Friday, September 12, 2014

Game of the Day (9/11/84)

Mariners 4, Rangers 3. Seattle's Salome Barojas and Texas's Dave Stewart were both 27-year-old right-handers who had rough seasons in 1984. Stewart would turn things around a couple years later, eventually pitching for another decade and having several fine seasons with Oakland. Barojas, on the other hand, had less than 100 innings left in his career.

Barojas was perfect in the first, while Stewart worked around an Alvin Davis double. Barojas allowed a Pete O'Brien single and walked Donnie Scott in the second, but left both men on, and the Mariners took the lead in the bottom of the inning. Phil Bradley drew a one-out walk, and Bob Kearney, John Moses, and Jack Perconte hit consecutive two-out singles, the latter two of which drove in runs. Spike Owen walked to load the bases before Davis fouled out to leave all three runners on.

The game quieted from there. Both starters threw 1-2-3 third innings, and a Moses double made him the only baserunner in either half of the fourth. Barojas walked and stranded Curt Wilkerson in the fifth; Owen and Davis began the bottom of the inning with singles, but Stewart set the next three Mariners down without allowing the runners to advance. Billy Sample walked and took second on a groundout in the sixth, but was caught stealing third; Buddy Bell then singled and was left on. Kearney singled and Moses walked in the home sixth, and Perconte's groundout moved them to second and third, but that was where they ended the inning.

Texas finally joined the scoring in the seventh on a solo homer by Scott. Dickie Noles relieved Stewart in the bottom of the inning and allowed a Ken Phelps single, but struck out the next two hitters to end the inning. Ed Nunez then replaced Barojas in the top of the eighth and was greeted by a pinch single from Mickey Rivers. Sample hit into a force, but stole second, and one out later, Bell singled him home with the tying run. Larry Parrish singled as well, chasing Nunez in favor of Ed Vande Berg; O'Brien walked to load the bases, and George Wright singled to score Bell with the go-ahead run. Parrish tried to score on the play as well, and was cut down at the plate to end the inning.

Noles allowed singles to Kearney and pinch hitter Harold Reynolds in the bottom of the eighth, but left both men on. Vande Berg and Karl Best combined on a scoreless ninth to keep the Mariners within a run. Noles then hit Davis with a pitch and walked Phelps to start the bottom of the ninth. Both men were replaced by pinch runners (Domingo Ramos and Darnell Coles, respectively), and Dave Schmidt was summoned to the mound in Noles's stead. Dave Henderson bunted the runners to second and third, Bradley was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Schmidt then uncorked a wild pitch that brought the tying run home. Jim Presley was issued an on-purpose pass as well, and Dave Valle fouled to the catcher for the second out.

Up to the plate stepped a player who was playing in his second major league game. The 21-year-old shortstop had been used as a pinch runner in his one prior appearance, and had entered this game as a substitute as well, so his first career at bat was now coming in the ninth inning of a tie game with the bases loaded and two outs.

Danny Tartabull proceeded to single home the winning run, getting his distinguished career off to just about the best start possible.

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