The Sox comeback and beat
the Tigers in 15 innings
April 20, 1963
... The gloom at Fenway turned into a frenzy,
when after giving up two runs to the Tigers in the top of the 15th
inning, the Sox emerged as winners in the bottom of the 15th. Roman
Mejias turned on a pitch and slammed a double that produced two runs
and gave the Sox a 5-to-4 win.
The Sox came up in their half of the frame, two runs down after Billy
Bruton had singled in two runners in Detroit's previous at bat.
The Tigers were using their third pitcher when the Sox got their
turn. Frank Malzone started the comeback with a single to left. Eddie
Bressoud lofted a fly ball to Al Kaline in right for the first out.
Then Bob Tillman lifted a pop fly in short right that eluded
secondbaseman, Dick McAuliffe. But Kaline was right on top of it and
fired a strike to second, forcing Malzone. Billy Gardner came out of
the Sox dugout to pinch-hit, and the Tigers brought in Bob Dustal to
work to him.
Chuck Schilling lined a single to left that brought in Tillman and
put Gardner on second. Roman Mejias, who had been hitless in his last
six times up, was next. Dustal's second pitch came inside and close
enough that Mejias hit the deck. Mejias took the next pitch on a line
to left center. It bounced off the wall and Gardner breezed home with
the tying run. Schilling was waved around third and kept moving.
Bruton, the centerfielde, relayed to the shortstop, Coot Veal and his
throw to the plate was too late. Schilling slid home with the
Dick Radatz had rubbed out the first two batters in the top of the
inning with the score tied at 1-1. Gus Triandos lined a pitch off the
left field fence. Whitey Herzog was sent up to pinch hit and Bubba
Morton came in to run for Triandos. Herzog was walked intentionally
and manger Bob Scheffing sent in Frank Kastro to bat for the pitcher
and he drew a walk to load the bases. Bruton's line drive single
scored two and the Tigers were up 3 to 1.
Jim Bunning and Dave Morehead had started the game fourteen innings
before. Morehead pitched five scoreless innings, running in major
league scoreless streak to 14 innings. But he got wild and walked
eight batters and had to pitch out of jams for 6 2/3 innings. In the
sixth he walked Rocky Colavito and Dick McAuliffe, before giving up a
double to Gus Triandos that put the Tigers up 1 to 0.
In the Sox half of the sixth inning, Bunning gave up a lead-off hit
to Schilling, and after striking out Mejias, gave up another hit to
Yastrzemski that sent Schilling to third. A wild pitch to Dick Stuart
brought in the tying run and that's the way it stood until the 15th.
The win went to Radatz who pitched the final seven innings.