BOSTON -- Dwight Evans said he didn't know what it woul be like to return to Fenway Park, where he had played for 18 years.
Now he knows.
There was a mini-news conference before the game, televisiocameras recording his every move, and an outpouring of affection from a near-capacity crowd of 33,795.
From the minute he walked onto the field for pre-game warmupthat were curtailed by rain, Evans was the center of attention. He was greeted by the fans when he walked into the on-deck circle in the first inning.
Then, as the Orioles took the field, and Evans moved toward hifamiliar station in rightfield, the crowd in that area rose and several banners were displayed. They didn't rock the place -- in ++ fact it was a quiet crowd as Fenway gatherings go -- but there was a sincere, respectful, appreciative tribute for a not-to-be-forgotten favorite.
When Evans batted for the first time in the second inning, thovation multiplied. It was as though the rest of the audience respected the rights of those in rightfield where Evans patrolled so gracefully for so many years. The first recognition belonged to them, the second belonged to everybody.
There was one banner -- stretched the length of the bullpen arefor both teams behind rightfield -- that seemed to spell out the overwhelming sentiment -- "Dwight Evans -- MVP -- Most Valuable Person."
It was a sign he couldn't miss. It stared at him as he went to hiposition. "There wasn't much I didn't see," admitted Evans. "That [sign] was neat.
"You don't expect that kind of welcome," he said. "It was aextra-special night."
* LONG SHADOWS IN RIGHT: It almost seemed appropriate thathe game started with a bank of lights in rightfield not working due to a mechanical problem.
They came back on while Evans was batting in the fourth inningthen went out again while David Segui was hitting in the fifth.
For the evening Evans made five plate appearances and had walk during the Orioles' four-run sixth inning, and a single in front of Sam Horn's pinch-hit three-run homer in the ninth.
* DEVO DELIVERS: When the Orioles loaded the bases witnobody out in the fifth inning last night, they were on the verge of a breakthrough. But it didn't come easy.
Bill Ripken's sharp bouncer to pitcher Matt Young turned into aeasy home-to- first double play, leaving two on, two outs and no runs. But Mike Devereaux (.298) delivered a double to give the O's a 2-1 lead.
* HORN DELIVERS A SAVE: Mike Flanagan, who entered the game with two onand two out in the eighth, got Mike Greenwell to ground out and then pitched a routine ninth to get the second save of his career.
The score was 6-3 when Flanagan entered the game last night, and if it had stayed that way Gregg Olson would have finished the game and picked up the save. "I wouldn't have gotten it if it hadn't been for Sam," said Flanagan.
* CLEANUP TO CLEAN OUT: Jack Clark has batted in the No. 4 position in each of the 41 games he has played for the Red Sox. His .213 average finally got a little too light for such heavy hitting duty.
Last night he was benched, with Tom Brunansky (nine homruns) inserted into the No. 4 spot.