Baseball is fun again for Dennis Martinez, who says he hasn't had a drink in 16 months. The way he pitched today made baseball fun again for the Baltimore Orioles.
His teammates, who had lost five of their previous six games and three in a row, salvaged the finale of this three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays, 3-2, before a crowd of 29,082.
Although he allowed a homer on his second pitch of the game, Martinez (1-1) yielded only five more hits in 8 2/3 innings and walked only the last batter he faced. Tippy Martinez retired pinch-hitter Jeff Burroughs on a drive to right to end the game for his first save.
It was the Orioles' sixth straight one-run game here. The Blue Jays had won the previous five, two of them in this series.
Left-hander Jimmy Key (0-2) lost his second game to the Orioles this season. His undoing was the sixth inning, when he gave up three runs, two of them on Gary Roenicke's second homer off him this year.
"Baseball's 100 percent more fun now," Martinez said. "Before, I had a fear of failure out there. I had a fear of losing another game. My recovery is still my priority. My mind's cleared up and my concentration is a lot better. Now I feel like I'm the boss on the mound."
The fear, he said, started in 1983. "The night before I pitched I could not sleep. I was thinking too much."
And, when he wasn't pitching, his mind was on other things.
"I always was thinking about drinking," he said. "I wasn't really thinking about baseball anymore."
He said he doesn't intend to tempt himself. "What do you do if you go to a barber shop? Get a haircut. The same would happen with me if I started going to the bars. Sooner or later I would start drinking."
Said Blue Jays Manager Bobby Cox: "He changed speed well and was throwing hard. We didn't get anything to hit against him."
The Blue Jays took the lead when their first batter of the game, Damaso Garcia, hit his first homer of the season, on a 1-0 count. The only other homer Martinez has allowed at Exhibition Stadium was Tony Fernandez's inside-the-park homer last Aug. 10.
It became 2-0 in the fifth when designated hitter Len Matuszek singled with one out and scored on Ernie Whitt's double to right center.
The Orioles' Mike Young had been hitless in 21 at-bats until starting the sixth with a single. He went to third on Cal Ripken's double to left and scored on Key's wild pitch with Roenicke at bat. After a long foul, Roenicke put Key's 1-2 pitch over the left-field fence.
Key said the pitch was a fast ball he tried to get inside but got it over the plate. "It wasn't that bad a pitch," Key said, "but I didn't get it where I wanted it. Give him credit. He hit it.