“DIARY OF A WINNER”
THE CURSE OF
THE BAMBINO, PART 9
May 3, 1986 ... The Red Sox beat the Oakland A's, 4-3, because everybody did his job. It was a win right off the blueprints. Everything worked according to plan. It was as if Boston GM Lou Gorman had complete control of the outcome.
- Mike Brown, the No. 5 starter who had thrown only one inning since April 20, kept the Red Sox in the game for almost five innings.
- Long reliever Sammy Stewart pitched three and two-thirds innings of near- perfect relief for his second win in four days.
- Dartboard ornament Bob Stanley slammed the door in the ninth, getting Carney Lansford to fly to center with the bases loaded and two outs. It was Stanley's third save in his last three outings and maybe it's time to get off his back.
- Slugger Jim Rice hit in his tenth straight game, and crushed a two-run homer to put the Sox ahead in the third.
- Contact-hitter Marty Barrett executed a perfect hit and run to set up the winning run in the sixth.
- Don Baylor, famed for aggressive base running, went from first to third on Barrett's perfectly placed grounder, and scored the winning run on a double-play grounder by Steve Lyons.
Are these, in fact, the new and improved Red Sox? Maybe. The Sox are 13-9 and won yesterday because they were smart, aggressive and effective - adjectives not always associated with the Townies.
It was 3-3 when Baylor walked to lead off the sixth. Baylor is 36 years old and didn't steal a base last year, but he knows what he's doing on the paths. With Barrett coming up, a bunt or a hit and run seemed logical. Lyons and Ed Romero were due after Barrett and this was no time to wait for a home run. Baylor took off as Oakland right-hander Chris Codiroli went into his windup. A's shortstop Alfredo Griffin moved toward second to cover and Barrett hit a slow grounder to where Griffin had been standing. The ball bounced toward short with the speed of a snow plow, but Griffin was trapped. The ball dribbled off Griffin's glove and made it just past the infield dirt. With Baylor on third and Barrett on first, Lyons grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. The rally was dead, but Baylor had scored the fourth run and Steward and Stanley made it stand.
Sammy Stewart is valued as a strong-armed, long reliever who can take the ball every day and keep his team in the game though the middle innings. He came in with runners on first and third and two outs in the fifth, and got Griffin to fly to right. After walking Bill Bathe leading off the sixth, Stewart retired 10 consecutive A's.
Dwayne Murphy hit a one-out single off Stewart in the ninth, then rookie strongman Jose Canseco walked on four pitches.
Stanley got Dave Kingman on an infield chopper which moved the runners to second and third. He ran the count to 3-0 on Bruce Bochte, then walked him intentionally. Carney Lansford flied to center on a 1-2 pitch to end it.
The A's stranded 12 base runners, nine in the first six innings. Brown got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first, but gave up a pair of runs in the second when Tony Phillips scored Griffin with a single and Murphy tripled to center to score Phillips.
The Sox scored three in a strange third inning. After Marc Sullivan led with a single, high off the wall in left, Evans had a two-run homer taken away when umpire Terry Cooney missed his assignment. Cooney was supposed to be watching Evans' long fly to left center, but instead watched Sullivan rounding second. The ball caromed off a stanchion which supports the net atop the fence, and came back into play. Murphy retrieved the ball and fired it into the infield as a stunned Evans stopped at second.
It didn't matter (except for Evans losing a homer). Bill Buckner scored Sullivan with a ground-out, and Rice made it 3-2 with his fourth homer. The A's tied it when they chased Brown in the sixth, but the Sox won it with Barrett's bleeder in the bottom of the inning.
Rice has hit in 10 straight games (16-42, .381) and is hitting .458 (11-24) with three homers lifetime against Chris Codiroli. Bill Buckner had two hits, but is still struggling at .220.
Mike Brown lasted 4 2/3 innings. That's the shortest stint for a Sox starter since Opening Day when Bruce Hurst went 4 2/3 against the Tigers. Brown threw 87 pitches.