The Sox rally back in the 12th on a walk-off balk

RICH GEDMAN

ON THIS DATE (July 10, 1986) ... The Red Sox won a ballgame, 8-7, with an implausible, if not downright incredible, rally. Jim Rice hit a two-run homer and Rich Gedman rapped a run-scoring single in the bottom of the 12th to lift the Red Sox into a 7-7 tie with the Angels.

That forced California's hand, and made for a most unpredictable climax. With runners on second and third, California reliever Todd Fischer was brought in to replace Mike Cook. He prepared to throw his first pitch to Rey Quinones, but never got the chance as plate umpire Joe Brinkman called a balk and waved home Dwight Evans for the victory in this clash of American League division leaders.

Even the Red Sox were slow to realize what happened. But when they did, Evans gleefully came home, and the Angels were left in bewilderment and disgust.

The Sox' cause seemed lost when the Angels scored three times in the top of the 12th. California's Wally Joyner tripled with two out in the top of the 12th off Mike Brown, the fifth Red Sox pitcher, on a fly to center that eluded Ed Romero, who was filling in because of an injury to Tony Armas, and because Kevin Romine, who started in Armas' place, had been lifted. Joyner scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch by Brown, who had replaced Steve Crawford with two out. Crawford was forced from the game because of a sudden pain in his right shoulder. Romero, who had made a game-saving catch in the 11th, stumbled as he went for Joyner's drive, which bounced hard off the wall. Brown threw a wild pitch on the first offering to Brian Downing, scoring Joyner. Then he walked Downing and George Hendrick and gave up a run- scoring single to Rick Burleson and an RBI double to Bobby Grich, making it 7-4.

But the Sox didn't surrender. Marty Barrett opened the bottom of the 12th with a single off second baseman Grich's glove. With two out, Rice sent Cook's pitch into the screen in left for his ninth homer, making it a one-run game. Don Baylor lofted a foul pop to third for what appeared to be the final out. But the wind blew it fair and Burleson dropped the ball for an error that put Baylor on first. Cook then issued the walk to Evans, putting the winning run on base. Gedman followed with a single to right that brought Baylor home with the tying run, and the runners advanced to second and third when first baseman Joyner couldn't handle right fielder Ruppert Jones' relay.

Gedman's duel with Cook was an example of the character that so pleased McNamara. The catcher fouled off five pitches before getting his game-tying hit. Gedman, who broke a bat during his struggle with Cook, said he was just trying to stay alive.

In reaching this dizzying conclusion, the Sox overcame a 3-1 Angels lead produced by Grich's run-scoring single in the first and RBI singles by Gary Pettis and Joyner in the third. In between, The Sox had achieved a short-lived 1-1 tie against Angels starter Ron Romanick on Gedman's RBI double in the bottom of the second.

In the sixth, Boston took a 4-3 lead on Bill Buckner's two-run homer, Rice's triple and Evans' RBI single. But California got even in the eighth against starter Al Nipper on Downing's RBI single.

All of which was tame compared to the finish.



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CALIFORNIA ANGELS

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7

12

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BOSTON RED SOX

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W-Tim Lollar (2-0)
L-Mike Cook (0-2)
Attendance - 31,305

 2B-Pettis (Cal), Joyner (Cal), Grich (Cal), Gedman (Bost)

 3B-Joyner (Cal), Rice (Bost)

 HR-Buckner (Bost), Rice (Bost)