Tonight was one of those nights when the rawest of neophytes could appreciate the tactics of one manager while questioning the moves of his rival.
Oakland's Jackie Moore summoned Steve Henderson, a right-handed batter, to replace switch-hitter Mickey Tettleton -- who had doubled earlier -- against Baltimore right-hander Mike Boddicker with two out, runners at first and third, in the eighth inning and the score tied. Henderson singled to center and the A's won, 3-2.
Earl Weaver, the Orioles' manager, strolled out to talk to Boddicker before Henderson batted, but chose not to replace his starter, who had yielded eight hits and five walks. When Weaver called in Don Aase after Henderson singled, the Memorial Stadium crowd of 14,201 let him know it was too late, although Aase retired the last four batters.
Moore was adept in handling his relief pitching, too. Although right-hander Jose Rijo allowed only three hits in seven innings, Moore summoned Steve Ontiveros to pitch the eighth and Jay Howell the ninth. They did not allow a base runner, Howell earning his 24th save.
There was nothing to all his propitious moves, Moore said: "Tettleton has been out a month or so and I have a guy in the dugout (Henderson) who's been hot. You want your best people in the right spot."
As for Rijo, Moore said it was "very muggy, very hot and he'd thrown 106 pitches. He took it as far as he was supposed to. Steve was sharp, but the other guy (Howell) has been doing the job all year, he's my best and with a one-run lead I wanted him in there."
Weaver second-guessed himself, saying, "If you ask me, knowing what I do now, whether I'd do it again, the answer is no. But Boddicker got a good pitch in there. Henderson fought it off."
Rijo, obtained from the Yankees in the Rickey Henderson deal, had a no-hitter and a 2-0 lead through five innings, not a bad encore to his one-hit, five-inning effort against Baltimore 11 days ago.
John Shelby spoiled the no-hit bid by sending Rijo's first pitch of the sixth inning into the right-field seats. With two out, Cal Ripken singled to center and scored on Eddie Murray's double, a hard grounder over first base that eased a nothing-for-16 slump.
Rijo was not quite as good as his statistics. Floyd Rayford hit two balls above the top of the seven-foot outfield fence, but each was caught. Center fielder Dwayne Murphy made a sensational catch in left center in the third, balancing his bare right hand on the top of the fence while he twisted to make the play. Right fielder Mike Davis leaped above the fence in right to rob Rayford in the seventh.
Oakland botched scoring chances in the third and fourth to help Boddicker increase his streak of scoreless innings to 19. But that was as far as he got. The A's managed to score twice in the fifth and had Boddicker hanging on the ropes.
Alfredo Griffin popped a bunt over third baseman Wayne Gross for a double and scored on Davis' single. The A's filled the bases, still with none out, on Bruce Bochte's single and a walk, but scored only once more as Dusty Baker grounded into a double play.
Tony Phillips, who has no RBI in 38 at bats, came close. In the third, with Tettleton on second and none out, Phillips lined one to right center, but right fielder Lee Lacy caught it at his shoetops.
In the fourth, with the bases full and two out, Phillips lined to first baseman Murray. Dave Kingman, who opened that inning with a single, stopped at third to unload a piano on Baker's double off the center-field fence, then was thrown out at home on Murphy's grounder when he slid into the tag.