REVERSING THE CURSE,
& TEK COME TO TOWN
Pedro & Mo each win one for the Sox
August 18, 1998 ... Pedro
Martinez restored pace, passion, and purpose to the Red Sox' pursuit
of a wild card this afternoon. Mo Vaughn added some late-night
percussion, leading to a doubleheader sweep of the Texas Rangers at
Martinez won his 16th game, beating the Rangers, 4-1, in a matinee played with
swiftness and sureness, Vaughn won the nightcap, 5-4, with a tie-breaking home
run that split sheets of rain and a stiff breeze before settling into the
screen. With 13 pitches, Tom Gordon saved both ends of the sweep, which gave the
Red Sox a 5-3 record for the homestand.
Vaughn hit a
422-foot home run off reliever Danny Patterson to lead off the seventh after the
Red Sox fought back from a 4-2 deficit the inning before. It was Vaughn's 33d of
the season, his seventh against Texas.
Saberhagen was unable to duplicate Martinez's mastery in the nightcap but the
Red Sox continued to play with an urgency that made the evening's persistent
Williams used four relievers in the eighth inning alone, when Derek Lowe, Greg
Swindell, Dennis Eckersley, and Jim Corsi all faced a batter apiece. The win
went to Lowe, who also pitched the sixth and seventh and allowed just one hit in
2 1/3 innings, while Gordon's saves now number 36, the last 33 in a row.
message carried out with much greater facility when Martinez is on the mound. In
the second inning, the Red Sox ace gave up a 414-foot home run to Rangers
strongman Gonzalez that bounced off the camera well underneath the center-field
flagpole. But he did not allow another runner past first until there were two
out in the ninth inning.
allowing singles to Mark McLemore and Will Clark in the ninth, Martinez yielded
to Gordon as a sellout crowd of 33,201 registered their protest of Williams's
decision. But those boos died along with Ivan Rodriguez's game-ending fly ball
to Troy O'Leary, whose single had broken a 1-1 tie in the sixth. Martinez also
struck out 10, the seventh time this season he has punched out 10 or more and
the 34th time in his career.
Benjamin's topped roller down the third base line for an infield hit touched off
the winning rally in the sixth, one that was executed with optimum efficiency.
Darren Lewis bunted Benjamin to second, and Valentin drove a 1-and-2 sinker into
the right-field corner to score Benjamin. Singles by Vaughn and O'Leary
followed, and after Mike Stanley was hit by a pitch, pinch hitter Damon Buford
came up big with a two-run double off lefty reliever Eric Gunderson.
spent much of the night coming up empty. He struck out four times, twice in each
game, and bounced into a double play in the nightcap before hitting his