Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
All the Baltimore Orioles needed was anew day and a fresh start to beat the Minnsota Twins, 6-5, this morning.
Tuesday had been a bummer. For 12 1/2 innings and 4 hours 21 minutes the two pennant contenders had strangled each other with Bizzare plays. A Minnesota catcher had played as inning with a drowned moth in his inner ear. Earl Weaver, Baltimore Manager, had not only protested the game in the sixth inning, but been ejected from it in the 11th after home plate umpire Al Clark had waited nearly a minute to wait for a welt to rise on Lyman Bostock's forearm before awarding him a base on a hit-by-pitch.
But Wednesday was much better for the Birds, who desperately needed this win to stay just 3 1/2 games behind the unbelievably hot Boston Red Sox who won their 16th game in 17 outings hours before this marathon ended.
The remnants of a crowd of 20,846 had barely settled in their seats from a midnight, 13th-inning stretch when the Oriole's leadoff man, Eddie Murray, lined a double off the left-field fence in the first minute of the new day.
Twin reliever Tom Johnson was in his seventh inning of shutout ball, but his time was up.Murray punched his fist in the air in disgust that his ball had not cleared the fence, but it was just a matter of finding the right hero to drive him home.
Distraught Oriole Andres Mora, who had hit two homers the evening before but fanned four times in an 0-for-6 nightmare tonight, choked out weakly.
But Dough DeCinces, wearing the big collar (0-for-5), plus a set of goat's horns for a ball he butchered that allowed a run in the fourth inning, drilled the first pitch he saw into centerfield to bring in Murray.
That ended an evening that will give the Twins - still in first place in the West by a half-game - a bad night as they fly home. Three times the bunch managed by master strategist Gene Mauch failed to make successful bunts that would have led to the winning run.
In the eight Oriole catcher Ken Rudolph made a brilliant pounce and peg of a weak sacrifice attempt to nail Dan Ford by an eyelash at second. The next man singled.
In the ninth reliever Tippy Martinez pulled the same larceny, snatching a too-strong bunt attempt and throwing out Rod Carew by an even smaller margin at second. The next man singled.
The normally placid Carew, who had four hits tonight - a perfect bunt, a hit-and-run single, and opposite-field double off the wall and a slap single to left, went into an almost unparalleled tirade at second. Teammates (three) had to keep him from umpire Ted Hendry.
Before the bottom of the sixth a moth crawled into the ear of Twin catcher Butch Wynegar. In his 20 years Wynegar had never been asked to pay with an insect inside his head.
The Twin trainer could not stay, "Take two moth balls and call me in the morning." Instead, he poured water into Wynegar's ear to drown the moth.
Then he couldn't get it out.
As Wynegar stood on one leg trying to shake the moth out of his ear, Weaver raged at the plate, claiming that the 11-minute delay while Wynegar was fumigated was an unholy violation of continuous play.
Wynegar caught a half-inning as the only man in major league history to play with a dead moth in his ear before a syringe finally exhumed the critter for a proper burial.
As the O's escaped from jam after jam Waver became more testy. In the 10th the Twin's Ford tripled with one out. Bob Terrell tried to squeeze him home, but missed - the third crucial Minnesota batter to fail to lay the ball down right. Ford was caught off third, but Weaver raged in vain that Terrell had also struck out on the bunt attempt.
So, when Clark gave Bostock first base in the 11th, pushing Red Carew to second with one out, Weaver was in full tirade before he reached the plate. Covering the plate with dirt, cursing in Clark's face, throwing his hat to the mound, or dirtying Clark's pants with dust, Weaver got this money's worth.
In other late games Tuesday: Angels 7, Blue Jays 2
Gil Glores, Thad Bosley and Bobby Bonds drove in two runs apiece to back the combined three-hit pitching of Paul Hartzell and Dave Laroche. Mariners 3, Tigers 2
Bob Stinson's two-out, two-run homer in the sixth helped the Mariners break a nine-game losing streak. Glenn Abbott raised his record to 10-7 while rookie Jack Morris allowed only six hits for the Tigers in suffering his first major league defeat. A's 7, Indians 3
Jerry Tabb hit a pair of one-run homers and Manny Sanguillen drove in three runs to spark the A's. Vida Blue snapped a personal four-game losing streak by scatfering nine hits and striking out six to raise his record to 11-15. Red Sox 5, Royals 3
Butch Hobson belted a three-run homer and Rick Burleson drove in thewinning run with a seventh-inning single to enable the red Sox to extend their wining streak to five games. It was the 16th triumph in the last 17 games for the AL East leaders. Rangers 11, Brewers 3
Mike Hargrove hit his thrid leadoff home run in the last four games and the Ranger erupted for six runs in the second inning when they sent 10 batters to the plate. Claudell Washington finished with four hits and three RBI whole Alexander hurled his seventh complete game. Yankees 11, White Sox 10
The White Sox scored six runs in the ninth for a 10-9 lead, but Chris Chambliss pulled it out with a two-run homer in the bottom half. Another Yankee hero was Lou Piniella, whose leaping catch to end the top of the ninth robbed Richie Zisk of a three-run homer and averted a nine-run inning. Phillies 7, Expos 5
Dave Johnson's two-run pinch-hit triple in the eight inning highlighted a five-run rally that carried the Phils to their 13th straight victory, Johnson has collected 27 RBI on only 13 hits since returning form two seasons in Japan. Mets 5, Cardinals 1
The three players acquired from Cincinnati in the Tom Seaver trade played prominent roles in the Met victory. Steve Henderson and Doug Flynn each had three hits while Pat Zachry turned in a seven-hit complete game. Flynn also stole home in the eight inning. Reds 5, Padres 1
Seaver didn't do so badly, himself, as he spun a five-hitter in posting his sixth victory in eight decisions since joining the Reds June 15. Dan Driesen and Pete Rose supported Seaver, 13-5, with home runs. Dodgers 3, Giants 2
Dusty Baker's tow-out, run-scoring single capped a two-run ninth inning that won it for the Dodgers. A two-base error by third baseman Bill Madlock allowed the tying run to score, which was followed by Baker's game-wining hit off reliever Randy Moffitt. Derrel Thomas homered for the Giants. Astros 4, Braves 1
Bob Sperring had three hits, including a pair of doubles, to set up Houston's first run and doubled home the final run in the eighth. Losing pitcher Dick Ruthven hit first major league homer for Atlanta.