REVERSING THE CURSE,
THE NOMAR ERA BEGINS
The Sox bats explode for 18 runs
1997 ... After
a very forgettable weekend hosting the Toronto Blue Jays, the Red Sox
simply put on their red hats and horizontal stirrups tonight and
crushed the Detroit Tigers, 18-4. Practically everything they did
turned out right. Starter Jeff Suppan, supported by a 21-hit attack,
went after the Tigers with great vigor and threw six strong innings.
good a night was it? Well, the Red Sox hit a season-high eight doubles and three
home runs, including one by Wilfredo Cordero, who got a standing ovation from
the crowd of 21,997. Apparently, it's a lot easier to forgive and forget when
the object of your derision is circling the bases. The Sox remain in last place
(40-51), 17 games back. But this was one of their finer moments.
again, there was electricity in Fenway Park. Not the kind generated by Roger
Clemens Saturday. But the kind that comes from an old-fashioned beating. The
Fenway Faithful couldn't believe their eyes. Boston jumped to a 7-0 lead in the
first five innings and never looked back. Suppan exited after giving up four
runs in the sixth inning, including a three-run homer by Melvin Nieves. But he
did his job, and that's all the Red Sox care about in their quest for a
respectable second half.
losing three of four to the Blue Jays, the Red Sox came out aggressively. You
knew from the first inning -- when Nomar Garciaparra led off with a single and
wound up on third base on a throwing error -- that Boston meant business.
1-0 lead, the Sox scored twice in the third, fourth, and fifth. Suppan escaped
his only serious jam of the first five innings when Tony Clark was gunned down
at the plate, thanks to a perfect relay from Cordero to John Valentin to Mike
Stanley. Clark had tried to score from first on a double by Damion Easley, but
was blocked off the plate. With a 7-4 lead, the Sox added six runs in the bottom
of the sixth and five more in the seventh. Every starter had at least two hits.
Stanley, who caught for a second straight game to get his bat in the lineup, was
a key. He responded with three hits, including his sixth home run. He survived a
foul ball to the groin in the seventh (he was replaced by Scott Hatteberg) and
probably will be in the lineup tonight.
runs were a season high for the Sox and their most since April 12, 1994, at
Kansas City. Most of the damage came off righthanders Kevin Jarvis and A.J.
Sager, who gave up a combined 15 runs, 13 earned. Suppan tied a career high with
eight strikeouts and got his third victory, his first since June 18.