Dwight Evans' home run gives the Sox another win
ON THIS DATE (June 12, 1984) ... The Red Sox are on a roll. And the 20,794 at Fenway Park tonight were thinking that way after watching a second straight night of dramatic late-inning heroics. The Yankees had this one all but in their hip pocket until the eighth inning when Dwight Evans stepped up and hit a three-run homer that gave Boston a 9-8 victory.
With New York leading, 8-6, pinch hitter Rick Miller and Jackie Gutierrez had worked walks off Jay Howell. The Yankees brought in left-handed relief ace Dave Righetti and Wade Boggs sacrificed both runners into scoring position. Evans did the rest, and transistor radios everywhere went dead for two minutes.
With the count 2-2, Evans took dead aim on a head-high Righetti fastball. The ball left Fenway in an instant and headed towards Maine. And this was by a man who previously had gone 2-19 against Righetti.
The Red Sox fell behind in the first inning, 2-0, but rallied in the second to go ahead, 3-2. The Yankees kept charging ahead, getting a pair of two-run homers by Don Baylor and a five-hit performance by Don Mattingly. Rookie Roger Clemens and reliever Steve Crawford were both roughed up by Yankee bats, which pounded out 13 hits.
But the Red Sox would not be denied. After falling behind, 8-6, on Baylor's blast in the seventh, they came roaring back and won it by showing they also have a potent lineup, although one member, Bill Buckner, was injured and left the game with a pulled muscle.
Evans began the rescue mission in the seventh with a booming triple off the wall, a drive which would have been a home run in many parks. Jim Rice didn't win the home run contest tonight. But he did smoke Howell for a triple to the triangle in deep center, driving in Evans, and scored on a single off the wall by Tony Armas, who had stroked his 15th home run of the year in the second.
Evans then completed the job. Miller reached base and then Gutierrez was given a walk on a 3-1 pitch that the Yankees are still complaining about. Manager Yogi Berra got so upset at plate umpire Drew Coble that he talked himself right out of the game. Righetti took over, and what happened after that is why some teams are hot and others are not.
The Sox wound up with 13 hits in recording their fifth straight victory, all come-from-behind jobs.
Crawford (2-0), who came on with two out in the fourth, was charged with two runs, but pitched better than that. His 4 1/3- inning stint was his longest since last year. He had the Yankees off balance with his sinker in three of the four innings and his only mistake came in the seventh when, after giving up a single to Mattingly, he tried a low inside sinker to Baylor, who golfed it over the wall.
Bob Stanley, who picked up his 12th save, gave up a leadoff single in the ninth and then got Baylor to pop up and struck out Winfield and Steve Kemp.