THE SOX WIN THE AL EAST IN SPECTACULAR
FASHION, BUT THAT'S ABOUT IT ...

Ellis Burks provides the final touch in a walk-off

April 27, 1990 ... The game was close. The Red Sox were playing the world champion Oakland A's and beating them with a two-out, two-run single by Ellis Burks in the bottom of the ninth inning, 7-6.

For the longest time, the Red Sox, who took their sixth come-from-behind win and fourth from the seventh inning on, seemed doomed. They out-homered the A's, 3-2, but Ron Hassey's sixth-inning solo shot over the Oakland bullpen in right field off reliever Dennis Lamp had broken a 4-4 tie. And a Wade Boggs error in the eighth on a slow roller by Felix Jose, scoring Mark McGwire, had given the A's what seemed an insurmountable 6-4 lead.

But the A's were not going to use closer Dennis Eckersley, who had pitched 1 2/3 innings the night before. So Gene Nelson was brought in to relieve Mike Norris with runners at first and second and nobody out. Jody Reed had walked. Mike Greenwell had singled to right for his third hit of the night.

After Nelson got Evans to bounce into a force out, Tony Pena smacked his fourth hit of the game, a single to right, scoring Reed to make it 6-5. After Bill Buckner tapped out to Nelson for the second out, moving the runners to second and third, Burks slapped a 2-1 pitch up the middle over the glove of A's second baseman Mike Bordick, giving the Sox their fourth straight win over the A's.

The Sox were not expecting miracles against the A's. Rookie Dana Kiecker, the 29-year-old native of Sleepy Eye, Minn., countered A's starter Scott Sanderson, who surrendered two solo homers to Greenwell and another solo shot to Reed.

The Sox got decent relief from Lamp, whose only blemish in 2 2/ 3 innings was the Hassey homer. Norris relieved Sanderson with two out in the sixth and struck out Greenwell with runners at first and second, extending the left fielder's futility with runners in scoring position (0 for 20).

The Sox used three relievers, including both their closers in what at the time appeared a curious and suspect move by manager Joe Morgan. Lee Smith, who gave up an unearned run on Boggs' boot, pitched a long eighth inning. In appearances the last two nights, Smith has thrown 78 pitches. Jeff Reardon pitched the ninth and wound up with his first Boston win.

Pena is hitting .410 on the year, and his 15-game streak ties him for the American League lead with Toronto's Tony Fernandez. He claims it's the best start of his career. Pena contributed defensively as well. In the eighth, after the A's scored their sixth run, he called for a pitchout as Oakland attempted a suicide squeeze. Pena caught Dave Henderson and tagged him out while running him back toward third.

The Sox got off to a 3-0 lead against Sanderson. Greenwell, back in the No. 3 spot after a one-game stint in the No. 7 hole, stung his first homer to right field, 10 rows deep to the right of the A's bullpen. Reed hit his second homer in as many nights to lead off the third for Boston's third run. He now has five home runs in his last 71 games.

The Sox scored with two out in the second. Pena doubled to right field, a play on which Canseco charged and slid but couldn't come up with the catch. After Burks walked and Heep struck out, Marty Barrett singled to center, scoring the second Boston run.

For three innings, most of Kiecker's offerings were being beaten into the ground, until McGwire found the moon. McGwire's sixth homer came on a 2-1 pitch. It went over the Wall, over the screen and high into the night with Canseco (walk) on board.

Kiecker, making his first major league start, left in the fifth in a 4-4 game. Sanderson lasted until two outs in the sixth and led, 5-4.

 

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

0

0

3

1

1

0

1

0

 

 

6

9

0

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

1

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

3

 

 

7

12

1

 

 

W-Jeff Reardon (1-0)
L-Gene Nelson (1-1)
Attendance - 32,912

 2B-Pena (2)(Bost), Boggs (Bost),
 R.Henderson (Oak), D.Henderson (Oak)

 HR-Greenwell (2)(Bost), Reed (Bost),
 McGwire (Oak), Hassey (Oak)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Wade Boggs 3b 5 0 1 .290  

 

Jody Reed ss 3 2 1 .314  

 

Mike Greenwell lf 5 2 3 .211  

 

Dwight Evans dh 3 0 0 .258  

 

Randy Kutcher pr 0 1 0 .273  

 

Tony Pena c 5 2 4 .410  

 

Bill Buckner 1b 4 0 0 .222  

 

Ellis Burks cf 4 0 1 .197  

 

Danny Heep rf 4 0 0 .125  

 

Marty Barrett 2b 4 0 2 .246  

 

    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Dana Keicker 4.1 4 4 3 2  

 

Dennis Lamp 2.2 4 1 0 2  

 

Lee Smith 1 1 0 2 2  

 

Jeff Reardon 1 0 0 0 2  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1990 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

Milwaukee Brewers

10 5 -

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays

11 7 1/2

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX

9

7

1 1/2

 

 

Cleveland Indians

7 8 3

 

 

New York Yankees

6 8 3 1/2

 

 

Baltimore Orioles

7 10 4

 

 

Detroit Tigers

7 10 4