THE SUMMER OF "MORGAN'S
May 22, 1988 ... The Red Sox enjoyed a 16-hit, 12-run barrage against the California Angels. But for most of the Red Sox' 12-4 victory, starter Jeff Sellers was a spectator just like the other 32,678 Fenway fans who delighted in watching Bob Stanley's masterful relief performance that shut down the Angels.
Stanley, making his second strong relief appearance since coming back last week from a hand injury, had control of most of his pitches, allowing only two hits, walking no one and striking out four in 5 2/3 innings to pick up his first win.
There could have been high-fives all over the Red Sox' clubhouse, as everyone in the starting lineup had a base hit. Included in the outburst was Wade Boggs' first home run of the season and Mike Greenwell's second three-run blast of the weekend.
There was little indication that today's game was going to be any different from the five previous non-supportive starts Sellers had had.
Angel starter Willie Fraser (4-3) breezed through the first two innings and was staked to a 3-0 lead in the third that began when Brian Downing led off with a home run that twisted around the left-field foul pole. California added two runs on four singles.
Sellers, who threw 75 pitches in his short stint, was clearly struggling and barely escaped being knocked out at that point when a double play ball ended the inning. Then the Red Sox staged a two-out, five-run rally in the bottom of the third.
Ed Romero led off with a single to center, and after Brady Anderson popped to first, Ellis Burks, making his first start in a week, barely avoided a double play on a hopper to short. That proved to be the catalyst for the rally. Marty Barrett lined an infield hit to first. Boggs then looped a single to left to load the bases, and Dwight Evans followed with a sinking line drive to right-center. Both right fielder Chili Davis and center fielder Chico Walker started late on the ball, which Davis fielded on a short hop for a single. That drove in two runs. Greenwell then ripped a home run into the lower right-field stands, making it 5-3 and giving Sellers more runs than he had seen in his previous five starts.
A single by Dick Schofield and a double one out later by Downing quickly put runners on second and third in the fourth. McNamara had seen enough of Sellers. Stanley extinguished the potential rally by getting Walker to ground to second, which drove in Schofield. But Wally Joyner popped to second and the Angels were through for the day offensively.
The Red Sox were not, however. They added two more runs in the fifth on a double by Evans, a walk to Greenwell, a single by Rich Gedman and an error by Walker, and then came up with three more in the seventh on five hits.
That made it 10-4, which was more than enough the way Stanley was steaming through the California batting order. But in the eighth, Barrett doubled in the gap in left-center and Boggs lofted a home run into the bullpen.
All Stanley had to do in the ninth was get the ball over the plate, which he did with efficiency, retiring the side in order and getting an ovation from the crowd. Stanley, has allowed only one run in 11 2/3 innings for a 0.77 earned run average in his two appearances.