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Retro Orioles recap: O’s sweep doubleheader from visiting Senators

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The Orioles planted their flag atop of the American League by winning a pair of close games against their regional rival.

Baltimore Orioles

This doubleheader took place on June 8, 1966. It is being recapped today as part of Camden Chat’s retro recap series while MLB is on hold due to the lockout.

It had been nearly a month since the Orioles had sniffed first place in the American League, falling as far as 4.5 games back on May 28. Things turned around on June 8 as they swept both sides of a doubleheader against the visiting Washington Senators. From that day forward, the O’s would not find themselves below anyone in the standings for the remainder of the season.

Game 1 was a doozy. Jim Palmer started on the mound, but it would not go down as his finest outing. The 20-year-old right-hander went nine innings, striking out eight in the process, but he also served up five runs on nine hits, four walks, and two strikeouts.

Most of Palmer’s struggles came in the late innings. He allowed just one run through the opening seven frames before serving up a three-run bomb to Don Lock in the eighth and then a solo shot to Jim King in the ninth.

The O’s scoring came early. Brooks Robinson led off the second inning with a round tripper. In that same inning, Davey Johnson knocked in Sam Bowens with a sac fly after Bowens had tripled. Bowens added a one-run dong in the fourth inning.

It took some clutch hitting from Andy Etchebarren (RBI single) and Woodie Held (RBI fielder’s choice) in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the score at five runs apiece and send us to extra innings.

The 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th innings all went by with relatively little fanfare. Moe Drabowsky delivered three scoreless innings out of the Orioles’ bullpen, and Stu Miller tossed two zeroes.

That set the stage for Cam Carreon to walk things off in the bottom of the 14th inning. Carreon was in the final season of his big league career. He appeared in just four games for the Orioles in 1966, but he came through when it mattered here. With Luis Aparicio standing on second base, Carreon smacked a double into right-center field to drive him home and get the day started on the right foot with a 6-5 Orioles win.

Due to the lengthy game time of Game 1 (three hours, 55 minutes), Game 2 began at 10:19 at Memorial Stadium. And while it would not take quite as long, it was a nail-biter all the same.

The O’s jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Boog Powell knocked in Frank Robinson with a single into left field. Johnson followed with a double to centerfield to drive in Brooks Robinson and Powell.

That lead was erased and then some by the Senators in the top of the third inning. Fred Valentine homered to score two. Later, Frank Howard scored Lock with a three-bagger. Howard came home on a sac fly off the bat of Ken McMullen. The final touches of the lop-sided inning came from Ed Brinkman, who singled to bring in Ken Hamlin, who had walked earlier.

Powell brought one run back in the Orioles’ half of the fifth inning. Once again, he brought in Frank Robinson with a single to make it a 5-4 game. Valentine cancelled out that run in the eighth inning to make it 6-4, knocking in Doug Camilli on a single.

But the O’s refused to go away. Not only would they come back to tie things up, but they would take the lead outright.

In the bottom of the eighth, Carreon got the scoring starting with a double to score Jerry Adair. A single from Bowens brought home Carreon. And then Russ Snyder delivered the big blow, a two-run bomb, to put the Orioles ahead 8-6.

The Senators added one final run on a ninth inning home run from Lock, but that was the end of the scoring. The Orioles prevailed with an 8-7 win.

Steve Barber had started on the mound for the Birds, but he lasted just 2.2 innings, giving up five runs in the process. Gene Brabender earned a deserved win with 5.1 innings of relief in which he gave up just one run and struck out eight. And then Eddie Watt nabbed his third save of the season, allowing a run on one hit and one strikeout in just one inning of work.

While this may not have been the official “turning point” for the team’s season, they would go on a tear from here that saw them leave the rest of the AL in the dust en route to the playoffs.

Poll

Who was the Most Birdland Player for June 8, 1966?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Cam Carreon (WO double in G1)
    (27 votes)
  • 2%
    Moe Drabowsky (3 IP, 0 R)
    (2 votes)
  • 21%
    Gene Brabender (W, 5.1 IP, 1 R, 8 SO)
    (19 votes)
  • 45%
    Brooks Robinson (5-for-10, 2 R, 1 RBI)
    (40 votes)
88 votes total Vote Now