American League Roundup : Orioles, Far Ahead of 1988 Pace, Beat Red Sox
The Baltimore Orioles, losers of the first 21 games last year, won their season opener Monday, beating the American League East champion Boston Red Sox, 5-4, at Baltimore on Craig Worthington’s 11th-inning single.
President Bush, in attendance with Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, threw out the ceremonial first pitch, but left in the seventh inning with the score tied, 4-4. Boston’s Roger Clemens was chased the next inning.
In the ninth, Baltimore put runners on first and third for Worthington, who grounded out. But the rookie came through in the 11th, after Mickey Tettleton walked and took third on Randy Milligan’s hit-and-run single.
After Mike Smithson replaced Bob Stanley, Worthington flared a 1-and-0 pitch into left-center field past a diving Ellis Burks, foiling a Boston formation of five infielders.
“It was very important for the players out there,” Baltimore Manager Frank Robinson said of the first victory. “They’re a young ballclub and they’re relatively new to each other.
“It was a good win because now we can concentrate on other things and not have to worry about, ‘Uh oh, when are they going to win one in the 1989 season?’ ”
Brian Holton, acquired in an off-season trade that sent Eddie Murray to the Dodgers, pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings for the victory. Stanley entered after Lee Smith left with a pulled groin and took the loss, Boston’s fourth straight defeat on opening day.
“It was fun to win the first one, especially after last year,” Holton said. “I wasn’t here, but I talked with some of the guys and I know they were relieved.”
Clemens, 6-2 lifetime against the Orioles, left after Brady Anderson led off the eighth inning with his second double. Clemens pitched seven innings, allowing seven hits and four runs, earning his second no-decision in two opening day starts.
Wade Boggs, a five-time American League batting champion, went two for four. The Red Sox have tried to trade him because of the commotion caused by his affair with Margo Adams, but have been unable to work out a deal.
Toronto 4, Kansas City 3--Jimmy Key won on opening day for the third consecutive season, and Fred McGriff and Lloyd Moseby got two hits each to lead the Blue Jays at Kansas City.
Key, who also beat the Royals in the 1988 season opener, gave up two runs on six hits in six innings. Mark Gubicza, drawing his first opening-day assignment after a 20-8 record, allowed four runs on nine hits in seven innings and took the loss.
Pat Tabler’s run-scoring double chased Key during a three-run seventh that made it 4-3. Bo Jackson led off the Royal ninth with a double and was sacrificed to third, but Duane Ward struck out Frank White and Tom Henke retired Kurt Stillwell on a popup to end the game.
Jackson went two for four.
Cleveland 2, Milwaukee 1--Oddibe McDowell doubled in two runs in his first game for the Indians and Greg Swindell allowed five hits in 8 1/3 innings at Cleveland.
Swindell retired the first 12 batters he faced until Rob Deer and Glenn Braggs hit consecutive singles to open the fifth. Deer scored from third when Terry Francona grounded out.
Swindell struck out six and walked none. Mike Felder reached on a bunt single to open the ninth and Gary Sheffield sacrificed. Doug Jones came in and got Robin Yount on a groundout and then struck out Deer for the save.
Don August, the loser, allowed two runs, one of them unearned, on eight hits.
Oakland 3, Seattle 2--Mark McGwire drove in all the runs for the Athletics with a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly as Dave Stewart, with help from three relief pitchers, outdueled Mark Langston at Oakland.
Langston allowed just five hits, but one was McGwire’s homer in the third inning that staked Stewart to a 3-0 lead.