Don Baylor tied an American League playoff record with five RBIs to lead the California Angels to an 8-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers last night and staked the Western Division champs to a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-five Championship series.
The Anaheim, Calif. crowd of 64,406--a record attendance for a single AL playoff game--watched Angels' starting pitcher Tommy John hold the power-laden Milwaukee lineup to seven hits.
Meanwhile, Brewers' starter Mike Caldwell lasted only three innings on the mound, after surrendering four runs--two on a Baylor triple--and Milwaukee's early 3-1 lead in the bottom of the third frame.
California scored its first run on a Brewer sacrifice fly by Baylor that scored Brian Downing from third after Downing had singled, gone to second on an errant throw by Caldwell, and then reached third on a wild pitch.
In the Milwaukee second, Ted, Simmons led off with a single and centerfielder Gormon Thomas, who shared the major league lead of 39 homers with California's Reggie Jackson, lofted a 1-0 breaking ball into the leftfield seats.
In the third, Milwaukee scored again on a fielder's choice grounder off the bat of Cecil Cooper. Paul Molitor started with a one-out single and Robin Yount followed with a grounder deep in the hole that allowed Molitor to take third after a throw to first was not in time.
But from then on, it was all California.
While Baylor collected his last two RBIs to tie the record. Fred Lynn went three for three including a home run.
And John, acquired on August 31 from the Yankees, got stronger as the game progressed. He set the side down in order in the sixth and seventh and breezed the rest of the way. The Brewers, on the other hand, used four pitchers on the night.
The second game of the series will be played tonight with Pete Vuckovich, 18-6, scheduled to start for Milwaukee and Bruce Kison, 10-5, getting the nod for California.