This game took place on July 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.
The Orioles failed to solve California’s starter Marcelino Lopez through the first seven innings. Unfortunately for Lopez and the Angels, the bats woke up when it mattered most.
Paul Blair evened the score with a one-out single in the eighth, and Boog Powell blasted a walk-off home run to deep right field that clinched a 2-1 victory for the Birds at Memorial Stadium.
The Orioles went down in order their first time through the lineup. Leadoff hitter Luis Aparicio recorded the team’s first hit with a single in the fourth, but was quickly erased when Powell grounded into a double play.
Lopez retired the next nine Baltimore batters to carry a one-run lead into the eighth.
The Angels gained that lead on a pinch-hit single by Ed Kirkpatrick in the seventh inning. Kirkpatrick, hitting for Jackie Warner, stepped off the bench and drove in Jim Fregosi for the first run of the game. Fregosi had kicked off the inning with a single, and advanced to second on a base hit by Joe Adcock. The knock briefly placed reliever Eddie Watt on the hook for the decision after he worked a scoreless sixth.
Orioles starter Bill Short cruised through five scoreless innings before O’s skipper Hank Bauer summoned Watt. Short limited the Angels to just one hit and one walk. He struck out seven and did not allow a runner beyond first base.
Lopez retired Brooks Robinson to start the eighth inning, but left fielder Sam Bowens broke through with a one-out knock to right field. Davey Johnson followed with a single to left, and Bowens advanced to third on the play. Suddenly the Birds had their first true scoring opportunity.
Blair stepped in and punched a ball to left field. Bowens scored on the play, but Johnson was thrown out trying to take third base. Lopez intentionally walked number eight hitter Andy Etchebarren to bring the pitcher’s spot up to bat. The Orioles replaced reliever Eddie Fisher with pinch hitter Bob Johnson after Fisher worked a clean eighth.
Fisher did his part with a single off the bench, but Blair held up at third. Aparicio had an opportunity to break the game open right there, but a ground out to second base ended the inning.
Stu Miller took the mound for the Birds in the ninth and immediately allowed a double to Fregosi. Fregosi advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Rick Reichardt to give the Angels two chances with the go-ahead run 90 feet away.
Joe Adcock bounced a ball to short and Fregosi broke for the plate. Aparicio, who had just left the bases loaded, fielded the ball cleanly and fired home. Fregosi was ruled out at the plate, and the aggressive baserunning cost California a chance to take the lead. Miller retired Kirkpatrick to end the threat.
Baltimore held all the momentum entering the bottom half of the frame and it wasted no time capitalizing. Lopez returned to the mound in the ninth and Powell took him deep to end the game right there. The blast marked the sixth hit of the day for Baltimore and each was recorded by a different player.
Miller picked up the win in relief to move to 7-1 on the season. Lopez (4-9) took the hard-earned loss despite a dominant effort early on. The Orioles moved to 57-27 on the season, and the game took place before an announced crowd of 19,312.
The Orioles will face the Angels again tomorrow with Jim Palmer set to square off against Dean Chance.
Who was the Most Birdland Player for July 8, 1966?
This poll is closed
Boog Powell (1-4, walk-off home run)
Bill Short (5 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 7 K)
Paul Blair (1-3, Game-tying RBI-single)