Who’d have thought it? With three of their best arms on the fritz, it’s pitching that carries the Orioles to four victories in six West Coast games this week.
Forget Mike Flanagan, Tippy Martinez and Jim Palmer, all on the disabled list. Storm Davis and Scott McGregor each go the distance to defeat the Oakland Athletics, followed by stellar back-to-back relief jobs by Dennis Martinez and Sammy Stewart against the California Angels.
Rookie Davis defeats the A’s, 7-3, for his fourth complete game in his past five starts and ninth victory overall. McGregor follows with a 4-3 win to run his record to 12-4.
“I don’t see how any pitcher can be more consistent than he is now,” pitching coach Ray Miller says of McGregor, who is 8-1 in his past 12 starts with a 1.93 ERA.
Two days later, Martinez — banished to the bullpen to regain his form — shines in a 5-4 victory over the Angels, allowing three hits and one run in six innings of relief to gain his sixth win against 12 losses. Martinez finishes with a flourish, getting Reggie Jackson, Rod Carew and Fred Lynn, in order, and pumps both fists in the air in jubilation.
Now it’s Sammy Stewart’s turn. The fun-loving right-hander goes 3 2/3 innings in relief, surrendering four hits and one run in a 10-4 rout of California. Cal Ripken Jr. gets four hits as the streaking Orioles earn their 14th win in 18 games. At 56-40, they hold a one-game lead in the American League East.