John Valentin leads the Sox
in a comeback win
May 14, 1996
It was late in the game, the score tied at 3. It was time for the Red
Sox bullpen to go to work, and lately the endings have been all too
predictable. Not this time.
This time, a succession of
Brent Knackert, Rich Garces, Heathcliff Slocumb, Jamie Moyer and Stan Belinda
held the California Angels scoreless for six innings and gave the Boston offense
the opportunity to pull out a 4-3 victory in 12 innings before 22,450 at Fenway
Despite all the walks, Sele's
outing was far better than his last one, when he couldn't get out of the first
inning at Milwaukee.
An adventurous ninth pitched by
Garces seemed to inspire the Sox. He allowed a leadoff triple to Randy Velarde,
on one of those balls into the right-field corner that rolls around as the
outfielder -- in this case Kevin Mitchell -- chases it helplessly. Following Jim
Edmonds' grounder to a drawn-in Mo Vaughn, Garces struck out Tim Salmon. He
walked Chili Davis intentionally and J.T. Snow unintentionally to load the bases
but got Garret Anderson on a called third strike.
The walks caught up to Sele in
the third, when a pair of them sandwiching a single by Salmon set the stage for
a two-run Anderson double. The Angels added a run in the fifth after Sele walked
Snow with two outs despite having him down, 0-and-2. Anderson followed with a
double to left that scraped the wall.
Down, 3-0, after Aaron Sele's six innings of work (seven
hits, six walks), the Sox mounted their comeback in the seventh against Chuck
Finley. With one out, the California lefthander inexcusably walked Milt Cuyler,
who scored on Wil Cordero's pool-cue double to right. Manager Marcel Lachemann
took the opportunity to jettison Finley for righty Mike James, a move he surely
wanted to take back after Valentin sent a 2-and-0 fastball into the net, tying
the score. The shortstop later scored the winning run on Jose Canseco's single
Valentin had gone 134 at-bats
without a homer before hitting his first in Toronto over the weekend; he then
hit three in a span of 14 at-bats.