These are the best of times for the Orioles, who win six of seven games at home to forge a three-game lead in the American League East.
They start the week with a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays — in which John Shelby walks with the bases loaded in the ninth inning — and end by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers, 10-7, despite making six errors.
“The key is winning,” manager Joe Altobelli says. “Nobody said it has to be pretty.”
Orioles home runs fly out of Memorial Stadium, 15 in one six-game stretch. They homer four times in a 6-4 defeat of the Brewers as Eddie Murray, Gary Roenicke, Benny Ayala and Rich Dauer all connect, while several other long flies are caught at the fence.
“If our guys had eaten one more egg this morning, we might have had eight homers,” Altobelli says.
Against Toronto’s ace, Dave Stieb, the Orioles hit three home runs (Murray, Al Bumbry and John Lowenstein) in a 6-4 win. Ken Singleton homers in successive games against Milwaukee’s defending AL champs. And Cal Ripken Jr. and Leo Hernandez, the suspect third baseman, do it in a rain-shortened, five-inning 8-1 win that gives left-hander Scott McGregor his seventh straight victory over second-place Toronto.
For the second time, the Orioles are 10 games over .500 (33-23).
“We’re loose and we’re having fun,” Ripken says. “That’s the best way to play the game.”