Reprinted From yesterdays late editions
The Baltimore Orioles had their sick little beaks tweaked by the mean old New York Yankees Monday night.
The Bronx world champs, their bats silent all April, sent 13 lucky men to bat in the fifth inning and drove home eight runs. Seven Yank hits that frame were in a row, one shy of the league record.
That was far more support than the smoking-throwing firm of Ron Guidry and reliever Goose Gossage needed in an 8-2 waltz that knocked the O's record to 5-10.
Guidry swallowed a mouthful of chewing tobacco leaping for a Rich Dauer bouncer in the fifth, developed an upset stomach and dizzy spells by the seventh and had to be removed for Gossage.
"I told Billy Martin that I felt queasy," said Guidry, who started chewing regularly last season. "I had a headache and I didn't know where I was in the seventh inning. Probably the worst thing that could have happened to me had I stayed in was throwing up on national television."
"I'm not waiting to get worried," said Manager Earl Weaver, whose Birds have dropped four of five. "I'm worried right now. We've never been out of a pennant race early since I've been here - but we've never started off 5-10 either. We're making ourselves a long hill to climb."
Southpaw Scott McGregor, the question mark in Baltimore's rotation, was blasted for the third straight start. He has allowed 20 runs in 12 innings. The mere five runs the Yanks got off him tonight in 4 1/2 innings actually lowered his earned-run average from 15.12 to 13.50.
Right fielder Carlos Lopez proved he could endanger himself on both line drives and high flies. In the Yank onslaught he lost one ball in the lights and another in the wind. On the first he fell on his keister. On the second he ran into a wall.
Third baseman Doug DeCinces booted a liner at his belt buckle and an easy, knee-high grounder.
Worst of all for the 18,053 booing fans, Reggie Jackson got the last laugh in their mutual bad-mouthing. He had two hits and two RBI.
By the late innings Gossage was even using the O's for target practice, just to rub it in.
After knocking down DeCinces, an old enemy, he hit him inthe elbow with a fast ball. A dozen Orioles flocked to home plate looking for a rumble. No feathers flew.
"They didn't wanna fight. They were just putting in a token appearance," said Yankee Manager Billy Martin. "Gossage and I held off the whole Oriole team. Weaver was frightened of me and the other 25 were frightened of Gossage."
As Gossage returned to the dugout, however, a fan caught him flush in the face with a full cup of beer.
"More police," demanded Martin. "Don't they know that Baltimorians stoned both the Union and Confederate troops during the Civil War. Look it up. It's a tradition in this burg."
The O's had an abundance of theories to boost McGregor as he took the mound last night. Movies showed he was kicking back toward second base before delivering, causing his low sinkers and curves to come in waist high.
The police radar gun for clocking pitches showed that his pitches were arriving at the plate within 5 mph of each other.
McGregor gave the O's their best and worst news of the night. The 24-year-old can pitch. But in middle innings he comes apart like paper in the rain.
Last night he looked like Warren Spahn for four innings, changing speeds and making the Yanks lunge and sputter. Then, for the second straight outing, he was nailed for five runs in the fifth inning.
Most eight-run innings are as hard to describe as an eight-car wreck. Arms and legs cannot be accounted for. But New York's fifth was simplicity itself. Cliff Johnson, led off the inning by grounding out. He also made the second out. In between, seven consecutive Yankees singled and the eighth was intentionally passed to get back to Johnson. The O's just knew they could get him out.
By the time Johnson got his second ups, five runs were home and the bases still were loaded. After Johnson whiffed, Chris Chambliss cleared the bases with a three-run double.
The Yanks were finally retired at 10 p.m. sharp, a signal for those outside this area watching Monday Night Blabberball to switch to Lou Grant.
On one single, a liner straight at Lopez, the right fielder skidded, fell, threw on hand over his eyes, then saved the short hop from skipping past him with his bare hand. Your basic great, clumsy play.
Once McGregor got rattled, he went from bad to worse. The Yanks' first four hits, singles, came within the space of five pitches. He was backing up third more than he was winding up.
"Straight hits . . . just unbelievable," growled Weaver. "Reggie hits one off the knuckles for two runs. Two flies that could have been caught. A grounder that almost hit Scott in the foot. Rivers nubs one off the fists into left."
The coup de grace, however, was Munson's single off the right-field wall with the bases loaded. Only one run scored. The runners held because they were sure Lopez had the fly in range. Only Lopez didn't know it. The ball hit the wall barely six feet up while Lopez shied away, then lunged at the last second.
After the end of the dismal fifth inning, the three-foot tall gentleman who always sweeps the Memorial Stadium bases appeared, disrobed at second base and revealed a Superman costume underneath.
"I don't think it's fair," said Martin, "for the Orioles to make Weaver manage and then sweep the bases, too."