June 7: Baltimore 2, Boston 1
Cy Young and Jack Powell, a couple of dead-ball era stars, put on quite a duel in the series opener. Young lived on the corners of the strike zone, walking zero. Powell gave up no extra base hits.
Baltimore’s Ken Singleton ripped a triple off Young to lead off the bottom of the first and Eddie Murray singled him home. Singleton later led off the sixth inning with a double, and came home to score the winning run on a Murray GIDP.
Powell had plenty of Bostonians on the basepaths throughout the afternoon, but pitched around them splendidly. He put runners on the corners with one out in the eighth and was pulled in favor of lefty Zach Britton, who let one inherited run score on a fielder’s choice. That was the end of scoring for Boston however, and the O’s claimed game one.
R H BB BOS 000 000 010 - 1 8 4 BAL 100 001 00x - 2 7 0 HR: none starters IP R ER HR BB SO C. Young 8.0 2 1 0 0 2 J. Powell 7.1 1 1 0 3 0 BOS 40-18, BAL 35-23
June 8: Baltimore 9, Boston 4
It looked like a bad mound match-up for Baltimore in game two, considering Urban Shocker’s ERA was around twice that of Boston’s Smoky Joe Wood. Shocker wasn’t ultra sharp, but limited the damage to four runs allowed in 7.2. Wood, on the other hand, got shocked by the relentless Baltimore bats.
After scoring both Baltimore runs the previous day, Ken Singleton scored four runs in this one and reached safely in all five plate appearances with a walk, two singles, and two doubles. Frank Robinson drilled RBI hits in his first three plate appearances, and Baltimore romped to another victory to pull within four games of Boston.
R H BB BOS 111 000 010 - 4 9 5 BAL 140 101 02x - 9 12 6 HR: M. Wieters (4) starters IP R ER HR BB SO S. Wood 5.2 7 5 1 4 4 U. Shocker 7.2 4 3 0 3 3 BOS 40-19, BAL 36-23
June 9: Baltimore 3, Boston 2 (10 innings)
Baltimore’s dream series ended in thrilling fashion.
It started as another pitcher’s duel, this one featuring Lefty Grove for Boston and Johnny Niggeling for Baltimore.
The Red Sox grabbed the first tally on a Manny Ramirez HBP and singles by Jimmie Foxx and Carlton Fisk. Fisk had a perfect day at the plate with two walks and two singles.
Baltimore grabbed the lead in the fourth on singles by Frank Robinson, Eddie Murray, and Cal Ripken.
The score remained 2-1 Baltimore as Darren O’Day took the mound in the top of the ninth to try to close out the sweep, but Manny Ramirez took the wind out of Baltimore’s sails with a game-tying bomb.
After the bottom of the ninth and top of the 10th decided nothing, Bobby Grich’s incredible season got incredibler in the bottom of the 10th. He turned on Jonathan Papelbon’s first pitch fastball and sent the ball deep into the left field Camden Stadium seats.
It was a mighty impressive series for Baltimore as they narrowed what had been a yawning gap between them and first place Boston, who have looked almost unstoppable for most of the season. Boston is still the heavy favorite to win the division, but this series made it a little easier for the Baltimore faithful to dream.
R H BB BOS 010 000 001 0 - 2 6 7 BAL 000 200 000 1 - 3 8 2 HR: M. Ramirez (3), B. Grich (11) starters IP R ER HR BB SO L. Grove 7.0 2 2 0 2 2 J. Niggeling 7.0 1 1 0 6 1 BOS 40-20, BAL 37-23