REVERSING THE CURSE,
THE NOMAR ERA BEGINS
Jeff Frye comes through
with the clutch hit for the Sox
1997 ... The
Oakland A's elected to put Jeff Frye to a test in the eighth, daring
him to deliver by issuing a two-out intentional walk to Darren Bragg.
Scott Hatteberg had doubled off A's reliever Buddy Groom, and pinch
runner Jesus Tavarez had taken third on pinch hitter Shane Mack's
infield out against Oakland's fifth pitcher, Aaron Small.
Frye. He'd doubled and scored Boston's first run on John Valentin's single in
the third, and his infield hit in Boston's two-run fourth had accounted for
another run. But in the sixth, reliever Mike Mohler struck out Frye with the
bases loaded, and A's manager Art Howe elected to challenge the littlest Red Sox
again. Big mistake. Frye punched a single into center, bringing home Tavarez
with the deciding run.
made a winner of Butch Henry (3-2), who picked up starter Aaron Sele by inducing
McGwire, the game's ranking strongman, to hit into a force play with two on and
two out in the seventh. Henry then got a double-play ball in the eighth out of
Scott Spiezio, whose two-run double in the fifth had helped the A's back from a
remained in doubt until Heathcliff Slocumb stranded the tying run on third by
striking out the game's last two hitters, pinch hitter Mark Bellhorn and Patrick
Lennon. Slocumb gave up a leadoff double to Scott Brosius, who then took third
on Brent Mayne's drive to center, which Tavarez tracked down with a nice running
catch. Slocumb struck out Bellhorn with a nasty slider, then threw a fastball
past Lennon that left a longer vapor trail than the Ferrari Canseco once drove
on rocket fuel in Miami.
Naehring out for the season, Frye figures to be the Red Sox second baseman for
the duration, with John Valentin playing third. At least that's the plan,
barring a trade
who is hitting .348 since the All-Star break, has his fans, too. The biggest one
may be in the manager's office.