Gary Allenson's 9th inning wall-ball single
makes the Sox a winner
3, 1984 ... The Red Sox rallied in the ninth
inning to bump the Oakland A's, 6-5. Gary Allenson's single off the
wall, a Fenway high-lob special that brought home Mike Easler from
second base, provided the winning margin. Maybe it wasn't the
prettiest hit the Sox had all night, but it did give Allenson his
first game winner and snapped a four-game Boston losing streak.
Allenson came through in the clutch with a classic stroke that
ended the American League's longest nine-inning game of the year (3 hours, 43
minutes) and sent the crowd of 15,793 home happy.
Easler was on second after he and Bill Buckner opened the
inning with singles off right-handed reliever Lary Sorensen. Logic said Allenson
should bunt both runners ahead. But Houk was faced with a dilemma with two slow
runners on base, and an even slower man at the plate. Oakland was complicating
things by charging hard from the corners and moving the shortstop over to cover
For a long time, it seemed the game would run into the Fourth
of July, with neither team having enough fireworks to win. The Red Sox took a
1-0 lead in the second, only to fall behind, 4-1, in a bizarre fourth inning in
which the Sox lost starter Bruce Hurst with back spasms.
When Davey Lopes walked and Bruce Bochte singled, it was clear
something was wrong with Hurst, and he was removed in favor of Rich Gale. Bochte
was thrown out at second trying to complete a double steal, but things went bad
for Gale after that. He walked Mike Heath, then gave up a two-run double to Tony
Phillips for a 3-1 Oakland lead. Phillips scored moments later on a single by
But the 4-1 lead vanished in a three-run fifth-inning rally by
the Red Sox, highlighted by Easler's 15th home run of the year. The Sox made it
4-2 on a two-out single by Jim Rice, a wild pitch and a base hit off the wall
that extended Tony Armas' hitting streak to 16 games. Easler followed with a net
job to left-center, his fifth homer off a lefthander.
Oakland came back to take a 5-4 lead in the top of the sixth.
A double by Bochte and a one-out infield single by Phillips set the stage for a
little confrontation between Gale and Henderson. Henderson went down on a 1-2
pitch, and Gale went out of the game after Henderson lined the next offering
into center, scoring Bochte. Lefthander John Henry Johnson, just off the
disabled list, snuffed out the threat and turned the pitching chores over to Bob
Stanley for the seventh.
By the time Stanley went to work, the Sox had tied the game at
5- 5. Singles by Wade Boggs, Rice and Armas produced the run. The Sox almost won
it in the eighth, but a controversial double-play call by first-base umpire Joe
Brinkman put an end to the threat. Boggs reached base on an error and stole
second as Rick Miller struck out. He moved to third on a single to left by Rice,
but Armas hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Sorensen, who dodged the bullet in the eighth, wasn't so lucky
in the ninth. Easler got his second hit, a blooper to left. Then Buckner ripped
a ball that just skipped past shortstop Phillips, setting up the game-winning
hit by Allenson. The victory went to Stanley (4-6), his second in a row.