Perhaps the worst thing that can happen to a struggling team is to finally get a big inning, then see it washed out by rain.
That very nearly happened to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night when they scored five runs in the first inning - as many as they had in the previous three games combined.The Orioles then had to sweat out a 71-minute rain delay before taking a 6-0 lead and holding on for a 6-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox. It was just the fourth victory in 12 games for Baltimore.
The stretch of defeats had Orioles manager Dave Johnson thinking like a pessimist.
"I figured the way things have been going, we'd make it 5-0 or 6-0 and then have it washed out," Johnson said. "Maybe this is what we needed to turn us around - to win in spite of everything."
Cal Ripken, in an 0-for-16 slump, highlighted the five-run first inning against Wilson Alvarez (2-3) with a bloop two-run single.
Royals 8, Angels 2
Kansas City completed a four-game sweep at California behind rookie Sal Fasano's first major-league homer.
The Royals, who have won five straight overall, also got an insurance homer by Michael Tucker in the eighth inning to back the pitching of Mark Gubicza (3-4), who pitched 82/3 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits, with no walks.
Tigers 4, Yankees 2
Cecil Fielder homered twice and Travis Fryman hit a two-run shot off Jimmy Key, helping Detroit halt a six-game losing streak with a victory at New York.
The Tigers, whose 11-25 record is the worst in the majors, won for just the third time in 21 games. Detroit, last in the AL in both hitting and pitching, became the first team to hit three homers in a game off Key (1-4) since 1993.
Blue Jays 5, Rangers 2
John Olerud's two-run double in the sixth inning broke up a scoreless game and snapped Ken Hill's string of 19 shutout innings as Toronto halted Texas' five-game winning streak.
Paul Quantrill (1-4) turned in his first solid start of the season and earned his first victory for the Blue Jays, holding the Rangers to five hits and one run in 51/3 innings. Quantrill, an offseason trade acquisition from the Philadelphia Phillies, had an 8.68 ERA in his first six starts.
Brewers 17, Red Sox 2
Milwaukee knocked out Boston starter Aaron Sele with six runs in the first inning and used 17 hits and 10 walks against visiting Boston.
Sele (1-3) lasted just two-thirds of an inning, allowing six earned runs on five hits with two walks and one strikeout.