The stadium is dark, cool and damp, the lighting poor, the crowd small.
Yet for the Baltimore Orioles, the Kingdome always has been a hitter's paradise, a pitcher's dream, and it was all those things again tonight as Ken Dixon scattered four hits over 8 1/3 innings and Fred Lynn and Lee Lacy totaled seven RBI in a 7-5 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Only 12,266 showed up and what they saw was more of the same from the Orioles, who've won 11 of their last 13 games and remain 3 1/2 games out of first in the American League East at 23-16.
For seven innings, this was a pitchers' duel between Dixon (5-2) and Mike Morgan (3-5), with the Orioles leading only 2-1.
But in the ninth, the Orioles had a hard time protecting a 7-2 lead. Dixon left after Phil Bradley's one-out triple and reliever Brad Havens faced two batters and allowed two hits. The Mariners had the winning run to the plate when Don Aase got the last out and his 11th save.
"Thank God we got some runs," Manager Earl Weaver of the Orioles said. "It was a pitchers' duel, and then you look up and it's 7-5. We did the same thing we've been doing; we're swinging the bat very well, and Aase keeps doing the job. I didn't want to take Dixon out, but his fastball was down to 84 miles per hour in the eighth from 89 earlier in the game."
"My arm got tight," Dixon said, "after I had to sit out the eighth inning when they were scoring the runs. My biggest problem was that I just challenged them too much after we got the lead. I was trying to let them hit it, but they hit it too hard. But, we won, and that is all that's important."
The Orioles had scored twice in the fifth on Lacy's single, but had also stranded 10 runners in the first seven innings. Meanwhile, the Mariners had gotten only two hits, one of them designated hitter Ken Phelps' home run.
In the eighth, the Orioles got what they'd been waiting for, sending nine batters to the plate and getting five runs and five hits off four pitchers.
The big hits off Morgan were the single by Lacy, which gave the Orioles a 3-1 lead, and Lynn's towering grand slam to right-center.
"He had me handcuffed the whole night throwing inside," Lynn said. "He made a mistake. I'm sure that wasn't the pitch he wanted to throw me. He got it over the fat part of the plate and I got all of it."
The top of the Orioles' batting order produced seven of their 13 hits, with Lacy getting three hits and three RBI, Lynn getting two hits and four RBI and Alan Wiggins two hits.
The Orioles had all kinds of chances in the early innings, leaving five runners -- three in scoring position -- in the first five innings.
In the first, Wiggins singled and got as far as third before Morgan got Eddie Murray to ground to second baseman Harold Reynolds to end the inning.
In the second, they had two more runners on, thanks to singles by Larry Sheets and Mike Young, but Morgan got Floyd Rayford to ground to short to end the inning.
Morgan got the next six batters, too, then Juan Beniquez led off the fifth with a single to left. Mike Young walked, then Rayford sacrificed.
Wiggins lifted a fly ball fairly deep to right field, but third base coach Cal Ripken Sr. chose not to challenge Al Cowens' arm. That proved wise because Lacy looped a single to center for a 2-0 lead.
The Orioles had another chance in the sixth. Morgan walked Sheets and Beniquez with one out but struck out Young and Rayford.
In the seventh, the Orioles had a double, single and two walks -- and didn't score. Wiggins' base-running mistake cost at least one run, but Lynn and Sheets also missed on chances to drive in runs.
Wiggins led off by walking, but Morgan picked him off. Wiggins would have scored because Lacy doubled off the right field wall.
Cowens made a nice catch of Lynn's low liner for the second out. Morgan then intentionally walked Murray. Cal Ripken beat out an infield single to load the bases, but Sheets struck out on three pitches.
Meanwhile, Dixon was superb. Spike Owen got a one-out single in the first inning, and Dixon retired the next 15 in order, with only three balls even getting to the outfield.
In the sixth, Steve Yeager walked with one out and Reynolds sacrificed. Only Beniquez's nice play at third kept Reynolds from beating it out. Dixon ended the sixth inning by striking out Owen on a crisp fastball at the knees.
In all, he retired four more in a row before getting a 3-2 fastball over the plate that Phelps poked into the upper deck in right field. For the season, Phelps has this line: eight hits (five of them homers) and seven RBI.
*Yankees 10, Angels 5: Mike Pagliarulo hit two home runs, Don Mattingly hit a three-run homer and Rickey Henderson singled, doubled, tripled and scored three runs to lead the victory in New York.
Angels Manager Gene Mauch played the game under protest after an obstruction call against second baseman Bobby Grich in New York's three-run first inning.
Winner Ed Whitson (3-1), in his first appearance since he came off the disabled list Wednesday, worked 5 1/3 innings in relief. He allowed one run on three hits and struck out six.
"I would like to put all of the problems in the past," Whitson said, booed in previous appearances in New York. "I believe we can turn this thing around and get everybody on the Yankees' side, and on my side."
In the first, Henderson had an infield hit, Willie Randolph bunted the ball hard toward the right side, and Angels first baseman Wally Joyner cut across to glove the ball. Joyner's throw reached second in time to force Henderson, who had collided hard with Grich about halfway to the base.
Second base umpire Jim McKean called obstruction on Grich -- he was charged with an error -- and both runners were safe. After Mauch's protest was announced, Mattingly hit his fifth homer, on Don Sutton's 0-1 pitch.
*Indians 3, Blue Jays 1: Don Schulze pitched a two-hitter and Julio Franco got a two-run triple off Toronto's Jim Clancy, who had pitched five perfect innings.
A crowd of 61,340, largest in the major leagues this season, turned out for what Cleveland Mayor George Voinovich proclaimed as "Citizen's Night." When there were reports in late April that the Indians might leave Cleveland, Voinovich picked Friday as the night fans would show their support for the Indians.
Schulze (3-1) struck out one and walked two in his first complete game this season. He retired 18 consecutive batters in one stretch.
Clancy (4-3) lost his bid for a perfect game when Brook Jacoby singled to start the home sixth. Franco later tripled, scoring Tony Bernazard and Brett Butler.
*White Sox 4, Royals 1: Chicago's Joe Cowley, just back from the minor leagues, allowed three hits in 7 1/3 innings and teammate Greg Walker went four for four in Kansas City, Mo.
Greg Walker singled and scored in Chicago's three-run second inning and added singles in the third, fourth and seventh as Bret Saberhagen took his fifth loss in seven decisions.
*A's 5, Tigers 1: Jose Canseco drove in one run and scored another to lead a three-run first inning and Jose Rijo (2-2) pitched a six-hitter as Oakland won in Detroit.
Tony Phillips started the Oakland first with a single off Dave LaPoint (1-3) and Donnie Hill was safe on third baseman Darnell Coles' error. Canseco singled Phillips home, Dave Kingman singled Hill home and Alfredo Griffin's grounder scored Canseco.
*Twins 8, Brewers 7: Greg Gagne singled home Mickey Hatcher from second base with one out in the ninth to end the game in Bloomington, Minn.
Hatcher doubled to right off Dan Plesac (3-2) with one out. Gary Gaetti was walked intentionally, bringing up Gagne, who hit a line drive to right center. Frank Pastore (1-0) earned his first victory since he was signed April 27 after having been released by Cincinnati.
*Red Sox 2, Rangers 1: Don Baylor hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and teammate Oil Can Boyd (5-3) allowed three hits in eight innings as Boston won in Texas for its sixth straight victory