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By the time the nightcap started, the moon was full and 51,883 fans, the second-largest regular-season Memorial Stadium crowd in history, had arrived. This game belonged to Oriole rookies. Storm Davis, all of 20, pitched a six-hitter, and John Shelby, 24, and Cal Ripken Jr., 22, homered as Baltimore won 7-1. Ripken's dinger in the seventh gave him 28 homers and 93 RBIs for the year, both team rookie records.
The Brewers' pitching staff was beleaguered. Manager Harvey Kuenn had to leave Mike Caldwell in to absorb a seven-run pounding because his bullpen was tired from having to fill Rollie Fingers' jar of mustache wax. Fingers, who had been the Milwaukee pen until he went out with a sore arm on Sept. 2, couldn't throw 20 warmups without hurting.
But of more immediate concern to Milwaukee was, of all things, hitting. Gorman Thomas, 39 homers and 112 RBIs, was in a slump and was an oh-for in the twin bill. A man from Wisconsin called the press box to have somebody tell Thomas to move closer to the plate.
After the game, General Manager Harry Dalton gave the Brewers a short speech. "I just told them they were an excellent ball club, that they had nothing to be ashamed of and to forget what just happened," said Dalton. "I decided to do it in the ninth inning as I was waiting in the clubhouse. It wasn't a great speech. I wasn't exactly William Jennings Bryan."
The Orioles were clearly enjoying themselves. "We came in here, really, with nothing to lose and everything to gain," said Jim Dwyer. Three years ago, Baltimore was in the reverse position: The O's led Pittsburgh 3-1 in the World Series, needing to win only one of the last three games. They didn't.
Before Saturday's game, the Orioles engaged in their usual high jinks. Rich Dauer kidded Palmer about his shampoo commercial. Mike Flanagan kidded Rick Dempsey about Dempsey's cutting himself shaving and asking Trainer Ralph Salvon for a "skeptic pencil." Everybody ganged up on Dempsey for running down the leftfield line after a foul ball Friday night and colliding with Dauer. Flanagan received compliments on the excellent job he'd done superimposing Davis' face on one of Palmer's underwear posters. Weaver phoned his wife to tell her how to separate the large and small lima beans. Although the players were supposed to be in uniform by 11:55, the unis didn't arrive from the laundry until noon. Flanagan threatened to shag flies in his underwear. "That would be great," said Pitching Coach Ray Miller. "The Brewers would see that and say, 'Boy, are they loose.' "
The Brewers weren't. Before games they usually hold baseball's most boisterous game of flip, which is sort of Hot Potato with violence. In Boston, they had as many as 21 players involved. But Saturday the turnout was sparse, and the game lacked its usual gaiety. The only Brewer who looked ready was Oglivie—at 1 p.m. he was sleeping on the clubhouse couch, hat over his eyes, crossword puzzle stuffed inside his shirt.
It was a nice day for a game. The sky was blue, the temperature in the 70s. The Orioles scored three runs off Doc Medich right away. Eddie Murray doubled in Al Bumbry, Lowenstein singled in Ken Singleton and Medich balked home Murray. But the Brewers came back with two in the second off Scott McGregor, the runs scoring on Gantner's blooped single. The crowd, which had been exuberant at the start, became hushed. "I heard them go quiet," said Reliever Sammy Stewart, "so I started waving a towel around in the bullpen to get them to cheer." That's not all Stewart did. He relieved McGregor soon after Oglivie tied the game 3-3 in the fourth with a homer and pitched the rest of the way, allowing no runs and two hits. "He was up and throwing eight times yesterday," Weaver said later. "He's worth his weight in gold." Stewart weighs 208 pounds, so make that $1,467,823 at the going rate of $402 a Troy ounce.
The Orioles broke free with four runs in the fourth on four singles and a throwing error by Third Baseman Paul Molitor. Weaver had Baltimore stealing and playing hit-and-run, which are things he usually eschews, and the Brewers appeared rattled. Jim Dwyer got on base all four times he was up, giving him 13 straight, three short of Ted Williams' record, set in 1957. "If I was Ted, I wouldn't worry," Dwyer said later. True enough. The streak ended in his first at bat on Sunday, when he bounced to the pitcher. On Saturday, Milwaukee owner Bud Selig paced the press box and muttered, "If I see another blooper, I'm going to be sick." Indeed the Orioles were getting a lot of cheap hits. "It's a game of inches," Kuenn said later, "and let's face it, they've had more inches."
Hagy led three O-R-I-O-L-E-S cheers in the eighth, and Baltimore responded with four more runs, all on singles off Dwight Bernard. The final score was 11-3, and the sounds of "Sweep! Sweep!" shook the neighborhood.