What a fitting way for the Baltimore Orioles to end their 1985 season.
On a brisk afternoon, with winds sweeping through Memorial Stadium, Baltimore took an early lead against the Detroit Tigers, but the pitching staff fell apart. The result was an 11-3 Tigers victory, which gave them third place in the AL East.
A crowd of 22,295, adding to a club attendance record this season of 2,132,240, saw the Orioles finish in fourth place at 83-78. It was the first time since 1964-65 that Baltimore finished lower than second in consecutive seasons. For the fifth straight year, Eddie Murray was selected the team's most valuable player.
Orioles Manager Earl Weaver said after the game he has a "tentative appointment sometime later this week" with owner Edward Bennett Williams and General Manager Hank Peters in regard to a new contract.
Asked what he thought about ex-Oriole Jim Palmer's supposedly joking offer to manage the club, Weaver said, "Ha, he says he will manage for 100,000 (dollars) less than me. Well I'll manage for 100,000, so let's see him manage on that."
The Orioles, who set several offensive team records this season, got home runs from Floyd Rayford and Cal Ripken to take a 3-2 lead in the third inning off left-hander Frank Tanana (12-14).
But Dennis Martinez (13-11) lost the lead in the fourth. He was relieved by Sammy Stewart with none out, runners on second and third and the score tied at 3.
Chet Lemon (four RBI) grounded to third baseman Rayford and John Grubb tried to score. Rayford hesitated and threw to catcher Rick Dempsey, but Grubb slid beneath the tag. Stewart gave up Tom Brookens' RBI single and Lou Whitaker's sacrifice fly and the Tigers led, 6-3.
In the seventh, the Tigers got five runs off Stewart, Brad Havens and Nate Snell. Lemon hit his second homer of the game and Don Baker, Darrell Evans and Kirk Gibson had RBI.
Stewart said, "I think what we're going to have to do is go back and look at the films of 1983 (the Orioles' title year) and work off that. 1986 could be our year, but it's got to start now, today."
Said Orioles rookie Larry Sheets: "To me, it's been a long year."