Sometimes it's the little things.
California scored its first run on a foul ball, tied the score in the ninth when Baltimore couldn't complete a double play and won it in the 11th with the help of an error as the Angels defeated the Orioles, 7-4, this afternoon at Memorial Stadium before 22,022.
Gus Polidor's leadoff single against Tippy Martinez (2-3) started the Angels' three-run 11th inning. Polidor moved to second on a single by Bobby Grich against Nate Snell, the fifth Baltimore pitcher. Reggie Jackson then hit a grounder to second baseman Alan Wiggins, who threw wildly to second on an attempted forceout. Polidor scored on the play and Grich reached third. Darrell Miller and Bob Boone then hit run-scoring singles.
Earlier, with one out in the California ninth, pinch hitter Daryl Sconiers doubled to right center off Martinez and scored on Juan Beniquez's single to cut Baltimore's advantage to 4-3. Devon White ran for Beniquez and went to third on a double by Grich. Jackson was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Miller pinch-hit for Ruppert Jones and grounded the ball sharply to first baseman Eddie Murray.
"It took me a while to see the ball because Reggie was in the way," Murray said. "Then when I heard (shortstop) Cal (Ripken) holler for the ball, I gave it to him."
So far, so good. The problem arose on the relay to first.
Ripken cocked to throw, but there was no one covering first to complete the double play and White scored the tying run.
"We had the double play," lamented Baltimore Manager Earl Weaver. "Tippy just didn't get over. He should go over on that play, but it's understandable why he didn't because no one knew if Eddie caught the ball or not (thanks to the help of Jackson's screen). I wonder what would have happened if Eddie had gone to first with it. He didn't, though, because the natural reaction is to go to second to get the double play."
Of the 11th-inning error, Weaver said, "Alan just rushed it."
The Angels scored the game's first run on a foul out. Beniquez led off the sixth with a walk, was sacrificed to second by Grich and went to third on a double by Rufino Linares that looked like it might be caught by Lee Lacy at the right field wall. George Hendrick followed with a pop foul that Murray caught with his back to home plate by the stands in right field, allowing Beniquez to score.
The Orioles took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the inning. Lacy doubled off the right field wall and scored when Ripken, who had extended his hitting streak to 15 games in the previous at bat, singled to right-center. Ripken took second when shortstop Dick Schofield threw the relay over catcher Boone's head (no error was assessed) and scored the go-ahead run on Murray's double to right field. Murray scored one out later on a double down the third base line by pinch hitter Gary Roenicke.
After California cut Baltimore's lead to 3-2 in the seventh, Murray's 26th home run of the season gave Baltimore a 4-2 lead in the eighth.