Frank Malzone's grand slam brings the Sox
ON THIS DATE (July 18, 1958) ... Frank Malzone tagged a tie-breaking grand slam homer to give the Red Sox an 11-9 victory over the Tigers. Malzone lofted a towering fly ball into the left field screen to dissolve a 6-6 deadlock in the seventh inning and the Sox' sixth sraight win.
Rookie pitcher, Bill Monbouquette, making his first major league appearance, was the victim of some sloppy fielding and two unearned runs, as the Sox fell behind 5-1 in the third inning.
Monboquette started the game by getting up two strikes and then walking Harvey Kuenn. He then got two strikes on Billy Martin before he knocked out a base hit. Al Kaline next hit a bouncer back to the box and Monbo chased Kuenn back to third, but his throw bounced off Malzone's shoulder. Malzone retrieved the ball, but was late with his throw to the plate, in trying to nail Kuenn. Now Monbo struck out Gail Harris and got Gus Zernial on a liner for the second out. Then with two strikes on Frank Bolling, Martin stole home and the Tigers were up two runs.
The Sox immediately got one back in the bottom of the first. Paul Foytak walked Gene Stephens and Pete Runnels doubled him home.
But in the third inning there was more trouble for Monbouquette. Martin singled and Kaline doubled him to third. Monbo again fanned Harris, but this time Zernial doubled to left, putting the Tigers up 4 to 1.
With one away in the Sox third inning, Runnels doubled, Williams was walked and a run came in when Malzone singled to left. Jensen doubled in another run and Malzone scored on Dick Gernert's base hit, making the score 5-4.
In the fifth inning, with Herb Moford on the mound for Detroit, Gernert singled and White doubled him to third. So Monbo, down a run, was lifted for pinch-hitter Billy Klaus, who tied the score at 5-5 on a single that scored Gernert.
In came Murray Wall to pitch in the sixth inning and the Sox gave him the lead, when Williams doubled and later came home on a wild pitch by Bill Fischer. But the Tigers got to Wall for a run in the seventh and put the game into a tie once again.
Against Fischer in the seventh, the Sox put the game away. Wall got a base hit and sprinted over to third on Runnels' single to right. Williams walked to load the bases just before Malzone scorched a line drive to center. The ball barely cleared the wall at the center field end of the scoreboard for a grandslam that put the Sox ahead 10 to 6.
In the eighth inning Wall tried to give it back. The Tigers put up three runs with a two-run double by Harris, making the score 10-9. Mike Fornieles was called on and struck out Zernial to end the threat.
Singles by Fornieles, Stephens and Runnels off Tom Morgan in the eighth gave the Sox an insurance run.
Pete Runnels put together five hits to take over the American League batting leadership with a .334 BA. He banged out three doubles and two singles in six times up.