“Orioles Classics” #TBT: A trio of tripleheaders on tap

Back in the days before I smartened up, the notion of a tripleheader was quite intriguing. Doubleheaders of my youth meant glorious Sundays spent at Memorial Stadium, figuring how best to stretch five bucks so that it lasted two games. And if the nightcap went more than the regulation nine innings? No worries, since Dad was listening on the radio and knew exactly when to head to the bus stop on Wilkens Avenue to pick us up for the return trip home.

Speaking strictly as a baseball professional, two games is plenty. And I’ve covered a few marathons that made a single game feel like one of those Sunday doubleheaders.

In the recent past, the Orioles and two of their farm teams - Single-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie - put together a marathon day of baseball for hardy fans that included three games. If memory serves, a game at Frederick started late in the morning, the Bowie contest in mid-afternoon and a home game at Camden Yards kicked off at 7 p.m. Just pay for tickets and bus transportation and - presto! - a tripleheader day of innings aplenty.

This week on “Orioles Classics” on MASN, we’ve got a trio of tripleheaders on Friday and Monday, plus two games from the 1983 World Series and a trio of 1997 American League Division Series battles. Watch our retrospective this week and you’ll see Orioles heroes old and new, all from the comfort of your own living room or man cave.

Thursday, April 23 - 1:30 p.m. - No one crushes home runs like Chris Davis, and on Aug. 15, 2015, he went deep twice against the A’s as the O’s prevailed in the battle of the vowels. Davis’ two-run blast in the fourth got the Birds on the board and his two-out walk-off in the ninth snapped a 3-3 standoff.

Friday, April 24 - 9 a.m. - The Giants were wrapping up a weekend interleague series on Aug. 14, 2016 by steamrolling the Orioles, holding a 7-1 edge through five innings. Then things got fun. The O’s scored seven times in the final three frames, with Jonathan Schoop’s three-run shot in the ninth rallying them to an 8-7 triumph.

Friday, April 24 - 4 p.m. - Chris Tillman was almost perfect on July 18, 2015 against the Tigers at Comerica Park. The right-hander yielded a leadoff single to Ian Kinsler in the first, then nothing else the rest of the way. Manny Machado homered off David Price and Caleb Joseph plated a pair of runs in a 3-0 masterpiece by Tillman, who walked one and fanned eight.

Friday, April 24 - 10:30 p.m. - Down 2-0 in the ninth to the A’s on April 29, 2012, the Orioles erupted for five runs and a 5-2 walk-off victory. Matt Wieters tied it with a two-run double and Wilson Betemit won it with a three-run homer off Grant Balfour.

Saturday, April 25 - 11 a.m. - The Birds broke out the lumber on Mother’s Day 2016, kayoing the A’s with six home runs in an 11-3 rout. Machado went deep twice, with Pedro Álvarez, Schoop, Mark Trumbo and Joey Rickard also showing off their power strokes. Tillman spotted the A’s three runs in the first, then cruised the rest of the way, working 6 1/3 innings for the win.

Saturday, April 25 - 4:30 p.m. - The O’s and Phillies entered Game 3 of the 1983 World Series squared at a game each in the best-of-seven Interstate 95 showdown. Jim Palmer came on in relief of starter Mike Flanagan and pitched two scoreless frames to pick up the win, giving the future Hall of Famer Fall Classic victories in three different decades. Dan Ford homered and reached on a seventh-inning error that plated the winning run in a 3-2 Orioles victory.

Sunday, April 26 - 8 p.m. - Prime time is the perfect time to relive the Orioles’ last World Series win from Game 5 in 1983. Lefty Scott McGregor went the distance, checking the Phillies on five hits in a 5-0 win at Veterans Stadium. It’s worth the wait to watch shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. cradle a soft line drive off the bat of Gary Maddox for the final out, an enduring memory for all O’s fans.

Monday, April 27 - 9 a.m. - Our second tripleheader of the week kicks off with Game 1 of the 1996 American League Division Series against the Indians, a 10-4 romp at Camden Yards that featured Bobby Bonilla’s four-RBI day. Brady Anderson went deep in the first, B.J. Surhoff homered twice and Bonilla connected for a longball to make a winner of lefty David Wells.

Monday, April 27 - 4 p.m. - How about afternoon tea with 1996 ALDS Game 2? Pinkies up as the O’s take command with a 7-4 win over the Tribe. A three-run eighth inning loomed large in Birdland as an error, a sacrifice fly and Roberto Alomar’s RBI single did in the Indians.

Monday, April 27 - 7 p.m. - Sept. 6, 2012 was a big day at Camden Yards. Before the game, the Orioles dedicated Ripken’s bronze likeness. Then the Birds made the Iron Man proud, beating the Yankees and pulling into a first-place tie with the Bronx Bombers in the American League East. New York’s five-run eighth knotted the score at 6-6, then the Birds proceeded to score four times in the bottom of the frame as Adam Jones and Davis wrapped solo shots around Wieters’ two-run homer.

Tuesday, April 28 - 9 a.m. - Game 3 of the 1996 ALDS marked the Indians’ lone victory in the series, a 9-4 romp that delayed the Orioles’ celebration by a day. Jesse Orosco took the loss and Surhoff homered.

Tuesday, April 28 - 4 p.m. - Wieters saved his best at-bat for the eighth inning on June 24, 2012 in an interleague game against the Nationals at Camden Yards. His two-run homer off Sean Burnett was the decisive blow in a 2-1 Orioles victory.

Tuesday, April 28 - 11:30 p.m. - Who wants to watch late-night talk shows from hosts’ living rooms when you can revel in the O’s opening day win over the Twins on March 29, 2018. The season’s first game went to extra innings in a 2-2 tie before Jones stepped to the plate and ended it with a leadoff homer in the 11th off Fernando Rodney.

Wednesday, April 29 - 9 a.m. - It took 12 innings for them to do it, but the Orioles’ 4-3 victory over the Indians on Oct. 5, 1996 ended the ALDS in four games. Alomar came through with the go-ahead solo homer off José Mesa and Randy Myers closed out the win.

Wednesday, April 29 - 7 p.m. - Last July 25, Stevie Wilkerson accomplished something no other position player had done: recording a save in the O’s 10-8 win in a 16-inning slugfest with the Angels in Anaheim. After Jonathan Villar’s two-run homer gave the visitors the lead in the top of the 16th, Wilkerson moved from center field to the mound and needed only 14 pitches to retire the Halos in order, getting Albert Pujols to sky to center field for the game’s final out after 6 hours, 19 minutes.

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