Flashback Friday: A Rare Orioles Victory Against One of Baseball's Winningest Teams
May 9, 2014
The 1954 Cleveland Indians were good. Very good. The 1954 Baltimore Orioles were bad. Very bad. That's why the story of a regular season game on May 9, 1954, is worth telling during this Diamond Anniversary season and on this Flashback Friday.
On this day 60 years ago, the Orioles defeated the Indians 2-1 in 10 innings at Memorial Stadium. Both starting pitchers went the distance, with O's starter Bob Turley picking up the win and Indians starter Art Houtteman taking the loss.
Turley's line: 10 innings pitched, four hits, one run, 0 earned runs, one walk, five strikeouts, 0 home runs, 33 batters faced.
Houtteman's line: 9.2 innings pitched, seven hits, two runs, one earned run, two walks, 0 strikeouts, 0 home runs, 38 batters faced.
The Orioles path to the walk-off victory started at the bottom of the order and featured lots of small ball. Shortstop Neil Berry reached on on an error, moved to second on a Turley sacrifice bunt, advanced to third on a Bobby Young groundout, and scored on centerfielder Gil Coan's RBI single.
The victory was one of three the O's took against Cleveland in 1954. They lost to the Indians 19 times. The Indians' 19-3 head-to-head record against the Orioles was second best to their 20-2 mark versus the Boston Red Sox.
The Indians won 111 games in 1954, the fourth-most all time. They lost to the New York Giants in the World Series and didn't return to the Fall Classic again until 1995.
Turley finished the 1954 season with a 14-15 record and a 3.46 ERA. He led the majors in strikeouts (185) and walks (181) and was an All Star during his lone season in Baltimore. He won the Cy Young for the Yankees in 1958.