|Ted Williams' walk-off homer wins the game in the 12th|
ON THIS DATE (July 19, 1958) ... With the Red Sox one run behind in the 12th inning, Ted Williams blasted a two-run homer into the right field grandstand, to give the Sox a 7 to 6 victory over the Tigers.
Three times in the game the Sox took a one run lead and three times the Tigers tied the score. Then in the eight inning, a line drive by Al Kaline to left field, took a funny hop and the Tigers were up a run. In the ninth inning, Jim Hegan homered, to put Detroit up by two runs.
But the Sox surged from behind again in their half of the ninth, starting with a homer by Sammy White. Tiger starter, Frank Lary then hit a batter and gave up two base hits that tied the score at five apiece, sending the game into extra innings.
The dramatic game started when Ted Williams and Frank Malzone both doubled for a run in the first inning. But Ozzie Virgil homered into the centerfield seats in the second inning to tie the game for Detroit. In their half of the second, the Sox got that run back when Dick Gernert doubled and came home on a base hit by Sammy White.
Then in the top of the fourth, Gail Harris, Gus Zernial and Frank Bolling all got base hits and the game was tied once more at 2-2. Had Frank Malzone not gone to his right and made a spectacular play on Hegan, to end the inning, the Tigers would have scored more.
In the Sox fourth, White tripled and Billy Consolo doubled to put the Sox up one. But it did not last because Detroit tied it all up again in the eighth inning, when Harvey Kuenn hit a 3-0 pitch into the left field net.
The Tigers went ahead for the first time in the eighth inning. Kaline hit a hard line drive, that landed in front of Ted Williams and took a funny hop that spun Ted around, with the ball bouncing off his rear end. Ted threw the ball disgustingly into third base, as Kaline jogged easily into second. Harris next drove Jackie Jensen back to the warning track in right field, with a fly ball that allowed Kaline to scamper over to third base. Kaline cored on Zernial's fly to left. Hegan's ninth inning homer put Detroit up 5 to 3. It sent Sox starter, Dave Sisler to the Sox locker room and Bud Byerly came in to finish the inning.
With defeat staring them in the face however, the Sox began their surge back. In the bottom of the ninth and one away, White homered into the Sox bullpen. Billy Klaus came in as a pinch hitter for Consolo and flied out. Then with one out away from saving himself the win, Frank Lary hit Lou Berberet on the foot to keep the Sox alive. Gene Stephens came through with a base hit to right and Marty Keough, who came in to run for Berberet, hustled over to third. After a conference on the mound, Pete Runnels lined a single to right and scored Keough with the tying run. One hitter too late, Hank Agiurre was brought in to replace Lary, and he got Williams to ground out.
Leo Kiely came in for the Sox a breezed through the tenth and eleventh innings as did Aguirre for the Tigers. The top of the 12th inning however, became a battle. With one away Aguirre singled. Kuenn bounced a ball down to Gernert at first, who forced Aguirre at second, but Klaus' return throw was late. Billy Martin then lined the ball off the fence in left-center and Kuenn rounded second and made it over to third, but a bad throw by Stephens, allowed him to score the go-ahead run. With Martin standing on second, Kaline got an intentional pass and Harris grounded out to end the inning.
So now down 6-to-5, the stage was set for the final drama when Jimmy Piersall came in to pinch-hit and singled. Pete Runnels sacrificed him to second and Ted quickly thumped the game winning homer on Aguirre's first pitch, just inside the foul pole, to end the game abruptly.