Rick Cerone's walk-off finishes off
a wild game at Fenway

May 31, 1989 ... The Red Sox saved Jody Reed from his own particular hell and turned Lee Smith from loser to victor in the process of beating the Oakland Athletics, 4-3, in 10 innings. After a one-hour rain delay, the two teams embarked on the wildest night of the season at Fenway Park. Reed cost the Sox two runs with errors, the second on a routine throw to first with two out in the ninth inning and the Sox leading, 2-1.

Smith gave up a home run to Dave Parker that cleared the visitors' bullpen in the top of the 10th. But the Sox came back with two in the bottom of the inning; pinch hitter Rick Cerone drove in the game-winner with a single off lefthander Curt Young with two out.

The play occurred after Smith had relieved Roger Clemens (eight innings, five hits, 10 strikeouts) to start the 10th. Smith walked the first batter of the inning, Tony Phillips, and with two out found himself pitching to nemesis Luis Polonia with pinch runner Stan Javier on second. Polonia hit a chopping grounder to Reed's left. The shortstop fielded the ball on a difficult hop, then simply threw short to first baseman Nick Esasky. The ball rolled up Esasky's arm. Javier scored from second.

For his part, Clemens was denied ending his three-game losing streak, even though he had his most strikeouts since April 25th. It was the closest to vintage Clemens seen in some time. He had thrown 151 pitches by the eighth, however, and manager Joe Morgan went to Smith, who has three wins and a save in his last four appearances. This time he was only fortunate: his walk to Phillips cost him dearly, and Parker hammered him for the first homer he has allowed since last August.

The Sox rescued him in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Dwight Evans led off with a single to left off righthander Eric Plunk, and Ellis Burks followed with a searing double off the left-center-field wall. The A's elected to pitch to designated hitter Sam Horn, and Horn scored Evans with ground ball to first baseman Mark McGwire. Young came in and walked Nick Esasky intentionally, and Morgan sent up Cerone for Gedman, who was 0 for 4 and had been booed relentlessly the entire night. Cerone lined a clean single to right, winning the game.

The A's first run was unearned, the result of Glenn Hubbard's ground ball bouncing off Reed's glove on a difficult play in the second. Clemens had given up a leadoff double to Carney Lansford, who stole third and scored on the two-out error.

The Red Sox tied the game with their first run in the fifth inning, but it was the bare minimum. After Horn led off with a double off the Wall and Esasky moved him to third, Gedman and Reed both failed before Marty Barrett drove in Horn with a two-out single to right. The next batter was Wade Boggs, who reached base in his first two at-bats on a single off the wall and an error. This time, with runners on first and second, he popped out to Lansford behind third base, ending the inning.

The Sox appeared to get a break in the fourth when Phillips allowed a Boggs ground ball to roll through his legs. Up came Mike Greenwell replenished with new bats but weighted down by an 0-for-15 slump. In a heartbeat both were gone. Greenwell struck out on a low, inside pitch. While he was arguing with plate umpire Dale Scott, Boggs stole second, then inexplicably left the base. He was tagged out by Phillips, rendering useless an ensuing single by Evans.

Clemens is 28-1 with six no-decisions in the 35 games in which he has struck out at least 10 batters.

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

OAKLAND ATHLETICS

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

 

3

6

1

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

2

 

4

12

2

 

 

W-Lee Smith (4-1)
L-Eric Plunk (1-1)
Attendance - 33,510

 2B-Reed (Bost), Horn (Bost), Burks (Bost), Lansford (Oak)

 HR-Parker (Oak)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Jody Reed ss 5 0 2 .285  

 

Marty Barrett 2b 5 0 1 .258  

 

Wade Boggs 3b 4 0 1 .292  

 

Mike Greenwell lf 5 1 1 .298  

 

Dwight Evans rf 5 1 2 .261  

 

Ellis Burks cf 4 1 1 .292  

 

Sam Horn dh 4 1 1 .128  

 

Nick Esasky 1b 3 0 2 .258  

 

Rich Gedman c 4 0 0 .205  

 

Rick Cerone ph 1 0 1 .283  

 

    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Roger Clemens 8 5 0 3 10  

 

Lee Smith 2 1 1 1 4  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1989 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

Baltimore Orioles

26 22 -

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX

24

24

2

 

 

Cleveland Indians

25 26 2 1/2

 

 

New York Yankees

23 27 4

 

 

Milwaukee Brewers

22 28 5

 

 

Detroit Tigers

22 28 5

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays

20 31 7 1/2