Sunday, April 29, 2012
On this day in 1988, the Baltimore Orioles won their first game of the season after starting 0-21, on a Friday evening in Chicago.
Jack McDowell started the game and was lifted in the top of the seventh inning, after giving up a walk to Joe Orsulak and a double to Pete Stanicek, leaving the Sox trailing Baltimore 4-0. John Davis comes to the rescue and promptly hits Billy Ripken with a pitch. Cal Ripken Jr. reaches on a throwing error by future GM Kenny Williams, causing Pete Stanicek to score. Davis then gets Eddie Murray to ground into a fielder's choice, causing Tito Landrum (pinch running for Billy Ripken) to be out at the plate. A walk to Fred Lynn loads the bases, setting up a fielder's choice by Larry Sheets, where Cal Ripken Jr. scores and the bases are loaded again. Terry Kennedy hits a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Eddie Murray. Finally, Craig Worthington grounds out to Ozzie Guillen who flips the ball to second baseman Donnie Hill for the force.
The Orioles would add two more in the ninth inning off of future "save master" Bobby Thigpen. The White Sox, who managed early hits by Harold Baines, Carlton Fisk and Ivan Calderon, would only get a ground ball single from Donnie Hill to start the bottom of the ninth the rest of the way. The White Sox lost the game 9-0 and the Orioles ended the worst team start in MLB history. Despite the horrid start, the Orioles only had seventeen less wins than the White Sox in 1988.