ON THIS DATE (August
28, 1982) ... Gary Allenson won a ballgame by
beating out a bunt. That's what Allenson did in the 10th inning, as
the Red Sox pulled out a 7-6 victory over the California Angels in
about as exciting a finish as you'll see.
Gary Allenson, who often has been described as a walking
fireplug because of his 5-foot-11, 185-pound frame, had a stride that was fleet
in the 10th. He dropped a perfect bunt with the bases loaded, shocking the
Angels, Sox manager Ralph Houk and a crowd of 34,722 at Fenway Park. It stunned
losing pitcher Bruce Kison, who was too far away to field it. It embarrassed
third baseman Doug DeCinces, who was back guarding against everything but what
happened. All he could do while Carney Lansford scored from third base was
barehand the ball and try to get off a throw to first. He did, but it was too
feeble and much too late.
The bunt single gave the Red Sox a much-needed victory. And
it capped a remarkable comeback. They had overcome a 5-0 deficit with five runs
in the seventh inning. Then squandered a 6-5 lead in the ninth before Allenson
Lansford helped make sure that the Sox wouldn't be
demoralized. He doubled during the five-run, six-hit, seventh-inning surge that
chased California starter Mike Witt and put the game in the hands of the Angels
bullpen. With one out in the 10th, he singled past short for the first hit off
Kison. Next he stole second, and then he took third as part of a double steal.
Catcher Bob Boone had been replaced by Joe Ferguson, and the Sox showed
absolutely no respect for him. Lansford kept the Red Sox going after they'd
fallen into a deep hole.
Starter John Tudor pitched decently before he was battered
for five runs in the sixth, with two of them on a windblown homer by Rod Carew.
But after erasing that deficit and taking the lead, the Sox almost gave the game
right back to California. With two men on and one out in the ninth, Tom
Burgmeier gave way to Mark Clear. Clear promptly walked Reggie Jackson and Brian
Downing, forcing in the tying run. But an inning later, Allenson took him off
Jim Rice, returning to the lineup after missing eight games
with back troubles, opened the seventh with a single. With one out, Lansford
doubled, Wade Boggs and Reid Nichols both got clutch hits, and Dave Stapleton
came through with a three-run homer that tied it, 5-5.
All of it happened because the Red Sox once again played as
they had earlier in the season, when no deficit seemed too great.