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Today's Card ...        Manny Alexander --- 1996

                                                                                April 18-20, 2014
On This Date in Major League
Baseball... April 19, 1996

“I can throw Skip,” can be heard when
blowout games make it necessary for
position players to volunteer to take the
mound. However, we assume on this date,
April 19, 1996, Manny Alexander didn’t
have much fun when he took the mound.
It was an early season contest, in which
neither the Orioles or the Rangers hurlers
fared. Baltimore starter Kent Merker
pitched into the 5th inning, allowing eight
runs, though the lefty performed better
than his mound opponent Roger Pavlik
who allowed six runs before being lifted in
the fourth inning.

The game would move along Texas
reliever Dennis Cook provided three
innings of solid relief (one run) and Gil
Heredia followed with an inning of shutout
work, as the Texas bats led a comeback
effort to give the Rangers a 10-7 lead by
the eighth inning. There Orioles  reliever
Armando Benitez struggled with command
and was replaced by southpaw Jesse
Orrosco with the bases loaded. The
southpaw would allow seven runs  on six
hits and two walks while only coaxing a fly
out.

In comes the volunteer, utility infielder
Manny Alexander who would proceed to
walk the first three batters before enticing
Rusty Greer sacrifice fly out to center
field. Another walk (this time to Mark
McLemore) would reload the bases for
Kevin Elster who took Alexander deep for
a grand slam which ended the scoring at
26-7, as Darryl Hamilton grounded out
second baseman Roberto Alomar for the
final out of the stanza. By the end of the
carnage, Texas had erupted for 16 runs in
the inning.

In all, Alexander would go two-thirds of an
inning for Baltimore manager Davey
Johnson, walking five and allowing five
runs all on one hit, the Elster grand slam.
Never to take the mound again, Alexander
owns a 67.50 ERA in one of the worst
emergency pitching outings in big league
history.



Editor’s Note: For Elster, it would the  first
of three big league grand slams, the
others coming on August 5, 1996 against
White Sox hurler Wilson Alvarez; while his
last was as a Dodger versus Cincinnati’s
Norm Charlton on April 21, 2000. Elster
would hit 88 long balls during his 13-year
career.