REVERSING THE CURSE,
& TEK COME TO TOWN
The Sox win their fifth game
in their last at bat
April 17, 1998 ... With
two runs in the bottom of the ninth and the game winner on Darren
Bragg's bases-loaded single in the 10th, the Red Sox won their
seventh in a row, all at home, and fifth in their last at-bat,
beating the Cleveland Indians, 3-2, before 26,924 fans in Fenway
Park. As a result, they climbed into a first-place tie with the
Orioles in the American League East.
run was scored by pitcher Steve Avery, who ran for Mo Vaughn in the 10th after
Vaughn singled and motored to third on a base hit by Troy O'Leary off the glove
of second baseman Shawon Dunston. If the ball doesn't hit Dunston's glove,
Vaughn doesn't go to third.
reliever Paul Assenmacher loaded the bases by intentionally walking Scott
Hatteberg, whose single started the ninth-inning rally capped by Reggie
Jefferson's tying sacrifice fly. The next hitter was Bragg, who had bounced to
the pitcher on his first at-bat and struck out his next three times up against
Cleveland starter Charles Nagy, who matched Martinez pitch for pitch, shutting
out the Red Sox on seven hits through eight innings. Bragg then shot a ground
ball through the right side.
Martinez did his part, striking out a dozen batters for the second straight
game, setting down 15 in a row at one point, and walking no one. But when he
stepped into the shower after pitching nine innings, he was down, 2-0, Brian
Giles accounting for both runs with a homer to lead off the third and with an
RBI single after Jim Thome's double in the eighth.
threatened in the top of the 10th against closer Tom Gordon. A single by Manny
Ramirez was followed by a ground single under the glove of Buford, who at the
time was playing third. He opened the inning at second but changed places with
Valentin whenever a lefthanded hitter came to the plate.
spared Buford any further anxiety by striking out the next two batters, Sandy
Alomar and Giles, before Travis Fryman lined to left to end the game.