ON THIS DATE (July
15, 1988) ... The Red Sox won under new
manager, Joe Morgan, not once but twice. Roger Clemens rocketed his
way to 16 strikeouts in a 3-1 victory in the opener. Rick Cerone and
Wade Boggs hit homers to back a 7-4 triumph in the nightcap, giving
the Sox a doubleheader sweep of the Kansas City Royals before a crowd
of 35,412 at Fenway Park.
In two games, Joe Morgan used every one of his bench players. In Game 2, he took
care of any atrophy in the bullpen by using Dennis Lamp, Tom Bolton, Bob Stanley
and Lee Smith in relief of Mike Smithson (4-3).
In came Morgan, apparently bringing some fresh air with him. The move in which
Morgan replaced the fired John McNamara Thursday may not have solved all the
Sox' problems (they stranded 15 runners in the two games), but overall, they
were hustling more and looking sharper, especially for a team that hadn't played
since Sunday. Even baseball expert Jean Yawkey could be seen smiling from behind
her glass wall.
No one could have done more than Clemens in the opener. He fanned three in the
first, two in the second and three in the third. By the sixth, Clemens was
talking about maybe bowing out after one more inning. Instead, he notched his
ninth complete game by retiring the last five Royals on strikeouts. Danny
Tartabull, Frank White and Bo Jackson went down in a fanning finish.
Moments after running his record to 13-5, lifting his strikeout total to a major
league-leading 202 and lowering his earned run average to 2.35, Clemens dropped
the game ball in Morgan's hand.
In Game 2, Morgan had trouble on his doorstep right away. The Royals got a run
in the first, but the Sox took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the inning. By the
third, they had a 4-1 lead and Morgan didn't really have to begin managing until
the sixth when the Sox had a 6-1 lead, on the strength of the homers by Boggs
(solo shot in the second) and Cerone (two-runner in the fifth).
Morgan faulted himself for going one batter too many (a Danny Tartabull two-run
homer) with Smithson, allowing the Royals to close within 6-3.
Along the way, Jim Rice (5 for 6 in the doubleheader) got
back in the ballgame, too. Rice also broke up a double play that led to a key
run in Game 1. The Sox averaged 11 hits per game, saw Smith come in for a nice
save (No. 12) and even nudged a little closer to the Yankees and Tigers in the
American League East.
All of sudden, Lansdowne Street may not be a condemned area.