- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
There is plenty of hitting tonight but Texas loses to Boston 9-6 when the relief pitching sours in the seventh. Hargrove has a chance to tie the game in the eighth but takes a third strike that creates a furor and leads to the ejection of Hunter and two bench jockeys. Says Hunter, "The pitch to Mike would have been a strike only in a bowling alley."
A ballplayer's hassles never end. "A guy with an accent calls me up this morning," Pitcher Jim Colborn says on the bus to Baltimore's Memorial Stadium. " 'You want some actions?' he asks me." Colborn's teammates crack up. " No,' I say. I don't want any actions.' "
At Memorial Stadium the grass is lush, the wind gentle and the temperature 77�. It is the perfect setting for Friday night baseball, and the Royals and Orioles play a near-perfect game. There is a beautiful pitching duel between Jim Palmer and Dennis Leonard, superb fielding all around and even an instance of one of baseball's most enduring clich�s coming to life. "Hey, isn't it odd how often the guy who makes a great play in the field leads off the next inning?" is the bromide in this case. Leftfielder Hal McRae throws out Oriole Mark Belanger at the plate to end the second, and then he opens the third with a homer. That ties the score at 2-2. A few batters later another run—the game's last—scores on a double-play grounder by John Mayberry. The run has been inconspicuously set up by the second of three singles by Al Cowens, the bespectacled rightfielder who has displaced Mayberry and Amos Otis in the cleanup spot. Leonard (14-10) retires 20 of the last 21 batters he faces for his 10th victory in his last 12 decisions. In all, the Royals' 10th straight win sends the crowd of 21,511 home frustrated but entertained. They have seen plenty of actions.
Despite an afternoon downpour that left the field soggy, 28,221 fans showed up at Comiskey Park to welcome the White Sox home for the start of a three-game series with Milwaukee. Though the Sox have blown a division lead that was once 6� games, their fans seem deliriously happy that this band of low-paid no-names is still in contention as Labor Day approaches.
Because the Brewers start righthander Moose Haas, Chicago Manager Bob Lemon benches last night's hero, Nordhagen, in favor of left-handed Oscar Gamble, who has hit a home run every 12.1 times up this season. He belts his 26th in the first, doubles in the third, singles in the seventh and drives in three runs. Nordhagen pinch-hits in the eighth and doubles home Chicago's final run in a 4-2 win.
Astoundingly, the White Sox get three more double plays and six innings of good pitching from Steve Renko. "Our hitting up to about a week ago was carrying us," says Lemon. "Now we're getting the pitching, but we're not scoring our eight runs a game. We haven't played a lot of pretty ball games but we're winning." Unfortunately, for the Chicago fans, so are the Royals.