ON THIS DATE (September 3, 1973) ...
Against the Baltimore Orioles in a crucial series, the line of
pallbearers was getting longer and longer. It looked as though the
Red Sox would have to wait till next year. They lost the afternoon
game by a 13 to 8 score and were trailing 8 to 2 after seven innings
in the second half of the doubleheader. The Orioles were on the verge
of running their American League East lead to eight games over the
The pitching had been awful for the Sox. It had been a
long day and night of watching Paul Blair hit two home runs and Earl Williams
hitting three. But then came the eighth-inning and seven Red Sox runs completed
a stunning 9 to 8 comeback.
The Orioles had right-hander Jesse Jefferson on the mound, hardly one of
their top pitchers. But manager Earl Weaver apparently thought that most anyone
could handle the Red Sox the way they were playing.
Ben Oglivie started that eighth by tapping a grounder to Boog Powell, at
first, and was tagged out easily. Reggie Smith had done fairly well in the two
games and walked. Then Carl Yastrzemski swung at a 3-2 pitch and grounded to
secondbaseman Bobby Grich, who hadn't bobbled a baseball all season. This time
however he messed up the grab and the two men were safe.
Bob Montgomery was next and he got a pitch on the fist that found a hole into
left-center field. It left the bases loaded but even with that, the fans were
not optimistic. But when Rick Miller hit a ground ball to Grich's right and was
able to beat the throw, one run was in and the bases were still loaded. The best
Doug Griffin could do was hit a fly ball to right to score another run, but
there were now two outs. Cecil Cooper, who had been playing well since being
called up from Pawtucket, singled between Grich and Powell. That brought out
Weaver who called in Eddie Watt, one of the league's most reliable relief
With the likes of Danny Cater and Carlton Fisk on the bench, Eddie Kasko
allowed Mario Guerrero to bat. All he did was double to the wall in right-center
and now the fans were jumping and cheering.
It looked as though their hopes would die, however, when Tommy Harper
accidentally tapped a soft liner back toward Watt at the mound. Somehowr he
became mesmerized by the ball and it bounced by him for a base hit. Out came
Weaver again and this time he brought in Grant Jackson. Kasko countered with
Cater rapped a liner to right and Harper, who had broken on the pitch, was
able to score from first, along with Guerrero from second base, putting the Red
Sox ahead 9 to 8. That's how the game ended when Bob Veale got the side out in
order, in the ninth-inning.
Dick Pole and started the second game and had a 2 to 0 lead after Reggie
Smith lined a home run into the net in left-center. But then Powell and Williams
hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth and Williams slammed another one, a
grand slam in the fifth. That made it 7 to 2 and it was 8 to 2 in the eighth, on
an error by Yastrzemski and singles by Rich Coggins and Tommy Davis.