ON THIS DATE (June 6, 1973)
Bob Montgomery hit two home runs, including one leading off the 10th
inning, to win the game for the Red Sox. It was just a
run-of-the-mill extra inning, 5 to 4 victory, and a three-game sweep
of the Royals.
Manager Eddie Kasko wanted to give Carlton Fisk a
couple of days off, so in stepped Monty, who had only one hit in eight at-bats
for the season. In the seventh inning he hit a Doug Bird pitch for a home run
and insurance run, making the game 4 to 2 in favor of the Sox.
Bill Lee, at 6-2, and the only Red Sox starter with a winning record, was one
strike away from the 4 to 2 victory. He had two outs in the ninth and walked
Paul Schaal. Then Jim Wohlford whacked one into the screen, once again proving
that at Fenway Park, as Yogi Berra said, the game isn't over until it's over.
Lee got behind 2 to 0 in the fourth inning but it took a strange play to do
so. The Royals had Cookie Rojas on second base, Lou Piniella on first, with one
out. Lee called for a pickoff play at first and went into a stretch, as the two
runners broke. But as they did so, Lee was making his move to first. The problem
was, Carl Yastrzemski was playing off the bag. Rojas coasted easily into third
and Yaz could only try to get Piniella as he went into second. The problem was,
that with his angle, Yaz had to thread his throw between Piniella and the inside
part of the bag, since shortstop Luis Aparicio was coming over. The throw hit
Piniella and after a sacrifice fly and a double by Schaal, the Sox were down, 2
The Kansas City starter, Ken Wright through two outs in the fourth, had only
allowed a double to Orlando Cepeda and had struck out five and row. Then he
walked Yaz before Cepeda hit the ball into the net, for his 30th RBI, to tie him
with Carlton Fisk, and tie up the game at 2-2.
Wright struck out Petrocelli to end the fourth and got Dwight Evans to start
the fifth. Then he started to develop a blister and walked John Kennedy. After
going 3-0 on Montgomery, he left the game. On came Bird and he finished Monty's
at bat by walking him. With Tommy Harper up at bat, just as Bird was about to
deliver the pitch, the ball slipped out of his hand and rolled towards
third-base. If the ball had stayed fair, it would've been a balk, but it rolled
into foul territory so it was simply ball four. But it loaded the bases for Luis
Aparicio, who hit a sacrifice fly to put the Red Sox up 3 to 2.
Then, after the dramatic home run by Wohlford, to tie up the game in the
ninth, up came Monty again in the 10th. He deposited Bird's first pitch over the
screen for his first game-winning hit since last July.