Pat Kelly spoiled Detroit Manager Ralph Houk's final game yesterday by driving in three runs with a pair of homers as the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Tigers, 4-2.
Houk announced his retirement Sept. 12, effective at the completion of this season. Yesterday's loss ended Houk's 12-year major league managerial career, five with the Tigers, and his 40 years in baseball.
With the score 2-2, Ken Singleton led off the eighth inning with a double for Baltimore. With two out, Kelly blasted a pitch from Dave Rozema deep into the upper deck in right field for his 11th home run of the year.
Most of the attention after the game was in Houk's office, where reporters clustered for the 50-year-old manager's final post-mortem.
"I lost the first game I ever managed and the last game I ever managed," Houk said, breaking into a laugh. "I haven't improved at all."
Baltimore's victory was its 90th this season and the 999th for Manager Earl Weaver.
"I guess I'll have to come back next year," Weaver said with a grin in the opposite clubhouse.
Elsewhere in the American League, West Division champion Kansas City used five different pitchers in a 1-0 victory over Minnesota; Richie Zisk and Bobby Bonds used their bats to make Pat Corrales' managerial debut a success as Texas beat Seattle, 9-4; Milwaukee completed its most successful season, with a 9-0 shutout of Oakland accounting for a team record 23rd victory, and the California Angels nipped Chicago, 5-4.