MILWAUKEE — Upon catching the final out in today’s Brewers’ win over the Orioles to salvage the final game in a four-game series, Gorman Thomas lifted his hands to the sky in jubilation. You’d think his catch had clinched an AL pennant.
But that’s how good it feels when you go seven straight games without winning at home. It’s a relief to score nine runs after three straight games in which your opponent doesn’t have to phone the bullpen.
And this was a game, like the season, that first seemed in their grasp before seemingly slipping away.
With the bases loaded and one out in the third, Roy Howell lifted a pop fly into foul territory on the third base side. Cal Ripken gave chase and slid in front of the tarp. He dropped the ball. On the very next pitch, Howell launched a two-run double to left to give the Brewers the lead. Fortunes appeared to be in the Crew’s favor.
The Brewers would take a 7-3 lead into the sixth inning. But Ken Singleton lifted a missile into orbit that finally landed ten rows deep into the bleachers in right center to trim the lead to two. Rollie Fingers came on in the seventh and allowed three hits that erased the Brewers’ lead.
The fans booed.
The fans may be a bit on the overreactive side, but they’ve seen this show before. They’re tired of it.
But this show had a different ending. With two down in the eighth and runners at first and second, Ben Oglivie lined a shot down the right field line out of the reach of Jim Dwyer for a two-run double. Staked to another two-run lead, Fingers wouldn’t falter this time. He pitched a perfect ninth for the win.
This win may not have clinched the American League pennant or even the division, but after three games of doubts and second guessing it was nice to see fortunes change.
Game Notes: 22,013 fans were in attendance, 6,319 of which were fan club admissions … Prior to today’s three-inning appearance, Rollie Fingers had pitched only 2 1/3 innings since June 1 … The Brewers face the AL East-leading Tigers next.