Wrapping up the regular season, the Orioles split a home doubleheader with the Minnesota Twins, then fly to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers, 8-5 favorites to win the World Series. In Game 1, just as they'd done Opening Day, Frank and Brooks Robinson both homer, this time in the first inning as the Orioles win, 5-2. Moe Drabowsky gets the win, rescuing starter Dave McNally from a bases-loaded jam in the third inning and pitching 6 2/3 innings of one-hit relief while striking out 11.
Manager Hank Bauer will not use his bullpen again. Though the Dodgers pitched 52 complete games to the Orioles' 23, it's Baltimore's starters who shine. In Game 2, Jim Palmer, 20, pitches his first major league shutout to beat three-time Cy Young Award winner Sandy Koufax, 6-0. Los Angeles commits six errors, three in one inning by center fielder Willie Davis.
At Friendship Airport (now BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport), several thousand cheering fans greet the returning Orioles, and in a caravan of hundreds of cars, follow the team bus downtown to Memorial Stadium at 1:30 a.m.
Game 3 belongs to 21-year-old Wally Bunker, who, despite a sore arm, pitches a six-hitter to stop the Dodgers, 1-0, before an announced 54,445. The Orioles manage only three hits, but one is a 430-foot blast by center fielder Paul Blair, who homered six times all year. Circling the bases, Blair later confides, "I was in another world."
The Orioles have held the defending world champs scoreless for 24 straight innings and are one victory from sweeping the Series.