The Baltimore Orioles scored eight runs in the first two innings and held off a furious California Angel comeback to win the second game of the American League Championship Series, at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, 9-8.
Don Stanhouse, pitching with the bases loaded, forced Angel catcher Brian Downing to ground to third for the final out.
Pitching in relief of starter and winner Mike Flanagan, Stanhouse entered in the top of the ninth with a 9-6 lead. A walk and several hits suddenly put the tying and go-ahead runs on second and third and Don Baylor, the American League's RBI champion, at the plate. Oriole manager Earl Weaver elected to walk Baylor and pitch instead of Downing.
Earlier, Eddie Murray appeared to have put the game out of reach with a three-run home run in the second. The blow gave Baltimore an 8-1 lead with Flannagan, who led the major leagues in victories with 23, on the mound.
Yet the Angels refused to quit. Reliever Mark Clear held the Birds in check while his team rallied in the late innings, knocking Flanagan out of the box.
But No Cigar
Stanhouse, who pitched erratically but effectively for the Orioles this season, came on the scene and allowed the Angels to close the gap to one run, but came through in the clutch as he has all season.
The Orioles now take a 2-0 lead in the Championship Series, which resumes tonight in Anaheim, Calif. The Birds won Wednesday night's first game, 5-2, in 10 innings.
Probable pitchers tonight are Baltimore's Dennis Matinez and California's Frank Tanana.