WEEKEND: Memorial Stadium stretch run begins with 10-game homestand


The Memorial Stadium countdown gets serious this weekend, with the Orioles opening a 10-game homestand against the Kansas City Royals. After this stretch of games, the Orioles will have only six home games remaining -- three against Boston Sept. 23-25, and the last three games of the season against Detroit, Oct. 4-6.

In their continuing series of commemorations of special moments of the last 38 years, the Orioles tonight will recognize the 20th anniversary of the four pitchers who each won 20 games in 1971. Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar and Pat Dobson were only the second (and last) quartet from the same team to accomplish the feat. All four will be present for an in-game ceremony tonight (7:35, HTS), when Mike Mussina (2-4, 4.38) faces Bret Saberhagen (10-7, 3.06).

Either tomorrow night or Sunday, as the series with the Royals continues, the Orioles will honor the 50 millionth fan to attend a major-league baseball game at Memorial Stadium. The total is currently 78,857 below that number, which will include attendance for both regular and postseason play.

During this homestand, which includes three games against the Yankees and four next weekend against Cleveland, the Orioles should also continue to close in on a single-season attendance ++ record. They need 467,525 in the last 16 dates (an average of 29,221) to surpass the mark of 2,535,208, set in 1989.

With 150,000 expected to attend the final series of the year, that means the Orioles need an average of 24,425 in the other 13

dates to set the all-time record in the final season at Memorial Stadium. The Orioles averaged 32,308 for the first 64 dates this season.

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