Robinson Takes the Blame for Orioles' 20th Straight Loss

From Times Wire Services

The winless Baltimore Orioles were holding their own for once, but Manager Frank Robinson said he didn't hold up his end of the deal.

"I'll take the blame for this one," Robinson said Wednesday night after the Orioles tied the American League record of 20 consecutive losses by falling to the Minnesota Twins, 7-6, in Minneapolis.

"I'm not going to go into detail in the papers, (but) I'm sincere when I say I didn't do a good managing job in the eighth inning."

The Orioles, who jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, were in a 4-4 tie when Kent Hrbek and Tim Laudner greeted reliever Bill Scherrer (0-1) with consecutive homers in the eighth inning and the Twins added another run to make it 7-4.

Baltimore nearly tied the score in the ninth. With two out, Joe Orsulak singled off reliever Juan Berenguer (3-2) and Billy Ripken walked. After Berenguer threw a ball to Cal Ripken, Keith Atherton relieved, and Ripken singled home Orsulak to cut the lead to 7-5.

Eddie Murray singled, scoring Billy Ripken from third, but Fred Lynn grounded out to second, ending the game.

"They didn't give up; that shows a lot of character," Hrbek said. "If they get that one hit to put them over the hump, they're going to be tough."

Trying to avoid setting an AL record, the Orioles this afternoon send Mike Boddicker (0-4) against Twins' left-hander Alan Anderson (0-0).

The 1906 Boston Red Sox set the AL record for consecutive losses with 20. The Philadelphia Athletics tied the mark in 1916 and 1943. The 1961 Philadelphia Phillies hold the modern major-league standard of 23 straight defeats.

Jeff Stone led off Baltimore's first with a walk and Billy Ripken singled him to third. Cal Ripken singled home the game's first run. The runners worked a double steal as Murray struck out, then held as Lynn looked at a third strike. Larry Sheets prolonged the inning with a walk and Keith Hughes hit a two-run single to make it 3-0.

Minnesota got two runs in the bottom of the first on Kirby Puckett's run scoring single and Gary Gaetti's sacrifice fly, but Craig Worthington's leadoff homer in the second made Baltimore's lead 4-2.

Hrbek doubled in the second and later scored on Mark Davidson's groundout, and the Twins tied the score on Al Newman's run-scoring single in the fourth that knocked out Baltimore starter Scott McGregor.

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