Sometimes, strange things happen in Baltimore on a daily basis. This time, Orioles pitcher Billy O’Dell defeated Chicago with one of the weakest home runs ever.
O’Dell sent a ball down right-field line, where it hit the foul line and bounded high over right fielder Al Smith’s head and rolled forever. The two-run “shot” beat the Go-Go Sox, 2-1. Three guesses who lost this hard-luck game? Yep, Billy Pierce.
White Sox starter Ray Herbert’s consecutive scoreless innings streak ended controversially in (where else?) Baltimore. Herbert, a 20-game winner in 1962, had thrown 38 straight scoreless innings when he faced Baltimore’s Johnny Orsino in the third inning. Orsino then hit what appeared to be a home run to left field ... or did he?
Both manager Al Lopez and outfielder Dave Nicholson argued that the ball Orsino hit passed between the top of the wall and an iron railing mounted on top of it with support posts that kept fans from falling over onto the field of play. By going through the gap instead of over the wall, the hit should have been ruled a ground-rule double. The White Sox lost the argument and Herbert lost his scoreless streak, but the Sox won the game, 4-3 in 10 innings, to earn a doubleheader split.
In a 14-3 clubbing of the Tigers in Detroit, Darren Lewis and Robin Ventura hit grand slams. The slams came in the third and ninth innings.
The 2004 season, which had started off well for the White Sox, took a dramatic turn.
On a short pop-up to right field in Cleveland, infielder Willie Harris slammed his shoulder into outfielder Magglio Ordoñez’s knee. Ordoñez went on the injured list, came back to play a few games, then missed the rest of the season. Eventually, he’d go to Europe for an experimental operation, leaving the Sox that winter to sign with Detroit.