Reprinted from yesterday's editions.
In the must of a tense atmosphere worthy of the seventh game of the World Series, rookie Eddie Murray kept cool enough tonight to keep the Orioles in hot pursuit of first place in the American League East.
Murray stepped to the plate with one out in the last of the ninth and the bases loaded and whacked a Dick Tidrow fast ball over the head of drawn-in left fielder Paul Blair. The hit scored pinch runner Tom Shopay from third to give the Orioles a 4-3 victory.
It was the fifth time in seven victories over New York this sesson that Murray has beaten the Yankees with a hit. But none were as dramatic as this one, coming as it did while a crowd of 42,605 in Memorial Stadium was singing along with a John Denver song and spelling out O-R-I-O-L-E-S in unison.
What had turned on the fans was the Orioles' gutty comeback. Training through six innings, 3-1 and frustrated by the fine pitching of ex-teamate Mike Torrex. Baltimore tied things up in the seventh on a two-out Murray single before winning its third game in this four-game series in the ninth.
It was a just reward for the Orioles partisans, who turned out in club record numbers (154,835) for the four game set. They've taken this young, scratching bunch to their hearts and the Orioles have responded by continuing to play over their heads.
The victory kept the Orioles within percentage points of the division-leading Red Sox, who also won tonight. The Birds now have won 10 of their last 11 and 13 of their last 17, taking series from the Yankees and Red Sox in the process.
This triumph sends Baltimore on a road trip, but its memories will keep Orioles rooters happy for days to come.
The ninth in particular was something to savor. Al Bumbry led off against Torrez with his third hit of the game. This one was a blooper to left which Roy White tried to snag with a swan dive. His timing was faulty and the ball skipped past, allowing the speedy Bumbry to dash into third. Winded, he was replaced by Shopay.
Manager Billy Martin took out the tiriing Torrez, who had been struggling since the sixth, and brought in relief ace Sparky Lyle while putting Blair into left.
Lyle got Billy Smith to line back through the box. The ball hit Lyle's pitching hand and flew to second baseman Willie Randolph on the fly. Lyle's middle finger was hurt enough for him to leave the game for Tidrow.
Tidrow walked Pat Kelly intentionally and after Kelly stole second, he also gave Ken Singleton a free pass. That brought up the amazing Murray, who had homered Sunday off Ed Figueroa to give the Orioles a lead they never surrendered.
With the crowd standing and yelling. Murray took three straight balls from Tidrow, none of which came near the strike Zone. On three and nothing, Tidrow pinpointed one down the middle. But Murray liked his next offering and sent it over Blair's head. Blair never turned: he just started walking toward the Yankee dugout.
Murray's hit gave the victory to rookie lefty Mike Flanagan, who now has won four straight, all complete games, after starting off with a 2-8 record.
Flanagan's only real mistakes tonight were two fast balls to Graig Nettles, who deposited both over the outfield wall. The first was a mere 385 feet, the second a more impressive 405 over the center field wall.
These two smashes added onto a first-inning Yankee run produced by a Mickey Rivers triple and a Thurman Munson double. The Orioles could counter in the early going only with a Kelly sacrifice fly that scored Bumbry in the bottom of the first.
The Orioles then tied it in the seventh on a single by Bumbry, a crisp double by Billy Smith, a ground out by Kelly for one run and then Murray's two-out grounder into center field that just eluded the slova of shortstop Fred Stanley.
The game was even featured by Oriole manager Earl Weaver winning an argument.With Bumbry on first is the opening inning, a Torrex pickoff attempt missed the mark and rolled to the wall next to the Yankee dugout. Fans reached over and touched it as Bumbry scrambled into third.
Umpire Greg Kose was going to send Bumbry back to second but Weaver shot out of the dugout, jumped up and down like a kangaroo and got his point across. Bumbry should be on third, according to the rules. Kosc fically agreed, which brought out Billy Martin for a quick lecture.
Weaver also handled Flanagan magnificently. The young pitcher seemed on the verge of losing his edge during the early innings but Weaver stuck with him, letting him pitch out of jams created by 10 Yankee hits through eight frames. By the end, Flanagan was strong and challenging and the Orioles had won another in what would have seemed before the season began an impossible quest for a divisional title.