Flashback Friday: "Doubleheader Don" Aase

Former O’s closer holds two unique doubleheader distinctions

by Matthew Taylor

Former Oriole Don Aase’s name re-emerged this baseball season when Fausto Carmona and Cliff Lee of the Indians each tossed nine shutout innings in a May doubleheader; it was the first time that two pitchers pulled off the feat since Aase and Reggie Cleveland did so for Boston in a 1977 doubleheader against Toronto.

Aase gave up three hits, struck out four, and walked two at Exhibition Stadium that Monday in 1977 (box score) to improve his record to 4-1 and get the doubleheader started off right for the Sox. Aase made his MLB debut in July of that season and earned his first win on July 26, 1977 (box score) against the Brewers. He ended his rookie year with a 6-2 record and a 3.12 ERA in 13 starts.

However, Aase, pitching for Boston and California during his first four big league seasons, wouldn’t last as a starter. He became a reliever in 1980, a role he would reprise following his return to the majors in 1984 after nearly two seasons on the shelf following elbow surgery.

The Orioles signed Aase as a free agent in 1985, and he rewarded the team by going 10-6 with 14 saves. Aase earned a then-club record 34 saves in 1986, a season in which he made his first and only All-Star appearance.

UPI’s coverage of the 1986 All-Star game follows.

Lou Whitaker hit a two-run homer Tuesday night and the American League held the National League to five hits and its fewest runs in 18 years in a 3-2 victory in the All-Star Game.

The AL, with Don Aase entering with runners on first and third and one out, staved off a ninth-inning rally by getting Chris Brown to hit into a game-ending double play.

The outcome gave the AL its second victory in the last 15 All-Star Games. The AL last won in 1983 and trails the series 36-20-1.

Whitaker’s second-inning homer backed hometown hero Roger Clemens, who opened the AL pitching assault with three perfect innings and was awarded the victory. The Boston Red Sox right-hander was named the Most Valuable Player.

The game also featured an outstanding performance by Dodgers left-hander Fernando Valenzuela, who tied the 52-year-old record of Carl Hubbell by striking out five consecutive batters.

Aase’s 34 saves in 1986 also set a then-major league record for saves earned with a last place team.

Late in ’86 season Aase earned a unique spot in O’s history, another feat connected to doubleheaders. On Aug. 28 he became the first Birds pitcher to lose two games in the same day when he gave up game-winning hits, first to Dave Kingman and later to Carney Langsford, against the Athletics (Game 1; Game 2).

Following post-Oriole stints with the Mets and Dodgers, Aase retired following the 1990 season (career stats).

[Image source: oriolescards.blogspot.com. Click on photo for original.]

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About mptaylor11

Roar from 34, a Baltimore Orioles Blog. Humor. History. Homerism. Since 2006.
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