Rick Miller gets the biggest hit of his career
September 19, 1981
... His swing was short and sweet, and the power
generated caught almost everyone in Fenway Park by surprise. Give
Rick Miller the green light on a 3-0 count? Miller had the green
light, all right. And he says all he was trying to do was get a base
hit. Instead, he wound up with a three-run homer into the Red Sox'
bullpen that broke a 5-5 tie and climaxed a seven-run inning that
carried Boston over New York, 8-5.
Miller was the most unlikely
hero in an unlikely finish that used to be commonplace in Fenway before Miller
went to California for a few years to shed Fred Lynn's shadow. Miller wasn't
aware that the Yankees had won nine straight games at Fenway because in 1979,
the last time the Sox beat New York here, he was busy helping the Angels win the
American League West.
Miller became the toast of
Kenmore square in the eighth inning when the Red Sox overcame a 5-1 deficit with
their two-out rally. This year, he's hitting around .290. It's a solid .290, not
one based on 2-3 meaningless hits. He's got a lot of hits in situations to keep
innings alive. It is no secret that the new Rick Miller has a goal. He wants to
hit .300 this year for the first time in his career. Overall, he's batting .285
-.288 for the Second Season.
And Miller knew exactly what he
wanted when he faced Dave LaRoche in the eighth.