Angels shock Sox, 4-3Grich single wins in 11th
By Larry Whiteside, Globe Staff, October 12, 1986
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- One inning away from a victory that would have evened the American League Championship Series, the Red Sox were stunned by a three- run California Angels rally that tied Game 4 of the best-of-seven pennant playoff. The teams headed into extra innings tied, 3-3.
Roger Clemens carried a five-hitter and a 3-0 lead into the ninth, when the Angels struck.
|Date:||Oct. 11 (night)|
But Schiraldi couldn't nail down the decision for his fellow Texan. The young Sox closer surrendered a run-scoring double to Gary Pettis that pulled California within a run and left runners on second and third. He issued an intentional walk to Ruppert Jones, loading the bases, and was on the verge of victory after striking out Bobby Grich.
But after getting two strikes on Brian Downing, Schiraldi hit the California left fielder in the thigh with a pitch as the tying run trotted home. Schiraldi did protect the tie by getting Reggie Jackson to ground to second.
The late dramatics overshadowed some vintage work by Clemens, who had been hammered, 8-1, in the series opener Tuesday night. He struck out nine and seemed to be in command after Bill Buckner ended a 1-for-15 playoff slump and snapped a scoreless duel with a run-scoring single off Don Sutton in the sixth.
Boston built the lead to 3-0 in the eighth on an RBI single by Marty Barrett and second baseman Grich's two-base, run-scoring error.
But an inning later, Clemens and the lead were gone.
After Boston took the lead, Clemens went to his power game, and he was so excited at one point, you'd have sworn Oil Can Boyd was making a return visit. After striking out Pettis to end the seventh, leaving a runner stranded at second, Clemens leaped and pumped his arm in celebration.
He had to survive another predicament in the eighth, when he stranded another runner on second.
He had nothing to celebrate in the ninth.
The decision to start Clemens on three days' rest was a major one, but the Sox didn't have time to debate the issue. They took the field needing to win three of four games to survive, and manager John McNamara said he could ill afford to go with second-line pitching at this stage.
"The World Series starts next week," he said, "and if we don't win three games, it won't matter how much rest our guys get between starts. Everybody is available from here on."
In the first three innings, Sutton's pitching dominated. He retired nine batters in a row, and only two balls got out of the infield. Sutton was particularly effective in mixing up his pitches, as he showed in striking out Don Baylor and Tony Armas.
Clemens started fast, striking out three of the first four men he faced. But on a 3-2 pitch, he gave up a ground single to right to DeCinces. But George Hendrick, who replaced the hospitalized Wally Joyner (bacterial infection) at first base, grounded to third, and Schofield became Clemens' fourth strikeout victim, ending the second.
Clemens gave up his second hit with one out in the third. Pettis was jammed with a fastball, but he hit a flare over shortstop Spike Owen's head for a single. The Angels tried to manufacture a run and had Pettis poised to steal. Sox catcher Rich Gedman called a pitchout with the count 1-0, and then got a high fastball on a 2-0 pitch. Pettis took off and was thrown out at second. Jones walked, but Clemens made Bobby Grich his sixth strikeout victim of the first three innings.
Leading off the fourth, Wade Boggs got the first hit off Sutton, a double to right-center, and was sacrificed to third by Barrett. But the Red Sox couldn't get him home as Sutton came up with the right pitches at the right time. Buckner, who was 1 for 14 in the series, flied to short right, and Boggs had no chance to score after the catch. Jim Rice lined to short for the third out.
In the bottom of the fourth, it was Clemens' turn to sweat as the Angels
put two runners on with one out. Downing worked Clemens for a walk, and after Jackson flied out deep to center, Downing reached second on an error by Spike Owen. DeCinces hit a chopper to short, and Owen rushed his throw to Barrett, who dropped it at second.
Clemens took care of the mess, getting Hendrick to ground to Owen, who started a double play.
In the fifth, Clemens had another close call. His troubles began with two out as Pettis stroked his second hit of the night, a single past short. The threat of Pettis stealing affected Clemens as he worked to Jones, who walked on a 3-1 pitch. With Grich at bat, Pettis had third base stolen, but Grich fouled off a pitch. Then Grich grounded to short, a ball that Clemens lunged for, and the threat was over.
Boston finally broke the ice in the sixth, with Buckner coming through in the clutch. Armas, who was 1 for 12 in the series to that point, singled to center and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Owen. Armas advanced to third on a groundout by Boggs. Then Sutton walked Barrett to get to Buckner, who came to the plate with an .067 series average.
This time Buckner was Mr. Clutch, smashing a double down the right-field line. Armas scored, and Barrett should have made it, too. But the Lach Factor came into play again. Barrett was held up at third by coach Rene Lachemann, and Rice grounded out to end the inning.
Sutton left in the seventh when Baylor led off with a double. Gary Lucas stranded the Sox designated hitter. But the Sox broke the game open in the eighth with two runs at the expense of the third and fourth Angel pitchers, Vern Ruhle and Chuck Finley, the latter of whom was victimized by sloppy fielding.
Owen opened with a single and moved to second as Boggs grounded out. He took third on Ruhle's wild pitch. Barrett followed with a single up the middle, making it 2-0. Errors paved the way for the next run. Finley replaced Ruhle and got Buckner to hit a hard grounder to second. Grich misplayed it into a two-base error, scoring Barrett and putting Boston ahead, 3-0.