checking the box score and play-by-play.
It was a Tuesday night, the middle game of a three-game set against the Angels. After dropping the Labor Day matinee to Jim Abbott by a 5-3 margin, the O's came out swinging against California's lefty starter Brian Anderson in the second inning. Chris Hoiles led off by clearing the left field fence on a 2-2 pitch for his 18th home run of the season. Harold Baines jumped on the next offering but flew out harmlessly to right fielder Tim Salmon. Then things got really wild. Jeff Manto, Mark Smith, and Brady Anderson, the 8-9-1 hitters in the Birds' batting order, each belted the second pitch of their respective at-bats for solo home runs: back-to-back-to-back. Just like that, Scott Erickson had been given a 4-0 lead. He wouldn't need that much insurance, as he tossed a three-hit and nine-strikeout shutout, but I'm sure it was appreciated.
The power display - and the drama - was not through just yet, either. Brady added his second solo homer in the fourth inning off of Halos reliever Mike Harkey, and Baltimore followed that round-tripper with four straight singles to build a 7-0 cushion. Finally, Cal got in on the act leading off the home half of the sixth inning, wrapping up the scoring with a screaming liner over the left field wall against Mark Holzemer. It was 8-0 as the crowd roared in approval and wonder.
18 years. It hardly seems possible.