THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 6 ...
"THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM"
Jim Lonborg triples in the winning run
and wins his 20th game
12, 1967 ... The Red Sox tied the Minnesota
Twins for first place in the American League, as Jim Lonborg won his
20th game in beating the Kansas City Athletics, 3 to 1. He hadn't
been his sharpest through the first eight innings, escaping trouble
three times, once with the bases loaded and none out, and twice more
with men on first and third and only one out.
In the second inning, Lonborg hit Ramon Webster to lead off the inning and
Jim Gosger singled Webster to third. But Sal Bando struck out and Phil Roof
The third inning had Bert Campaneris on third after a double and a single by
John Donaldson. When Hershberger struck out, Donaldson broke for second. The
throw went back to Lonborg and Campaneris got caught between third and home and
finally run down, to end the inning.
In the fourth, Webster singled over second, Danny Cater hit one through the
hole to right. Gosger walked. But Bando fouled out, and Roof hit one down to
Jerry Adair at third, who turned it into a doubleplay.
In the fifth inning, Campaneris singled and then stole second. Donaldson
walked and then Hershberger hit into another doubleplay. The fourth doubleplay
came after Webster had singled to open the sixth, and Cater grounded one down to
Reggie Smith hit a home run off Catfish Hunter in the fifth inning and
Campaneris tied the game with a home run off Lonborg, in the top of the eighth.
Hunter had not given a hit to the Red Sox for the first four innings, but Reggie
hit the first pitch in the fifth inning, into the Kansas City bullpen.
Campaneris hit a 3-2 fastball into the screen, in left-center, to open the
eighth and tie the game.
But in the bottom of the eighth, after Reggie and become Hunter's 12th
strikeout victim of the game, Mike Ryan singled to center field. José Tartabull
came into pinch run for Ryan with Lonborg at the plate. Everyone in Fenway Park
knew Lonborg would bunt to move Tartabull along, but Lonborg choked down on his
bat and as Hunter wound up, with both the firstbaseman and the thirdbaseman
moving in, Lonborg drew back his bat, took a full swing and lined the ball to
Both centerfielder Jim Gosger and rightfielder Mike Hershberger broke for the
ball. Hershberger reached up and the ball escaped his glove by about two inches.
Gosger was right behind him but the ball sped past both of them to the fence in
right-center. Lonborg ended up on third with the go-ahead run batted in. Lonnie
scored when Mike Andrews lined a long drive to centerfield, putting the Sox
ahead for good, 3 to 1.