At 40 degrees, with winds whipping over the left-field roof, batting practice was a cruel joke, infield practice miserable and the teams' dugouts refrigerators.
So tonight, when so many things were wrong, the Baltimore Orioles hit three home runs, got another well-pitched game and beat the Cleveland Indians, 5-1, before 12,933 at Memorial Stadium.
All five Orioles runs came on home runs, three on center fielder Fred Lynn's seventh-inning shot that broke a 1-1 tie. The Orioles had tied the game in the fifth on catcher Rick Dempsey's first homer of the season, and Dempsey followed with another in the eighth inning.
Meanwhile, they were getting terrific pitching for an awful night, starter Ken Dixon (1-0) going seven innings and allowing six hits and an unearned run and reliever Rich Bordi adding two shutout innings for his first save with his new team.
The Orioles (2-1) were winning for the second time in as many nights, and flew to Texas tonight to begin a seven-day, six-game trip against the Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays.
"We're going to hit our home runs, no doubt about that," Manager Earl Weaver said. "One of these days were going to get a three-run homer and a shutout, and I bet we win that game, too."
Not that it was easy. They were locked in a 1-1 game after six innings and had gotten only three hits off knuckle-baller Tom Candiotti.
Baltimore's lone run came on Dempsey's homer in the fifth and matched the run the Orioles gave up in the first thanks to third baseman Jackie Gutierrez's error.
But Candiotti threw 121 pitches in six innings, and Manager Pat Corrales went for Jim Kern (0-1) to open the seventh. Kern quickly got into trouble, allowing John Shelby a one-out double. Shortstop Cal Ripken then was safe on third baseman Brook Jacoby's error, but Kern got Eddie Murray on a flyout to center.
Corrales then brought in left-hander Jamie Easterly to pitch to left-hand-hitting Lynn, which was the move that backfired.
The thinking certainly wasn't faulty because Lynn is only two for 15 with five strikeouts against Easterly. Said Lynn: "I've been facing him since we were in the minors, about 40 years ago. With a reliever, it always a one-time shot. I might go an entire season and see him only a couple of times. It's feast or famine."
It had been famine in the Orioles' 6-4 loss Monday because with a runner on third with one out in the eighth inning, Easterly had struck out Lynn -- "He made me look bad," Lynn said. This time Lynn went up looking for a curve ball, but when Easterly started him with a fast ball, he decided to think fast ball.
"I knew I was in trouble when I released the pitch and saw his eyes light up," Easterly said. "I was trying to get it in, but I didn't get it far enough in."
Gutierrez's error, his second in three starts, helped give the Indians a 1-0 first-inning lead. Brett Butler led off the game by grounding a hard shot toward Gutierrez, who fielded it and threw it past Murray at first base. Butler went to third on left fielder Otis Nixon's sacrifice bunt and scored on designated hitter Andre Thornton's double into the alley in left-center.
Dixon flirted with trouble the next four innings, leaving runners on in each. The Orioles' defense turned double plays for him in the second and fifth innings and barely missed in the fourth.
"Lee Lacy was bringing me coffee between every inning," Dixon said. "At least, I think it was coffee. It had exactly the right amount of cream and sugar. In a game like this, defense is the key because I sure wasn't blowing anyone away."
The Orioles won two of three games from the Indians despite going three for 24 with runners in scoring position . . . Orioles relievers have worked 12 innings and allowed one run and six hits . . . Dempsey's two-homer game was the fourth of his career.
*Yankees 6, Royals 5: Pinch hitter Dale Berra's bases-loaded suicide-squeeze bunt single with one out in the 10th scored Mike Easler as New York rallied from five down to beat visiting Kansas City.
*Red Sox 4, Tigers 2: Doubles by Ed Romero and Bill Buckner, and Jim Rice's two-run single keyed a four-run fifth inning for Boston in Detroit.
*Brewers 8, White Sox 5: Ernest Riles hit an opposite-field homer to climax a four-run ninth inning as Milwaukee completed a three-game sweep in Chicago.
*A's 3, Twins 0: In Oakland, Moose Haas pitched six-hit, shutout ball for 7 2/3 innings and rookie Jose Canseco hit a two-run homer to beat Minnesota.
*Blue Jays 11, Rangers 10: Willie Upshaw and George Bell hit consecutive two-out home runs in the eighth inning for Toronto in Texas. Bobby Witt, making his major league debut for Texas, lasted 3 1/3 innings, walking six and yielding five hits and six runs. Toronto starter Jimmy Key faced six batters and four got extra-base hits.
*Mariners 5, Angels 2: Gorman Thomas and Alvin Davis hit consecutive home runs in the second inning in Seattle to foil Don Sutton's bid for his 296th career victory.