75 YEARS & A FENWAY HANGOVER ...
Bill Buckner provides a walk-off victory

June 2, 1987 ... After seemingly gift-rapping the game for the Twins, the Red Sox snatched it back at the last minute as Bill Buckner's two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning off Minnesota relief ace Jeff Reardon lifted Boston to a 6-5 victory at Fenway Park.

Buckner's hit scored Wade Boggs, who had opened the inning with a single, and pinch runner Ellis Burks, who had replaced Mike Greenwell after he had doubled Boggs to third.

Buckner's heroics removed the onus from reliever Calvin Schiraldi, who entered a tie game in the eighth inning, uncorked a wild pitch on his first offering, to Gary Gaetti, and watched Kirby Puckett romp home from third for a 5-4 Minnesota lead. That capped a stirring Minnesota comeback from a 4-0 deficit. Minnesota starter Juan Berenguer issued a club-record nine walks and walked home three of Boston's four runs in his 3 2/3-inning stint, and Wade Boggs doubled home Spike Owen with the other.

But the Twins roughed up Sox starter John Leister when Tom Brunansky clubbed a solo homer off the rookie in the fifth, and Kent Hrbek tied the game with a three-run shot in the sixth.

When Schiraldi faltered in the eighth, it seemed the Twins had survived the league-high 12 walks they handed out to Boston batters. But Buckner ultimately made them pay the price.

In the first inning, it was clear that Berenguer's stuff couldn't dazzle anybody. The Red Sox took advantage of four walks and a single to jump to a 2-0 lead. The first walk went to Dave Henderson, who replaced Burks as leadoff man and center fielder. Marty Barrett singled to right, sending Henderson to third. Boggs walked, loading the bases. And after Jim Rice struck out, Greenwell drew another walk, forcing in Henderson. Berenguer struck out Dwight Evans but then walked Buckner on four pitches, forcing in the second run and giving Leister an early cushion.

The Sox made it 3-0 in the second without benefit of Berenguer's wildness. Leadoff hitter Owen doubled behind first, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Boggs' two-out double off the left-field wall.

In the fourth, Berenguer continued his generosity, and it not only cost him a run but got him removed from the game. Henderson drew a leadoff walk and was sacrificed to second by Owen. Walks to Boggs (intentional) and Rice loaded the bases. Greenwell popped to third for the second out. But then Berenguer walked Evans, forcing in another run that put Boston ahead, 4-0. Berenguer, who went to a three-ball count on 13 of the 24 batters he faced, was replaced by Mark Portugual, who retired the side.

Leister, who had lasted only two innings in his major league debut, pitched four strong innings, holding the Twins to two harmless singles, before he got into trouble. The shutout ended in the fifth when Brunansky slugged his 13th homer of the year, a solo shot with one out. Brunansky's homer was only the tip of the iceberg. The dangerous Twins tied the game in the sixth.

Dan Gladden walked and Greg Gagne doubled to right-center. Leister dodged one bullet, striking out Puckett on a 3-2 curveball. But Hrbek lashed Leister's first offering for a three-run homer into the right-field seats. With the score 4-4, Leister was replaced by Steve Crawford, who got out of the inning with no further trouble.

Minnesota broke the tie in the eighth when the well-laid plans of manager John McNamara unraveled. Crawford walked leadoff man Gagne, who was forced by Puckett at second base. McNamara wanted Joe Sambito to face Hrbek, but the strategy backfired as the Twins first baseman singled to center, sending Puckett to third. Schiraldi took over for Sambito, and the Sox were hoping for a strikeout. What they got was the run-producing wild pitch. But the Sox last-ditch rally spared Schiraldi another disheartening defeat.

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

MINNESOTA TWINS

0

0

0

0

1

3

0

1

0

 

 

5

7

1

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

2

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

2

 

 

6

6

2

 

 

W-Calvin Schiraldi (3-3)
L-Jeff Reardon (2-4)
Attendance - 16,910

 2B-Gagne (Minn), Owen (Bost), Boggs (Bost),
 Greenwell (Bost)

 HR-Brunansky (Minn), Hrbek (Minn)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Dave Henderson rf 3 2 0 .232  

 

Marty Barrett 2b 3 1 1 .191  

 

Don Baylor ph 1 0 0 .221  

 

Ed Romero 2b 0 0 0 .288  

 

Wade Boggs 3b 3 1 2 .346  

 

Jim Rice lf 3 0 0 .252  

 

Mike Greenwell dh 4 0 1 .272  

 

Ellis Burks pr 0 1 0 .225  

 

Dwight Evans rf 3 0 0 .296  

 

Bill Buckner 1b 3 0 1 .253  

 

Rich Gedman c 4 0 0 .173  

 

Spike Owen ss 3 1 1 .208  

 

    IP H ER BB SO  

 

John Leister 5.1 5 4 1 5  

 

Steve Crawford 2 0 1 3 0  

 

Joe Sambito - 1 0 0 0  

 

Calvin Schiraldi 1.2 1 0 0 2  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1987 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

New York Yankees

32 19 -

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays

29 20 2

 

 

Milwaukee Brewers

26 21 4

 

 

Baltimore Orioles

27 24 5

 

 

Detroit Tigers

24 24 6 1/2

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX

23

28

9

 

 

Cleveland Indians

17 34 15