Orioles salvage split with Red Sox Lefferts leads 2-0 win after 7-3 loss in opener

September 27, 1992|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

When the Orioles and Red Sox were rained out of their scheduled game Friday night, both teams voted down management's request to play a separate-admission, day-night doubleheader yesterday.

As it turned out, other than costing own ership more than $500,000, the players did themselves no favors. They spent a little less time in uniform, but got dressed much later than usual.

Instead of a day-nighter, the teams ended up with a marathon that didn't end until 12:28 this morning. And in the end, the teams split.

Craig Lefferts earned his first win for the Orioles, combining with Gregg Olson on a six-hitter for a 2-0 shutout in the nightcap after the Red Sox had scored four times in the 14th inning to take the four-hour, 33-minute opener, 7-3.

Unlike the first game, the second moved along rapidly, primarily because of the effectiveness of Lefferts (1-2) and loser John Dopson (7-10) of Finksburg. Lefferts faced only two batters more than the minimum, allowing five hits over 7 1/3 innings. Olson finished to post his 35th save.

The Orioles scored once in the sixth and seventh innings to pin the loss on Dopson. Cal Ripken's two-out double to right field drove in Mark McLemore with the first run, and Jeff Tackett lined a single through the middle to score Chito Martinez in the seventh.

The shutout was the Orioles' American League-leading 16th of the season. It is the most they have recorded in a season since 1978, when they posted the same number.

In the first game, Mike Mussina saw his personal six-game winning streak interrupted, but not broken. The Orioles right-hander had been out of the game almost two hours before the Red Sox pushed across four runs in the 14th inning.

Bob Zupcic's double, after Mo Vaughn had been hit by a pitch, drove in the run that broke a tie that had existed since the eighth inning. A two-run single by John Valentin applied the finishing touch.

Todd Frohwirth (4-3), who had entered the game in the 11th inning, took the loss. Greg Harris (4-9) pitched the last five innings in relief of Frank Viola for the victory.

Making his 31st start, Mussina was bidding to extend several impressive streaks and boost his late bid for the American League's Cy Young Award. He was attempting to become the first Oriole to pitch four straight complete games since Mike Boddicker had five in a row in 1984 -- and the first to record four straight complete-game wins since Steve Stone did it in 1980.

This time, however, Mussina had to settle for eight innings, during which he gave up six hits and one walk while striking out five and giving up three runs. It was the 36th time in 43 career starts that he pitched at least seven innings.

Any chance Mussina had of matching Roger Clemens' league-leading total of five shutouts evaporated rapidly. Scott Cooper, the second hitter of the game, hit a 2-1 pitch over the right-field scoreboard to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead.

For three innings, Viola made that run look like all he would need, but his defense let him down in the fourth, when some creative base-running limited the Orioles to three runs. Mike Devereaux opened with what appeared to be a routine fly, but that changed in a hurry.

Left fielder Billy Hatcher appeared to call off center fielder Bob Zupcic, and at the last instant both backed off and the ball dropped between. Devereaux reached second, with Hatcher charged with an error.

Cal Ripken grounded an infield hit to the right of second base and Glenn Davis followed with a single to left, scoring Devereaux with the tying run. Randy Milligan followed with another single, giving the Orioles a 2-1 lead and putting runners on first and third. Chris Hoiles then hit a potential double-play grounder to shortstop that Valentin bobbled before rolling the ball to second baseman Jody Reed, barely in time to force Milligan.

Davis scored on the play, and when Tim Hulett singled to right, the Orioles again had runners in motion. Hoiles took a gamble and reached third when Phil Plantier's throw was off line. But when Hulett tried to take advantage of the opportunity, he was thrown out at second, and Bill Ripken's grounder to Reed ended the inning.

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