It was a case of major league cool colliding with youthful enthusiasm. Depending on which member of the Baltimore Orioles was asked, their three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays was either no big deal or a coming-of-age milestone.
Mike Mussina is part of the Oriole youth. To him, beating Toronto, 4-1, Wednesday night at Baltimore to finish their first three-game sweep of the Blue Jays in 12 years was a sign of the team’s maturing.
“For the first time, we are believing that we’re going to go out there and beat these guys,” he said. “In the past, we thought we could beat them.”
To Manager Johnny Oates, the sweep happened too early in the season to get excited.
“It’s three wins,” he said. “That’s all it is--three wins.”
Whatever the case, it was another solid game by the Orioles, who trail the first-place New York Yankees by half a game in the American League East. Baltimore won its fourth in a row and 11th in 14 games.
Harold Baines and Chris Hoiles homered. Mussina (6-1) struck out five and walked two.
Losing pitcher Todd Stottlemyre (3-1) was working on three days’ rest and lasted 5 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits and three walks.
The score was tied, 1-1, in the sixth inning when Baines led off with his fourth home run. Cal Ripken singled, and Hoiles hit a two-run shot to left for a 4-1 lead.
“The last couple of years, they seem to be able to beat us in the late innings,” Hoiles said. “They’ve broken our hearts in the late innings. This time, we were able to come back and beat them.”
This time. Stottlemyre agreed with Oates that the sweep needed to be kept in perspective.
“The funny thing about this game is that you play 162 games,” Stottlemyre said. “It’s a marathon; it’s not a sprint.”
New York 6, Cleveland 3--Danny Tartabull homered and Paul O’Neill got two more hits at New York to raise his average to .473 as the Yankees won their sixth in a row.
Jimmy Key (6-1) gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings. Bob Wickman finished for his first save as the Yankees improved to 22-10, their best start since 1956.
O’Neill hit an RBI double in a three-run fifth inning that gave the Yankees a 4-1 lead against Dennis Martinez (1-4), who gave up five runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Chicago 14, Seattle 6--Ron Karkovice hit a grand slam and Julio Franco a three-run homer as the White Sox scored seven runs with two out in the third inning at Chicago.
Kansas City 9, Minnesota 0--David Cone pitched a three-hitter to win his sixth consecutive start, leading the Royals at Kansas City.
Wally Joyner, Terry Shumpert, Dave Henderson and Greg Gagne each drove in two runs. The Royals had 14 hits, at least one by each starter.
Cone (6-1) pitched his first complete game this season, striking out six.
Boston 7, Milwaukee 1--Aaron Sele pitched the first complete game of his career and Mo Vaughn homered and drove in three runs at Boston as the Red Sox ended their five-game losing streak.
Sele (4-1) gave up seven hits, struck out four and walked four. In his 25 starts in the major leagues, he has given up three earned runs or fewer 24 times; in the other game, he gave up four.
Detroit 6, Oakland 2--Cecil Fielder, Kirk Gibson and Eric Davis hit solo homers in the third inning at Detroit as the Tigers dealt Oakland its 19th loss in 21 games.
John Doherty (4-2) pitched a seven-hitter for his third victory in a row and second consecutive complete game.
Bob Welch (0-5) was tagged for six runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. His earned-run average rose from 7.71 to 8.10.