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AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP : McDonald Arrives for Orioles a Year Late

When the Baltimore Orioles made Ben McDonald the first selection in the 1989 June draft, they thought the 6-foot-7 right-hander from Louisiana State was ready for the majors.

Well, it turned out he was a little more than a year away.

McDonald made his first start Saturday night at Baltimore, pitching a four-hitter as the Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox, 2-0. It was only the second time the White Sox have been shut out this season.

McDonald, who was ineffective in six relief appearances last season and good in several this season after being called up in July, retired the last 16 White Sox after Ron Kittle’s single in the fourth.

He had to be good, because former Stanford star Jack McDowell gave up only five hits and struck out 10. He retired the last 14 Orioles.

“I was glad to finally get the start,” McDonald said after needing only 85 pitches to handle the White Sox. “I didn’t know whether I would get it later this year, or not until next year. I felt I was ready to get one. I want to be in the rotation. I’m much more comfortable as a starting pitcher than as a reliever.”

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McDonald made six relief appearances last season. He lasted only 7 1/3 innings and had an earned-run average of 8.59.

This season, his progress was hampered by several injuries. He was 3-3 with an ERA of 2.86 when the Orioles brought him up from triple-A Rochester on July 3. He appeared several times in relief before Manager Frank Robinson decided he was ready to start. He was ready, too.

“It’s great to see him finish like that,” Robinson said. “He went right after the hitters.”

Joe Orsulak and Billy Ripken drove in runs for the Orioles, who have won three in a row over the White Sox and 10 of their last 13.

Toronto 2, Oakland 1--Dave Stieb is a good pitcher at Toronto, but on the road--especially at Oakland--the veteran right-hander is outstanding.

Stieb (12-3) held the World Series champion Athletics to five hits in eight innings.

George Bell and Pat Borders hit home runs to back Stieb’s second-best performance of the season. His best effort was May 28, also at Oakland, when he pitched a three-hitter and won, 1-0.

“The A’s pounded me in Toronto recently,” Stieb said. “I’ve pitched two good games here. I like this ballpark. No wonder Dave Stewart and Bob Welch enjoy pitching here.”

Stieb is 6-0 on the road this season with an ERA of 2.78. The Blue Jays, battling Boston for first place in the East, are 25-20 on the road, the only team in the division with a winning record away from home.

Except for the home run pitches to Bell in the fifth inning and Borders in the sixth, Scott Sanderson (11-6) was brilliant. He gave up only one other hit, an infield single by Bell, in eight innings.

Stieb easily could have had his second shutout of the year at Oakland. He was leading, 2-0, in the eighth and the A’s had a man on second with one out. Jose Canseco hit a towering drive to center. Mookie Wilson lost it in the sun, it fell for a double.

Detroit 8, Texas 1--Cecil Fielder hit his major league-leading 31st home run to lead the Tigers at Arlington, Tex.

Fielder, after not playing the previous two games, hit a three-run homer in the first inning to get Dan Petry off to a good start.

Petry (7-6) gave up only two hits in eight innings to win for the first time in eight starts since June 5.

Minnesota 2, New York 1--Mark Guthrie gave up only four hits in 7 2/3 innings at Minneapolis and won for the first time since May 31. It was the 13th loss in 18 games for the Yankees.

Kansas City 4, Boston 2--Pinch-hitter Mike Macfarlane hit a two-run, go-ahead double in a three-run eighth inning at Kansas City that knocked the Red Sox out of first place in the East.

Boston had led the East since June 25 but fell one-half game behind Toronto after losing three out of their last four games.

Milwaukee 10, Seattle 3--Greg Vaughn hit two home runs and drove in a career-high six runs at Milwaukee to lead the Brewers’ rout of the Mariners.


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