Can a homestand kick off any better? After an announced crowd of 39,544 pays tribute to Brooks Robinson, a recent Hall of Fame inductee, the first-place Orioles stage a three-run ninth-inning comeback to nip the Chicago White Sox, 5-4. With two outs, they erupt for five straight singles, capped by Rich Dauer’s run-scoring hit, in a finish that outfielder Jim Dwyer calls “the epitome of Orioles magic.”
So much for their bag of tricks. Six straight losses follow as the team rides out a near weeklong funk, falling to second place in the American League East. The Orioles drop two to Chicago, then are swept by the Cleveland Indians before losing again to the White Sox.
The slump coincides with a five-game absence of red-hot Eddie Murray (strained knee) from the starting lineup, during which the Orioles hit an anemic .212.
“A lot of us are trying too hard to make up for his [Murray’s] absence, and we’re forgetting to play within ourselves,” Cal Ripken Jr. says.
One bright spot: In the sixth loss (9-3 to the White Sox), utilityman Lenn Sakata hits strokes a single — his first hit in 66 career at-bats against Chicago over seven years.
Players seem unruffled by the plunge. In May, the Orioles weathered a seven-game tailspin and lived to tell.