THE CURSE OF
THE BAMBINO, PART 9
"IT AIN'T OVER 'TIL IT'S OVER"...
Bruce Hurst out-duels Tom Seaver
April 18, 1986 ... At
Fenway Park, Tom Seaver played second banana to left-hander Bruce
Hurst, who hurled a three-hitter that led Boston to a 2-1 victory
over the White Sox.
equaled his career high of 11 strikeouts and gained a measure of revenge for a
3-1 loss to Seaver on Saturday in Chicago. Hurst fell behind in the third, 1-0.
But he refused to give another inch, holding on until Rich Gedman's run-scoring,
game- winning double in the seventh.
performance continued the revival of Boston pitching. It was the Red Sox' third
straight complete game, the first time they've accomplished that feat since May
27, May 30 and June 1, 1984. And although they are only 5-5, they have held the
opposition to two runs or fewer six times.
that effort, because Seaver was in vintage form, pitching well enough to win on
most nights. Boston got only five hits for a four-game Fenway total of 17. But
most of the five were timely, and eventually, they beat Seaver. After Seaver
pitched 4 2/3 hitless innings, Marty Barrett reached him for a single.
And with two
out in the sixth, Bill Buckner and Jim Rice combined to end his shutout bid.
Buckner tripled over the head of Reid Nichols. Then Rice muscled a single up the
middle, erasing the 1-0 Chicago lead. Finally, in the seventh, Boston's raw
strength prevailed against one of the game's premier pitching minds. Tony Armas,
who an inning later would make a game-saving throw, led off with a ground-rule
double to right. He also muscled a fast ball, which squirted away from right
fielder Harold Baines and into the seats. Gedman followed with an opposite-field
double that barely eluded Chicago's new left fielder, Carlton Fisk. The White
Sox outfield had been shaded to the right, and Fisk had no chance on the ball.
Hurst was a
bit too aggressive in the third inning, and it cost him a run. After walking
Bryan Little with one out, Hurst tried to chase down a grounder by Skinner, not
exactly the swiftest of the White Sox, instead of letting Wade Boggs handle it.
His off-balance throw pulled Buckner off the bag, and both runners were safe.
Wayne Tolleson's double then scored Little. The Red Sox' offense eventually gave
Hurst the lead, and the defense preserved it.
With one out
in the eighth, pinch hitter Rodney Craig hit a rope to right. Dwight Evans ran
the ball down but dropped it as it dipped suddenly. Evans' first error since
last May 25 put Craig on second. Tolleson followed with his second hit, a single
to center. Armas, playing shallow, charged the ball and made a quick throw home.
Gedman took the throw a foot or two to the right of the plate, then reached back
to tag Craig, and got a kick in the head to go along with the pats on the back
from his teammates.
now leads the American League with 24 strikeouts. Tonight marked the third time
in his career that he has fanned 11 and the seventh time he has been in double