A familiar sight took place at Anaheim Stadium on Monday night. A crowd of 25,805 rose to its feet and began chanting the player's name, encouraging him to come out of the dugout to take a bow after a home run.
But, instead of "Reggie . . . Reggie," the cry was for "Eddie . . . Eddie." As in Murray.
Murray acknowledged the fans. Such treatment, after all, isn't usually accorded a player from a visiting team. But then not many players have the kind of night Eddie Clarence Murray had Monday.
Murray homered three times, including a grand slam, and drove in a club-record nine runs to lead the Baltimore Orioles to a 17-3 win over the Angels, who spent most of the night looking over their shoulders, watching balls sail over fences.
Murray finished the game 4 for 5 with a walk and flirted with his fourth homer of the game in the seventh inning, when he flied out to the warning track in center field. It was the third time in Murray's career that he hit three home runs in one game and, much to Angel Manager Gene Mauch's disappointment, it accounted for only a portion of the Orioles' offensive output.
Baltimore finished with seven home runs, the most the Angels have ever given up and the most the Orioles have ever hit in one game.
It began with Murray's first-inning blast off Angel starter John Candelaria. It ended in the top of the ninth, when Rick Dempsey hit a two-run homer deep to center. In between, John Shelby, Floyd Rayford and Gary Roenicke got in on the home run fun. This was more fun than the Orioles have had since May 17, 1967, when they they hit six home runs against Boston in Fenway Park.
The Angel fans, in search of any kind of fun, became Murray supporters. It's not difficult to win fans when you go 4 for 4 with three home runs in your first four appearences. When Murray came up in the seventh for his fifth at-bat, the spectators who had not left for the parking lot in search of stray baseballs again rose to their feet.
"They were rooting for me to hit another one," Murray said. "It was really nice to be cheered by the other fans."
One of Murray's biggest fans sits in the Baltimore dugout. His name is Earl Weaver.
"I'm very happy with Eddie, but I'm very happy with him every night," he said.
"Eddie's always there when you need him. He's been that way all his career."
The loss cut the Angels' lead over Kansas City in the American League West to 1 1/2 games. And it's one the Angel pitching staff would like to forget.
It didn't take long for Candelaria to give an indication that this would be a long night for Mauch and the Angels. He hit leadoff hitter Alan Wiggins with the game's second pitch. Lee Lacy and Cal Ripken followed with consecutive singles, bringing Murray up for his first at-bat.
Candelaria got ahead on the count at 1-2 before Murray hit his next delivery over the fence in left-center. The Orioles had an early, 4-0 lead, and Murray's eventful night had just begun.
The Angels countered with two runs in the bottom of the first on Juan Beniquez's two-run homer to left-center off Dennis Martinez, cutting Baltimore's lead to 4-2. It didn't stay close for long.
Shelby led off the Baltimore second by drilling a 2-0 pitch over the left-field wall. Candelaria then walked No. 9 hitter Dempsey before getting Wiggins and Lacy to fly out. Ripken looped a double down the right-field line. Dempsey scored and Ripken took third when Candelaria unleashed a wild pitch that went to the screen. Moments later, Murray singled sharply to drive in Ripken and give the Orioles a 7-2 lead.
To the overwhelming approval of the Anaheim Stadium crowd, Candelaria was replaced by Alan Fowlkes, who got Mike Young to pop out to end the inning.
Fowlkes ran into trouble in the third as Rayford and Roenicke hit back-to-back homers to left. Fowlkes managed to keep things quiet from there, until Murray came up in the fourth.
This time, Murray hit a towering drive that landed deep in the second deck in right-center. The Orioles' lead was 10-2, and Murray wasn't finished yet.
He came up to face Fowlkes again with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth, and deposited a 1-1 pitch to nearly the same spot of his previous home run. The grand slam was the 12th of Murray's career and third this season.
Geoff Zahn update: Manager Gene Mauch said Monday that surgery on Zahn's left shoulder will likely be delayed until after Sept. 9, the day Zahn is due to come off the disabled list. Zahn went on the disabled list Aug. 19 with tendinitis in the shoulder. "Rather than do the surgery immediately, they've decided to put it off for a while," Mauch said. "It will have to be done . . . it will be done. But not before Sept. 9." . . . Mike Witt (11-7) will be the starting pitcher tonight as the Angels close out the home stand against longtime nemesis Scott McGregor (10-11). Witt is making his second start since receiving cortisone treatments for slight tendinitis in his right shoulder. Mauch didn't seem overly concerned about the status of his right-hander. "He pitched one of the most demanding game's he's pitched the start after he got that treatment," Mauch said, referring to a 3-2 win over the New York Yankees. Witt allowed eight hits and struck out 10 in that game. . . . Reliever Doug Corbett begins a rehabilitation assignment with the Angels' triple-A affiliate in Edmonton today.