Nick Esasky leads the Sox
in a sweep of the Twins

June 24, 1989 ... The Red Sox won two, once by day, 6-2, and again by night, 11-2. In a matter of a little more than eight hours and 21 hits, the hometown team dropped a couple of losses on the Minnesota Twins at Fenway.

In the nightcap, after Dwight Evans' three RBIs sparked the Game 1 win, the Sox completed their first doubleheader sweep of the year with some clutch hitting from the fourth inning through the seventh. They rallied from a 1-0 deficit and pummeled Twins pitching for all 11 runs on nine hits across the four innings.

The biggest of the bashes came from Nick Esasky, who ended Boston's longest home run drought in 15 years with a three-run blast over The Wall in the sixth. The drive, Esasky's 11th homer, put the Sox on top, 9-2, and there was virtually nothing left for the Twins to do but use infielder John Moses as a relief pitcher in the eighth. He ended up among their best pitchers all day.

Joe Morgan was thinking about the quick hook in the fifth inning of Game 2, when he pulled starter Wes Gardner in favor of Smithson. Gardner had collected six strikeouts over the first four innings and the one Minnesota run came on a walk, a stolen base and a wild pitch. But in the fifth, the hard-throwing Gardner's fastball slowed down and Morgan yanked him after he walked Randy Bush and Gene Larkin.

Smithson steamrolled over his former Twin teammates, while the Sox turned into the East Coast version of the Bash Brothers. By the end of the seventh, the Sox were in command, 11-1, and the friendly righthander had weaved his way through his old buddies by allowing only one hit in his four-inning stint.

Before Esasky's clout, the Sox got it going in the fourth off starter Fred Toliver (1-3). Esasky tied it, 1-1, with a run-scoring double and Rick Cerone knocked in the winner with a Wall double. In the fifth, Mike Greenwell rocketed a two-run double to jump it to 4-1 and both Greenwell and Dwight Evans drove in runs before Esasky launched his big shot into the screen.

After a humiliating 10-0 loss to the Twins Friday, and more acreage opening up between themselves and the Orioles, the Sox came into the opener as low as they'd been all year. But John Dopson (7-5) pitched seven-plus strong innings and Evans picked up three RBIs with clutch doubles in the fifth and sixth for the 6-2 triumph.

Dopson, in front of 33,346, gave up only two hits in the first three innings and was working with a 3-0 lead by the fifth. Kevin Romine knocked in the first run in the fourth with a single and Evans rapped out his first double in the fifth.

Come the fifth inning, the Sox knocked out starter Francisco Oliveras, had an Evans' homer ruled a double and pushed the Twins down far enough to put away the victory.

Wade Boggs drew his second walk in three trips to the plate and promptly moved to third on Greenwell's single to right. Juan Berenguer came in to face Evans and tried to blow a 1-2 pitch by the veteran. No chance. Evans ripped what should have been his 11th homer over The Wall and watched it smack hard and flush against one of the metal stanchions that support the net.

Virtually everyone in the ballpark knew it was a homer. The boys in the Sox bullpen jumped up, led by Bob Stanley, signaling homer. The replay showed it for certain. But Evans was left at second with a stand-up double with both Boggs and Greenwell across the plate for the 3-0 lead.

The Sox added another pair of runs in the sixth, the same inning the Twins finally put a run across against Dopson. Dan Gladden opened the inning with a homer into the screen on Dopson's 2-1 offering, cutting it to 3-1. But in the bottom half, unlike many times this year, the Sox responded with another offensive surge to secure the win.

With one out, after Jody Reed led off the inning with a walk, Boggs hit a run-scoring single to center after Reed had stolen second base. Greenwell again followed with a key hit, a double to right, bringing Boggs around from first. And it was bye-bye Berenguer when Evans tagged a warning-track double to left to jump the lead to 6-1.

The Twins gave Dopson no trouble in the seventh and it looked as though he might go the distance for the first time this year. But in the eighth, former Met Wally Backman led off with a homer and Gladden followed with a Wall double. Morgan came out with the hook and Murphy came in with the rope. Two fly balls and a strikeout (Gary Gaetti) finished the eighth. In the ninth, after a walk to Al Newman and a Larkin single, Murphy ended it by fanning Backman. Games over.

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

Game #1

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

MINNESOTA TWINS

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

 

 

2

8

0

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

0

0

0

1

2

3

0

0

x

 

 

6

11

1

 

 

W-John Dopson (7-5)
L-Francisco Oliveras (3-4)
Attendance - 33,346

 2B-Boggs (Bost), Esasky (Bost), Evans (2)(Bost),
 Greenwell (Bost),  Gaetti (Minn), Puckett (Minn),
 Gladden (Minn)

 HR-Gladden (Minn), Backman (Minn)

 

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

Game #2

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

MINNESOTA TWINS

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

 

 

2

4

2

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

0

0

0

2

2

5

2

0

x

 

 

11

10

1

 

 

W-Mike Smithson (4-5)
L-Freddie Tolliver (1-3)

 2B-Newman (Minn), Esasky (Bost), Cerone (Bost),
 Greenwell (Bost), Evans (Bost), Heep (Bost)

 HR-Esasky (Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game #1

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Jody Reed 2b 3 1 1 .269  

 

Danny Heep dh 4 0 0 .322  

 

Dana Williams ph 1 0 0 .000  

 

Wade Boggs 3b 2 2 2 .330  

 

Mike Greenwell lf 5 2 2 .296  

 

Dwight Evans rf 5 0 2 .296  

 

Nick Esasky 1b 3 1 2 .253  

 

Rich Gedman c 3 0 0 .200  

 

Kevin Romine cf 4 0 1 .263  

 

Luis Rivera ss 4 0 1 .320  

 

    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Joe Dopson 7 7 2 2 3  

 

Rob Murphy 2 1 0 1 3  

 

 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game #2

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Jody Reed ss 4 2 2 .273  

 

Danny Heep rf 5 2 3 .337  

 

Wade Boggs 3b 2 1 0 .327  

 

Mike Greenwell lf 5 1 1 .294  

 

Dwight Evans dh 1 2 1 .299  

 

Nick Esasky 1b 3 2 2 .258  

 

Rick Cerone c 5 0 1 .297  

 

Kevin Romine cf 4 1 0 .217  

 

Ed Romero 2b 4 0 0 .217  

 

    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Wes Gardner 4 1 1 3 6  

 

Mike Smithson 4 3 1 1 4  

 

Lee Smith 1 0 0 0 1  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1989 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

Baltimore Orioles

41 30 -

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays

36 37 6

 

 

New York Yankees

35 37 6 1/2

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX

34

36

6 1/2

 

 

Cleveland Indians

34 38 7 1/2

 

 

Milwaukee Brewers

34 40 8 1/2

 

 

Detroit Tigers

27 44 14