Thursday, August 7, 2014

Game of the Day (8/6/84)

Tigers 9, Red Sox 7. Detroit's Dan Petry and Boston's Bob Ojeda were both in their mid-20's. Petry was at his peak and would be for another season, while Ojeda was solid, but wouldn't reach his apex until he was traded to the Mets after the end of 1985.

Ojeda allowed a Chet Lemon single and nothing else in the top of the first; Petry had a similar bottom of the inning, working around a leadoff hit by Wade Boggs. Barbaro Garbey's single and Mike Easler's walk in the second made them the only players to reach for their respective teams in that inning, and Marty Barrett's leadoff hit in the home third was all that either squad would manage in that frame.

Detroit opened the scoring in the fourth when Lemon singled and Lance Parrish homered. The Sox countered in the bottom of the inning when Tony Armas singled and Bill Buckner went deep to tie the score. The Tigers then unloaded in the top of the fifth. Darrell Evans and Tom Brookens drew walks, and Lou Whitaker doubled Evans home to retake the lead. One out later, Lemon cracked a 3-run homer. Rich Gale relieved Ojeda and retired Parrish, but a Larry Herndon single, a Kirk Gibson walk, and a Garbey single brought in another run to make it 7-2.

Boston replied swiftly in the bottom of the inning, starting with a one-out Dwight Evans double and a Jim Rice homer. Armas reached on a Garbey error and Easler's hit moved him to third, though Easler was thrown out trying for a double on the play. Buckner singled Armas home, Rich Gedman singled to chase Petry for Aurelio Lopez, and Barrett singled to score Buckner and pull the Sox within 7-6. Lopez then retired Jackie Gutierrez to end the inning.

Brookens led off the sixth with a homer, doubling the size of the lead and chasing Gale from the mound. Bob Stanley allowed singles to Whitaker and Alan Trammell; he struck out Lemon, but Parrish singled Whitaker home for a 9-6 lead. Stanley recovered to retire the next two Tigers; Lopez walked Boggs to start the bottom of the inning, but allowed nothing else. In the seventh, Darrell Evans doubled, but Stanley stranded pinch runner Dave Bergman, and Gedman homered in the bottom of the inning to bring Boston a run closer.

Trammell led off the eighth with a double, but Stanley left him at second. Boggs started the bottom of the inning with a single and moved to second on a one-out Rice walk; Willie Hernandez then relieved Lopez and retired Armas and Easler to leave the tying runs on base. A Howard Johnson walk and a Bergman single went for naught when Stanley coaxed a double play from Brookens in the ninth, but Hernandez allowed only a Barrett single in the bottom of the inning, finishing the game off with the two-run lead intact.

The Red Sox had a very good day hitting the baseball - they got home runs from Jim Rice, Bill Buckner, and Rich Gedman, with Gedman's shot serving as one of his three hits, and added the first four-hit day of Marty Barrett's career (he would end up with 11 of them). The Tigers, as they tended to do, simply had a better day; they had three homers of their own (Chet Lemon, Lance Parrish, and Tom Brookens), and got multi-hit days from each of the four excellent hitters at the top of their order (Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammell, Lemon, and Parrish).

Incidentally, that top four typically also occupied the four up-the-middle defensive positions (although Trammell was DHing in this one), and all of them were stars of some magnitude at this point in their careers. Which goes a long way toward explaining why the '84 Tigers were as good as they were.

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