Baltimore Takes Second Game in 11

Filed under Baltimore Orioles, League Championship Series, Minnesota Twins
October 5, 1969
Baltimore's combination of thunder and lightning struck in Game 2 of AL playoffs.
Baltimore’s combination of thunder and lightning struck in Game 2 of AL playoffs.

The Baltimore Orioles moved one game away from the World Series with an extra-inning victory over the Minnesota Twins, 4-3. Once again, Minnesota took an early lead with three runs in the third inning off Orioles starter Dave McNally who loaded the bases with two walks and a single. Rich Reese, who homered yesterday, scored two with a double into the gap in right center field. After another free pass this time issued to George Mitterwald, Leo Cardenas scored Bob Allison from third base with a sacrifice fly to left. Twins starter Dave Boswell ended the inning with a ground out to third baseman Brooks Robinson.

Despite issuing five walks, Boswell held the Birds at bay until the Orioles mounted a late rally in the eighth. With one out, Boog Powell deposited a Boswell fast ball into the right field bleachers to cut the Twins’ lead to one. Brooks Robinson followed with a weak pop out to shallow left, but then Boswell opened the door a little wider for this opportunistic Baltimore bunch. Boswell hit Davey Johnson with a 1-0 pitch. Mark Belanger cued Boswell’s next pitch, and Boswell could not field the ball in time to catch the shortstop at first base. Twins’ manager Billy Martin called up his fireman ace Ron Perranoski, and Earl Weaver countered with his pinch-hitter extraordinaire, Curt Motton, to bat for the left-handed Elrod Hendricks. Motton delivered with a single that dropped along the left field line scoring Johnson with the tying run. \

Minnesota’s bats were quieted after their three run outburst in the third. McNally left for a pinch-hitter in the seventh, and relievers Pete Richert, Eddie Watt, and Marcelino Lopez held the Twins in check into extra frames. In the eleventh, Don Buford singled over short with two outs. Paul Blair followed with a sharp single past Twins’ reliever Joe Grzenda with Buford running with the pitch. With runners on the corners, Martin called on the right-handed Dick Woodson to face Frank Robinson in hopes of inducing an inning-ending ground out. But after a called strike, Robinson hit a grounder past Killebrew at third and beyond the reach of the shortstop, Leo Cardenas. Buford raced home with the winning run and a two game advantage for Baltimore.

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