ON THIS DATE (July 4, 1984) ... When all else fails for the Red Sox, you still know there is Jim Rice. His motto is leadership by example, and over the years his teammates have come to count upon it. That explains why perhaps the biggest celebration of the Fourth of July holiday was
held at home plate at Fenway Park today, with 16,571 fans yelling their heads off. When Rice strolled home with his fifth base hit of the day, a grand slam home run in the 10th inning, the Red Sox had pulled off a 13-9 victory over the Oakland A’s, which ended the third straight
marathon between the two teams in as many days.
Rice has done a pretty good job this year of getting runners in from third base, and what the A’s should have remembered is that, when he is hot, few players do it better. Rice picked up six runs batted in with five hits, tying him for the American
League RBI lead at 67 with the A’s Dave Kingman.
After going 0 for 6 in a 9-6 loss in the series opener Monday night, Rice snapped out of an 0-for-17 slump by stringing out eight hits in the next nine at-bats, raising his average from .272 to .288. Rice’s homer was the only logical way to end
the three-day affair, in which the average time for each game was 3 hours, 35 minutes.
The Sox had an early 8-3 lead,
thanks to some bizarre baseball. Bobby Ojeda was given a 3-0
lead in the first inning. Rice knocked in Boggs with the first of his
four singles, and Mike Easler smashed a two-run homer. The Sox
scored five times in the bottom of the second. Rice knocked in the sixth run with his second hit and Armas hit a two-run blast, his 21st homer, to make it 8-3.
Evans homered in the seventh to make it 9-7
but Oakland tied it up in the ninth. In the 10th, the Sox got the winning run to third with relative ease. Barrett singled off the wall and moved to second when Hoffman reached base on an error by Joe Morgan. Hoffman bunted and Morgan dropped the throw at first. Boggs then laid down
his bunt, moving Barrett to third and Hoffman to second. Dwight Evans was walked to fill the bases, setting the stage for Jim Rice.