"THERE GOES THE GREATEST HITTER
WHO EVER LIVED" ... Ted Williams
Jimmy Piersall doubles in
the ninth inning
to give the Sox a come-from-behind win
May 17, 1957
... Jimmy Piersall doubled home the winning
run in the bottom of the ninth inning, to give the Red Sox a 4-3
victory over the Kansas City Athletics. His hit off reliever, Rip
Coleman, delighted the 20,438 fans who went home happily after
witnessing a successful up-hill battle.
It also ended the evening for Tom Brewer in a nice way. He pitched
well and managed to hold on, despite a two-run homer by Vic Power.
But he would have never gotten the win except for two things. One was
a homer by Jackie Jensen off starter, Ryne Duren in the sixth inning.
The other was a break in the eighth inning that allowed the Sox to
get a gift run and tie the game, because of a bad throw to the plate.
Nobody would have thought the Sox had a chance against the rookie
Duren, who had pitched five strong innings and had a 3 to 0 lead
going into the sixth. But Ted Williams knocked out the second of his
two hits and Jensen brought him home with a home run, to cut the A's
lead down to one run, 3 to 2.
Then in the eighth inning, Wally Burnette, who relieved Duren, got
himself into trouble. He walked Piersall and Billy Klaus, the first
two hitters. Manager Lou Boudreau replaced him with Coleman, who then
walked Williams to load the bases. Mickey Vernon came up next and hit
one back to the pitcher, who easily erased Piersall at home. Jensen
next bounced to thirdbaseman Hector Lopez, who fired home to try and
get Klaus. But the throw short-hopped catcher Hal Smith and skidded
through his legs to tie the game.
In the bottom of the ninth with the score tied at 3-3, Gene Mauch
started the winning rally by drawing a walk. Pete Daley, who had come
in for Sammy White, singled up the middle. Brewer tried to move the
runners along with a sacrifice bunt, but Coleman was able to get to
it and force Mauch at third. That brought up Piersall, who had gone
hitless up to this point. Jimmy worked the count to 2-2 and then
rifled a line drive down the left field line that chased Gus Zernial
to the wall. Daley was able to scamper home with the winning run and
Brewer chalked up his fifth win of the year.
Brewer pitched a good game himself. He was tagged for two runs in the
fourth inning on a single and a homer by Power. The A's added a third
run in the fifth when Hunter doubled and Bob Cerv singled him in.
Brewer was strong after that and gave up only two hit for the
remainder of the game.