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Road Trip to Baltimore

August 1-3, 2003

Oriole Park at Camden Yards Nomar signs

For Saturday night's game, we again arrived before the gates opened. As soon as we could go into the seating areas, I went down behind home plate to watch the Red Sox take batting practice and try to get autographs. I was there for a while, and made my way to the front, but the only one who signed in the area where I was standing was bench coach Jerry Narron.

For this game our seats were in right field. There were a lot of Red Sox fans nearby - in fact, there were a lot of Red Sox fans everywhere we went all weekend. Saturday's attendance was 49,334, and on Sunday it was announced that that was the second-highest attendance ever since Oriole Park at Camden Yards opened. Bill Mueller was out again today with the infected wisdom tooth, but at least this time we knew why Damian Jackson was playing third.

Nomah hits a homah Derek Lowe was the starter, and he gave up a run in the first inning. But after that he settled down, inducing plenty of groundouts as usual. In the fifth inning, Nomar Garciaparra hit a home run with Johnny Damon aboard, giving the Red sox a 2-1 lead. (That's Nomar hitting the homer in the picture to the right.) The Sox had trailed the whole time the night before, so it felt good to finally have the lead. Lowe was doing well, so they should be able to just pad the lead a little more and cruise.

Unfortunately, the lead was short-lived. Lowe gave up three straight singles to start the sixth, and the game was tied. He got the next batter out, then issued an intentional walk to set up a double play. Brook Fordyce gounded out, but another run scored. Then Felix Morban, the number-nine hitter, ripped a two-run single. Mike Timlin relieved Lowe, but gave up another run-scoring single and a two-run homer before getting out of it. Just like that, it was 8-2, Orioles. Seven-run innings are fun if it's the Red Sox scoring the seven, but it's just plain ugly the other way around.

One thing that annoyed me in Baltimore is that Orioles fans don't cheer unless a run is currently scoring or they're told to on the scoreboard. I'm used to hearing anticipatory clapping as the pitcher gets strike one and strike two, rooting him on toward the strikeout. But here, there'd be nothing unless the scoreboard suddenly flashed "TWO STRIKES!" and then everyone would cheer. If they were really into the game, they'd have already been cheering. For those of us who have been raised at Fenway, it's intuitive. We always clap when our pitcher has two strikes on a batter, or our batter's got a full count, or similar situations, without even thinking about it. I'm always surprised in other ballparks when they wait to cheer until something actually happens, instead of trying to make it happen.

The game didn't get any better. The Red Sox didn't even pick up a hit the rest of the way, while the Orioles tacked on a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth, to hand the Red Sox an 11-2 loss.

Camden Yards

For more pictures, please go on to...

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This page and all photos copyright © 2003-2004 by Kristen D. Cornette.