Mo Vaughn's walk-off homer wins one for the Sox

MO VAUGHN

July 26, 1997 ... When all else fails, you still can count on Mo Vaughn. He is cut from the mold that one day could produce a championship for the Red Sox. Right now, he's just a lot of fun to watch.

Tonight, Vaughn waited until the ninth inning to save the Olde Towne Team from a sure defeat. Then he slashed a dramatic three-run homer off hard-throwing Troy Percival of the Anaheim Angels to give Boston a 7-6 victory that sent a sellout crowd of 32,148 into a frenzy. It was a first for Vaughn, who had won many a game with his bat, but never one at Fenway Park with what the Japanese call a sayonara home run.

With the Sox trailing, 6-4, Nomar Garciaparra and John Valentin set the stage with singles off the Angels closer, who blew only his fourth save in 18 tries this year. The count on Vaughn was 2-2 and Percival had thrown nothing but fastballs to the slugging first baseman. He tried one more, and Vaughn sent it 435 feet into the center-field seats. There was never a doubt.

With Steve Avery struggling early and giving up six runs, the Sox were on the verge of losing their third straight to the Angels, who have been red-hot lately. But the home-run ball has saved Boston on many a night, and this was no exception. Angels starter Jason Dickson left after six innings with a 6-2 lead. Boston made it close in the seventh on solo homers by Valentin and Mike Stanley, his second pinch homer of the season. After Avery left, lefty Butch Henry kept Anaheim off the scoreboard and gave Boston a chance for some late-inning thunder.

What followed was the kind of confrontation that brings out the best in Vaughn. Since coming off the disabled list July 17, he has been searching for a groove, a rhythm that only he truly understands. Until he finds it, he usually just snarls and snaps at pitchers. This night, he struck like a cobra.

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

ANAHEIM ANGELS

3

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

 

 

6

14

0

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

0

0

2

0

0

0

2

0

3

 

 

7

13

2

 

 

W-Butch Henry (4-2)
L-Troy Percival (4-5)
Attendance - 32,148

 2B-Hollins (Ana), Anderson (Ana), Valentin (Bost),
 Jefferson (Bost)

 3B-Anderson (Ana)

 HR-Valentin (Bost), Stanley (Bost), Vaughn (Bost)