MORE OF "MORGAN'S MAGIC"
(BUT NOT ENOUGH)
Jody Reed's bat ties the game
then wins it in the 10th
22, 1991 ... The Red Sox posted a 7-6 victory
that completed a three-game sweep of baseball's worst team and lifted
the Sox within 3 1/2 games of first-place. After two straight
come-from-behind victories in less than 24 hours, they are confident.
Jody Reed kept the Red Sox hopes alive in the ninth with a fluke single, then
drove home the winning run in the 10th on a single to left.
If you happened to be among the crowd of 14,037 at Fenway
Park, the last thing you went home thinking was that you had witnessed a game of
playoff intensity. Boston starter Mike Gardiner blew a 5-1 lead and left
trailing, 6-5, in the eighth, the fault of manager Joe Morgan, who freely
admitted he almost turned a certain victory into a shocking defeat. Gardiner
gave up nine hits, including a pair of home runs to Cleveland's Carlos Baerga.
The second one came in the eighth with two men on base and Jeff Reardon all
warmed up in the bullpen. Baerga hit a slider that ricocheted off the glove of
defensive replacement Tom Brunansky and dropped into the right-field bullpen for
a three-run homer and a 6-5 lead.
The Sox rallied to tie the game in the ninth and win it in
the 10th, a direct result of Cleveland's ineptness, which included five errors,
two wild pitches and a balk. One of the culprits was second baseman Baerga.
Playing deep, he slipped on a rain-soaked patch of grass in the bottom of the
ninth, allowing Reed to reach base on an infield pop that fell in safely as the
Sox started one of the most improbable comebacks of the year.
Reed went to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored with two
out as third baseman Jeff Manto booted a routine grounder by Mike Greenwell that
would have ended the game.
In the 10th, Luis Rivera rolled a seemingly innocent
swinging bunt toward first baseman Mike Aldrete with one out. But Aldrete booted
the ball. The end was mercifully quick with singles by Boggs and Reed. Even on
Reed's hit, there was a chance of a play at the plate, with Glenallen Hill
playing shallow in left. Naturally, Hill muffed the pickup.
After Baerga hit the three-run homer, reliever Greg Harris
(10-11) came in and slammed the door on the Indians, striking out five batters
in 2 2/3 innings. Good things happen when you're on a roll. If you don't think
so, you're probably watching the Cleveland Indians.
The Red Sox may not be a team of destiny, but they're
certainly on a red-hot roll.