ON THIS DATE (July
18, 1987) ... After Jim Rice's ninth-inning homer
brought the Red Sox into a 3-3 tie, Dave Henderson stepped to the
plate in the 10th and cranked a two-run blast into the right-field
seats to hand the Sox a 5-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics.
Henderson, without a game-winning RBI since Game 5 of the 1986 playoffs, picked
on Gene Nelson's 2-and-2 pitch and deposited it neatly into the stands. Dwight
Evans, who led off with a single, trotted home in front of him, and a blissful
crowd of 34,720 went home talking of the way things used to be.
The Sox, for much of the game, were lulled by the offerings
of Jose Rijo. By the fourth inning, Hurst had allowed seven hits and the Sox
were in a 3-1 hole. The Sox finally got into the Oakland bullpen and pulled
within a run in the eighth when the pinch-hitting Don Baylor cracked a sacrifice
fly off Dennis Eckersley.
In the ninth, Eck was only one strike away from picking up
his second save in three games. He had Rice at 2-and-2 with two outs and reached
back in hopes of twisting a big curve by the Sox' struggling cleanup man. He was
caught looking with the bases loaded in the third and had left a total of five
runners stranded before the ninth. Finally, in the 10th, Evans led off with a
single and Henderson nailed Nelson for his seventh homer of the year.