The bumbling Chicago White Sox gave the Baltimore Orioles another game today. The Sox did it all by themselves, without any help from the swirling Memorial Stadium wind, unlike Friday's circus.
The Orioles seldom hit the ball hard today, but it didn't seem to matter as they waltzed to a 6-3 victory before 5,286 freezing spectators.
In their 5-3 victory Friday, gusts up to 45 miles per hour made even the most routine popups almost impossible for the inept White Sox to handle.
Today, the wind wasn't nearly as bad, but the White Sox certainly were.
Balls bounded over their outfielders' heads and the fence for groundrule doubles; their wild pitchers hit two Orioles, costing them two runs, and their fielders threw to the wrong bases.
As Baltimore Manager Earl Weaver said when asked why so many strange things happened: "That's baseball."
Weaver has not had to do too much managing the last two days, but he will have to come up with a new left fielder for at least the next few games.
Regular Gary Roenicke was hit in the face by a Lerrin La Grow pitch in the four-in Oriole sixth inning and was taken to Union Memorial Hospital for plastic surgery. He has a lacerated lip and some abrasions of his gums.
"We might even have to put him on the 15-day disabled list," Weaver said.
John Lowenstein played the rest of the game in left field, but Weaver didn't say who will play Sunday in the final game of the series against the White Sox.
Roenicke even was credited with an RBI, though he was laid out at home plate by La Grow's pitch. He was hit with the bases loaded.
Doug DeCinces was hit by a Mike Proly pitch earlier in the sixth inning.
Eddie Murray and Rick Dempsey had ground-rule doubles in the sixth. Al Bumbry and Mark Belanger had singles and Lee May added a surprise bunt single as the Orioles scored four times to put the White Sox away.
Mike Flanagan, last year's 19-game winner who injured his ankle in July and had problems the rest of the season, struggled through six innings today. He was credited with the win.
Sammy Stewart got the first save of his major-league career with three innings of hitless relief.
"This was the first time since last July I've felt this good," said Flanagan. "I got into some trouble early, but I really felt good."
Flanagan gave up seven hits and three runs in his six innings and was relieved because he had thrown more than 90 pitches. In the sixth, the Orioles sent nine men to the plate and took half an hour to complete their turn at bat.
"You can really stiffen up in this weather after sitting that long and I had Sammy already warmed up, anyway," Weaver said, explanining why Flanagan was removed.
Baltimore got two runs in the fifth with only one hit, but they also benefited from two walks, an error and the fact that the White Sox threw to the wrong base twice.
Chicago went back on top, 3-2, in the sixth on a double by Lamar Johnson and singles by Alan Bannister and Moore, before the Birds took over in the bottom of the sixth.