REVERSING THE CURSE,
& TEK COME TO TOWN
Nomar brings it home for the Sox
April 14, 1998 ... Nomar
Garciaparra drove in a career-high five runs, including three with a
homer in the eighth inning, as he led Boston to an 8-6 victory before
18,490 fans at Fenway Park. Nomar's home run, which followed walks to
pinch hitters Midre Cummings and Jim Leyritz by Bill Taylor, settled
into the left-field screen and erased a 6-5 deficit.
Boston's fifth victory in as many games on this homestand and the third the Sox
have won in their last turn at bat; they did it Friday and Sunday against
Seattle. Oakland suffered its fifth straight loss.
It took the
Boston bullpen, which had squandered a 5-2 lead after starter Butch Henry left,
off the hook and made a winner of Tom Gordon, the last of six Red Sox pitchers,
who allowed a two-run single to Rafael Bournigal that capped the A's four-run
helped stake the Sox to a 5-2 lead with a two-run fourth-inning triple that
nicely complemented solo homers by Troy O'Leary in the second and Mo Vaughn in
the third. But Dennis Eckersley, Steve Avery, and Gordon coughed it up in the
eighth as the Sox sweated this one out.
positives included Henry's five-inning stint in his first outing since he
suffered a pulled hamstring last month during spring training that forced him to
stay in Florida for rehabilitation while his teammates headed north. Henry threw
95 pitches, allowing two runs on four hits. He survived a line drive in the
fifth that nailed him solidly in the groin area.
threatened in both the sixth and seventh but failed to score against John Wasdin
and Jim Corsi. But in the eighth, Williams tried a different strategy that
backfired. He summoned Eckersley to face lefthanded Jason Giambi, who grounded
out. But the next three batters reached, and Eck left with Boston ahead, 5-3.
Avery took over and walked Scott Spiezio, a switch hitter. Gordon took over with
the bases loaded and walked Rickey Henderson to force in run. Bournigal followed
with a two-run single, and the A's had a 6-5 lead.
But the Red
Sox weren't about to surrender. Jason Varitek led off the eighth against Taylor
with a 410-foot fly out. Taylor then walked Cummings and Leyritz. That prompted
a conference at the mound. When it ended, Nomar hit Taylor's first offering into
the screen, and this one was over.