Mike Boddicker's finger was numb but there was nothing wrong with his numbers.
Boddicker scattered five hits over seven innings, tied his season-high of eight strikeouts and gave up only two runs as the Baltimore Orioles beat the Seattle Mariners, 4-2, in front of 14,446 at Memorial Stadium tonight.
The Orioles had lost their two previous games.
"He pitched a hell of a ball game," said Manager Earl Weaver, who made a trip to the mound in the sixth inning after Boddicker's finger went numb. "He had only one [pitch] that wasn't quite hard and it went out."
That was Jim Presley's second-inning two-run homer that tied the game at 2. But, with Larry Sheets (three hits, three RBI) and Fred Lynn hitting home runs, the Orioles put Boddicker (6-1) back ahead. And he did his part by stopping the Mariners, with help from Don Aase, who pitched the last two innings for his league-leading 14th save.
Ever since April 19, when he tore a ligament in the middle finger of his right hand while pitching against Texas, Boddicker has had occasional numbness in the finger.
"It wasn't hurting; just on certain pitches it would get numb," he said. "After a while, the feeling would come back. I don't know the reason why it came and went.
"I went for a stretch where it felt real good. I was getting my breaking ball over consistently and, when I do that, I'm going to get some strikeouts. Then all of a sudden I'd throw a pitch -- I don't know if I was doing something wrong with my motion or what -- but the thing would go numb."
It was a rough evening, physically, for him, even if the outcome was pleasant. He got out of the second inning when Harold Reynolds' ground ball caromed off his left hand (the glove had slipped off a bit) to Alan Wiggins, who threw out Reynolds.
"Nothing bothers Boddicker," Weaver said. "He wants to stay out there no matter what. He had ice on his left wrist after Reynolds' ball hit him and twice during the game the finger went numb on him. This is a guy who can stand pain."
It was Dick Williams' first visit to Memorial Stadium since 1976, when he managed the California Angels. In the first inning, his Mariners left Reynolds stranded at second.
The Orioles weren't as wasteful in their half of the first against Milt Wilcox (0-7), who has a 4-14 lifetime record against Baltimore. After Wiggins struck out, Lee Lacy singled to left field, and moved to second on Lynn's walk. Lacy moved to third on Eddie Murray's fly, and Cal Ripken walked. Sheets, who has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, singled for a 2-0 lead.
Sheets, who has six homers and 21 RBI in the last 19 games, opened the fourth inning with his seventh home run this season.
"In the past, I've been either real hot or real cold," he said. "But I've just tried to be consistent. That was what was good about the West Coast trip -- I got one or two hits. Now, I'm putting it together."
When Lynn led off the fifth, his seventh home run of the season hooked inside the right field foul pole.
Boddicker retired the side in the seventh, with help from Rick Dempsey, who threw out Reynolds trying for his third steal of the game.
"I didn't want to come out," Boddicker said, although he didn't seem at all upset about it. "Not as long as I'm getting people out."
Aase struck out two in the eighth. In the ninth, he struck out Presley and got Spike Owen to bounce back to the mound. Steve Yeager singled and Williams sent up Gorman Thomas to pinch hit. Back on May 24, the same situation existed, and Thomas homered off Aase. But this time Thomas went down swinging.
"The way Boddicker is, it makes him tough to take out," Weaver said. "But the thing is, when you have a guy with 13 saves in the bullpen and three days rest, you've got to go with him."
Tom O'Malley arrived in Baltimore at about 3 a.m. after playing in a game for Rochester, which was one reason Weaver did not start him at third base. He came in in the ninth, but got no chances.
"It's an opportunity and I hope I can do the job," he said before the game. "Seems like I'll be my own worst enemy, my own nemisis."
The Orioles signed Terry Crowley Jr., son of their hitting coach, after selecting him in the eighth round of the free-agent draft Monday.
Young Crowley, who was an all-county shortstop (.424 batting average) this year at Dulaney High School in Timonium, Md., will report to Bluefield, the Orioles' affiliate in the Appalachian League.
*Blue Jays 6, Twins 5: In Toronto, George Bell broke a 5-5 tie with a single in the seventh inning. Earlier, Lloyd Moseby had gotten the Blue Jays back in the game with a three-run homer.
With two outs in the seventh, Moseby walked, stole second and scored on Bell's single to center off Keith Atherton (2-3). Bell has hit in his last 11 games. The victory was the fifth in the last six games for Toronto; the Twins lost their fourth straight.
Mark Eichhorn (5-2), Toronto's third pitcher, earned the victory. Tom Henke got the last four outs for his sixth save.
*Rangers 4, White Sox 1: Gary Ward doubled home two runs during a four-run third inning and rookie Edwin Correa, 20, scattered four hits over seven innings in Chicago.
The Rangers have won five of their last eight games, all over the White Sox, who have lost nine of their last 10 games.
Correa, youngest player in the major leagues, came to the Rangers from the White Sox last winter. He is 4-3, having beaten the White Sox twice. Mitch Williams came out to start the eighth and earned his second save.
Joel Davis (2-3) gave up five hits before leaving in the third inning. He walked Curtis Wilkerson, then Oddibe McDowell singled. After Scott Fletcher walked, Pete O'Brien hit a sacrifice fly. Pete Incaviglia's single scored McDowell, then Ward cleared the bases with a double.
*Red Sox 5, Indians 1: In Boston, Don Baylor had the big hit, a two-run homer in the seventh.
"I'm swinging the bat pretty good and having some fun on this club," he said.
Mike Brown (4-1) of Vienna, Va., allowed at least one hit an inning for the first seven, but Cleveland scored only in the fourth on Andre Thornton's eighth homer.
*Royals 4, Brewers 1: In Milwaukee, Steve Balboni's homer and double helped Bret Saberhagen end his three-game losing streak with a seven-hitter.
Saberhagen (3-5) won his first game since May 2, striking out five and walking one. He had an 0-3 record after five starts this season, allowing 37 hits and nine walks in 33 innings.
Balboni has 20 bases on his last six hits, which were four homers and two doubles.
*A's 6, Tigers 4: In Oakland, Dave Kingman hit the 16th grand slam of his career in the first inning and it cost Detroit its fifth straight defeat.
Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron also hit 16 grand slams, and only four others have hit more. Lou Gehrig hit the most, 23, and Kingman leads active players.
Kingman's homer, his 12th, came off Dave LaPoint (2-4), who lasted only two innings. He yielded Bill Bathe's homer in the second inning.
Detroit's Lance Parrish hit his 12th homer this season, and Kirk Gibson his third.
*Angels 4, Yankees 2: Bob Boone's three-run homer in the seventh inning -- his first at Anaheim Stadium in nearly two years -- helped Don Sutton to his 298th victory.
Sutton (3-5) allowed six hits, walked two and struck out five in eight innings, then Terry Forster got his second save.
With the score 1-1 and two outs in the seventh, Dick Schofield drew a walk off starter Dennis Rasmussen (5-2). When Rick Burleson beat out a hit, Schofield continued to third on Mike Pagliarulo's wild throw.
Boone, who had been one for 23, worked the count to 3-2, then homered into the left-field bullpen.