Baltimore Orioles Manager Frank Robinson turned out to be a prophet.
After the Orioles lost their 19th straight game Tuesday, Robinson said it would take a shutout to end Baltimore's record-breaking losing streak. With the moon near full, Mark Williamson and Dave Schmidt combined on a four-hitter and Baltimore complemented that effort with 11 hits Friday to crush the Chicago White Sox 9-0, ending the Orioles' American League record losing streak at 21."I didn't know who it would be (to throw the shutout)," Robinson said to the hundreds of media covering the streak. "I hoped someone else would do it before tonight. I didn't think it would take this long."
Robinson also proved to be an optimist. When asked if the Orioles, 1-21 and 16 games out of first place, Robinson asked "What did (first-place) Cleveland do tonight."
The Orioles fell two short of the modern major-league record for consecutive losses 23 by the 1961 Philadelphia Phillies. Baltimore had long ago broken the major-league record for losses to start a season, 13 straight by the 1904 Washington Senators and 1920 Detroit Tigers.
The Orioles got home runs by Eddie Murray in the first inning and Cal Ripken in the ninth. Their defense handled 10 groundballs without fault and Williamson and Schmidt allowed no baserunner past second base.
Pete Stanicek, who was called up from Triple-A Rochester Thursday to replace the injured Jeff Stone, got two hits, drove in a run and scored twice.
"I think going 0-21 embarrased them a lot," Stanicek said about his new teammates. "They know they're a better team."
The Orioles' on-field celebration was nothing more than the usual walk onto the field to congratulate the players.
"We couldn't relax until the last out, even with a nine-run lead." said Schmidt, who earned a save with one-hit relief over three innings. "Strange things have been happening. With this kind of streak, you can't relax until the last man is out."
Williamson allowed three hits over six innings. Williamson, in his second start after four relief appearances this season, struck out two and walked none.
Murray's two-run home run in the first inning off Jack McDowell, 1-2, started a bad night for the White Sox, who had one error, two wild pitches, a hit batter and four walks.
"We didn't play very well, as you can see," Chicago Manager Jim Fregosi said. "It's tough to win when you don't score. It's Frank's night. I feel bad, but they needed a win."
The Orioles had history on their side against the White Sox. They had won six in a row against Chicago at Comiskey Park going into Friday's game and were 8-1 in their last nine games against the White Sox.