The significance of this date would have escaped me if not for the Cardboard Junkie's commemorative post, so thanks Dave! Yes indeed. Ten years ago today, in front of 45,738 fans in Turner Field, the O's won their fourth game in a row, bludgeoning the Braves by a score of 22-1. They scored the most runs in franchise history (until a 23-1 win over Toronto the following year), tallying crooked numbers in seven different innings. The game was still over in three hours and three minutes, thanks to the Braves' weak bats. Every Baltimore starter had a hit, including winning pitcher Mike Mussina, who went 2-for-5 with a double and three RBI. Cal Ripken, Jr. had the greatest offensive performance of his storied career, going 6-for-6 with a double, two home runs, five runs scored, and six RBI. Also among the team's 25 hits were home runs by Will Clark and Charles Johnson and three doubles by Clark (who totaled five RBI). The Birds went 13-for-22 with runners in scoring position!
So who were the poor saps on the other end of this historical beatdown? You might have heard of the starting pitcher, John Smoltz. He's won 210 games in his career, but killed his chances of a victory on that day with a five-run first inning on his way to a third-inning exit. Reliever Justin Speier was almost as bad, coughing up a six-pack in two and two-thirds. Kevin McGlinchy surrendered another three runs in an inning, Russ Springer was good for four more in his one inning, and (after a scoreless frame by Mike Remlinger) Rudy Seanez had the honor of giving up a single to portly hurler Rocky Coppinger as part of a two-run ninth.
Just to put this ridiculous, wonderful game in perspective, the Orioles scored as many runs in one night as they just did in their past twelve games (May 30-June 12, 2009). Thankfully, with eight runs on the board this evening, they seem to have expunged the holes in their bats.