Left, right, left, right

(MAY 9, 1987)

Orlando Sentinel - - Day 59 - By Mike Ki­ley

This story pub­lished af­ter Bal­ti­more’s Ed­die Mur­ray be­came the first ma­jor lea­guer to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in con­sec­u­tive games with two blasts against the White Sox on May 8 and 9, 1987.

CHICAGO — Ed­die Mur­ray sought out his old friend Jim Fregosi for a pri­vate talk be­fore Satur­day night’s game at Comiskey Park.

“I’m not go­ing to tell you what’s com­ing tonight,” the White Sox man­ager joked as he ap­proached the beck­on­ing Mur­ray.

It was Mur­ray who should have told Fregosi what was com­ing — again. Fregosi could have gone home then for a bar­be­cue rather than stay at work and get roasted.

The Ori­oles’ first base­man matched his two homers Friday with two more homers Satur­day, as well as con­tribut­ing a dou­ble and sin­gle, and Bal­ti­more chewed up the Sox with six homers and 17 hits and spit out a 15-6 vic­tory.

It was enough to make Fregosi swal­low his chew, a new habit now that he has quit smok­ing cig­a­rettes. But he bore up bravely and tried his hand at sit­down com­edy.

“They were go­ing out so quick, I couldn’t see them all,” he said from his of­fice chair.

“Fire­works dur­ing the game, fire­works af­ter the game.

“I got tired of count­ing. How many homers did they have?

“Yeah, I know all about Mur­ray set­ting a record. I read all that stuff when it comes on the score­board. What else is there to do?”

The record ap­plies to switch-hit­ters. Mur­ray be­came the first to hit homers in con­sec­u­tive games from both the left and right sides of the plate.

He now has home­red left and right in eight games, two short of the record held by Mickey Man­tle.

Mur­ray turned down re­quests to talk about his ac­com­plish­ments. His man­ager, Cal Rip­ken Sr., treated it as if it were a daily oc­cur­rence.

“Home-run hit­ters go in streaks.

We’ve seen it be­fore with Ed­die,”

Rip­ken said.

The wind was blow­ing out, and the warm weather con­di­tions were so ripe for homers that Fregosi pre­dicted be­fore the game there would be a Ruthian poke onto the roof.

Larry Sheets proved him right. He rock­eted the sec­ond of three Ori­ole homers against re­liever Bob James onto the right-field roof.

“A home run is a home run,” Sheets said.

These Ori­oles are a tough bunch to im­press, even when they’re do­ing the im­press­ing.

James made no head­way in his at­tempt to prove to Fregosi he should be back in his role of closer.

Fregosi has shifted James to long re­lief, os­ten­si­bly to help re­build his con­fi­dence.

Mur­ray de­flated James, how­ever, in the sixth in­ning with a line shot to the up­per-deck seats in right.

“James made some good pitches and he made some bad pitches,” Fregosi said diplo­mat­i­cally.

Re­liever Joel McKeon didn’t need Fregosi to speak for him. “I got the ball down the mid­dle of the plate and good hit­ters will make you pay,” he said about al­low­ing three homers.

It was McKeon, the loser in re­lief of starter Joel Davis, who gave up the first homer to Mur­ray. This one went to the up­per deck in left and was Mur­ray’s sec­ond game-win­ning home run in two days.

He home­red Friday with two out in the ninth af­ter Cal Rip­ken sin­gled to post a 7-6 vic­tory. His two-out homer Satur­day with Rip­ken on base put the Ori­oles ahead 7-6 in the fourth, and the Sox never mounted a threat af­ter that.


Gal­lant Fox, with jockey Earl Sande aboard, won the Preak­ness Stakes on May 9, 1930, and is the only Triple Crown win­ner to record the feat when the Preak­ness pre­ceded the Ken­tucky Derby.


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