hit by Salmon. But Rhodes got Chili Davis to hit into a double play and then survived two base runners in the second, when Gonzales doubled and Chris Turner walked.
The Orioles doubled their run total in the third, when Anderson again led off with a single, this one a drive to right field. Hammonds got an infield hit and the runners moved up when Devereaux tried to bunt for a base hit but settled for a sacrifice.
Cal Ripken's slow roller to third, which Perez booted for an error, and a single to center by Hoiles increased the lead to 4-1. An inning later the Orioles mounted another threat, but Finley managed to escape.
A walk to David Segui, a single by Jack Voigt and Anderson's sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third. However, Finley struck out both Hammonds and Devereaux, the latter after a long drive down the left-field line that hooked foul.
After his shaky start, Rhodes seemed to find a groove and breezed into the sixth inning. After the walk to Turner in the second, Rhodes retired 10 straight batters, three via strikeouts, before walking Stan Javier.
Then, with one out, Salmon unloaded his 30th home run of the year, a blast over the right-center-field fence, reducing the Orioles' lead to 4-3. When Davis followed with a single to left, Rhodes was replaced by Williamson.
In the seventh inning, the Orioles had an offensive malfunction identical to the one in the fourth. With one out, Ripken singled and went to third on a double by Hoiles. But Hulett, who two innings earlier had been Finley's 1,000th career strikeout victim, went down swinging for the third time and Leo Gomez grounded out.
Anderson got his third hit with two outs in the eighth and recorded his 18th stolen base of the year (in 28 attempts). But Curtis made a dazzling catch of a long line drive to center field by Hammonds to keep the Orioles holding on to the slimmest of leads.
* Orioles-Angels scoring Orioles first: Anderson singled to shortstop. Anderson stole second. Hammonds struck out. Devereaux homered to left on 1-2 count, Anderson and Devereaux scored. Ripken grounded to second baseman R.Gonzales. Hoiles walked. Hulett struck out. 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on. Orioles 2, Angels 0.
Angels first: Javier grounded to third baseman Gomez. Curtis tripled to center. Salmon singled to second, Curtis scored. Davis grounded into double play, shortstop Ripken to second baseman Hulett to first baseman Segui. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on. Orioles 2, Angels 1.
Orioles third: Anderson singled to right-center. Hammonds singled to shortstop, Anderson to second. Devereaux sacrificed to pitcher Finley, Anderson to third, Hammonds to second. Ripken safe on third baseman Perez's fielding error, Anderson ,, scored, Hammonds to third. Hoiles singled to center, Hammonds scored, Ripken to second. Hulett grounded into fielder's choice, third baseman Perez to second baseman R. Gonzales, Ripken to third, Hoiles forced at second. Gomez lined to shortstop Correia. 2 runs, 3 hits, 1 error, 2 left on. Orioles 4, Angels 1.
Angels sixth: Javier walked. Curtis flied to center fielder Devereaux. Salmon homered to right-center on 2-2 count, Javier and Salmon scored. Davis singled to left. Williamson relieved Rhodes. Perez grounded to third baseman Gomez, Davis to second. R. Gonzales grounded to shortstop Ripken. 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on. Orioles 4, Angels 3.
SALMON HITS NO. 30
The California Angels' Tim Salmon last night became the 19th player in major-league history to hit 30 home runs in his rookie season. Those who have done it in the 1980s and 1990s:
Year.. .. .. .. .Player No.
1993 .. .. .. .. Salmon 30
1987 .. .. .. .. Mark McGwire 49
1987 .. .. .. .. Matt Nokes 32
.. .. .. .. Pete Incaviglia 30
.. .. .. .. Jose Canseco 33
1983 .. .. .. .. Ron Kittle 35