I’ve had five-hit games on the brain all week.
It started with Matt Wieters on Sunday in San Francisco, which was the third five-hit game by an Orioles catcher. Bob Melvin (1991) and Clint Courtney (1954) had the others.
Then, Hyun Soo Kim came within one hit of being only the third Orioles rookie with a five-hit game, following Al Bumbry in 1973 and Cal Ripken in 1982. I wrote about that for my weekly guest post on MASNSports.com.
Since it’s a Flashback Friday, and I’m focusing on the 1966 Orioles this season in honor of the 50th anniversary of the team’s first World Series title, let’s talk about the ’66 Orioles and five-hit games. There’s plenty to discuss.
The 1966 Orioles are tied with the 1974 Orioles for the most five-hit games in team history with four each. Both teams were led by one player with multiple five-hit games. It was Tommy Davis in ’74 who had two five-hit games. Mark Belanger and Rich Coggins had the others. In ’66, Luis Aparicio led the way.
Aparicio had a team-record three five-hit games in 1966. The first came on June 2 and was followed by five-hit games on Aug. 17 and Sept. 4. The Orioles won all three contests. The only other Oriole with more than one five-hit game in a season was Davis in ’74. Russ Snyder, batting behind Aparicio, provided the O’s with their other five-hit game of the 1966 season on June 26.
Aparicio led the league with 707 plate appearances in 1966 and 659 at-bats. He batted .276 with a .311 on-base percentage. He had 74 runs created, the third-best total of his 18-year career.