American League Roundup : Evans Gives Red Sox the Power to Put Yankees Away, 3-1
Most of the players leading the Boston Red Sox’s drive to the division title in the American League East have only heard about the “Lost Weekend” of 1978.
But Dwight Evans remembers. The veteran outfielder was there when the New York Yankees won four games in a row at Fenway Park and went on to take the pennant and the World Series.
Evans, 36, put an end to thoughts of a repeat collapse Saturday when he smashed a towering home run over the Green Monster in left field to break a 1-1 tie in the eighth inning, and Bruce Hurst did the rest.
Hurst limited the Yankees to three hits, and the 3-1 victory gave him an 18-5 record while extending the Red Sox lead to 5 1/2 games over the Yankees. The Yankees fell to third, 1/2-game behind Detroit. The 30-year-old left-hander, who has become the ace of the staff, is 13-1 at home this season. In a park that is tough on left-handers, Hurst is 33-8 in the last three years.
Charles Hudson, a last-minute starter for the Yankees when Tommy John couldn’t pitch because of a stomach virus, matched Hurst until the eighth. Hudson, hammered by the Angels for 9 runs in 1 innings in his previous start Aug. 27, gave up just two hits, both by Jody Reed, through seven.
Opening the eighth, Hudson went to a 2-and-0 count before Evans lined the next pitch into the screen for his 16th home run and his 100th run batted in.
“I hope this erases that nightmare,” Evans said. “But I wasn’t thinking of that. I just wanted to get on and give Bruce a chance for a victory.”
It is the second season in a row that he has driven in 100 runs. Last season, his 16th with the Red Sox, Evans had career highs in average (.305), home runs (34) and RBIs (123).
The Yankees played the game under protest after Wade Boggs’ fly into the left-field corner scored Reed with the first Red Sox run in the fifth. A fan waved at the fly and it was ruled interference by third base umpire Ted Hendry. It was Hendry’s judgment that Reed would have scored anyway, so the protest, if filed, will not be allowed.
“I felt comfortable, and it was a lot of fun,” Hurst said after striking out nine and walking two. “In a game like this, you have to keep making good pitches. Make one mistake and they can hurt you.”
Detroit 7, Baltimore 3--Alan Trammell, out five games with a wrist injury, snapped a tie with a two-run single in the seventh inning at Detroit to keep the Tigers five games behind Boston.
Chet Lemon blew the game open with a three-run home run in the eighth inning and assured Doyle Alexander his first win in his last eight starts.
Alexander departed after Eddie Murray opened the ninth with his 27th home run.
Trammell is 8 for 13 with the bases loaded this season and has 21 RBIs.
Oakland 3, Kansas City 2--The magic number is four, but the Athletics lost Mark McGwire again because of back spasms. It was not known when McGwire, who left after going 1 for 1, will return.
Terry Steinbach, a torrid hitter since the All-Star break, hit a two-run home run in the second inning at Oakland to spoil the debut of Tom Gordon, the Royals’ 20-year-old right-hander. Gordon struck out 267 batters in 188 innings in the minor leagues this season.
Dennis Eckersley struck out four in two innings to earn his 41st save. It was the A’s 58th save. They need three more to break the major league record.
George Brett drove in his 100th run and became the first Royal to accomplish the feat in four seasons.
Cleveland 12, Toronto 3--Andy Allanson and Jay Bell each drove in two runs in an eight-run fifth-inning explosion at Toronto that ended the Blue Jays’ winning streak at four games.
It also virtually ended their division title hopes. They are 8 1/2 games behind Boston with 13 to play.
Minnesota 3, Chicago 1--The Twins aren’t going to repeat, but bullpen ace Jeff Reardon has had another banner season.
Reardon pitched a hitless ninth inning at Minneapolis for his 40th save. He became the first pitcher to get 40 saves in both major leagues.
“What do you know, I beat Jose (Canseco) to 40-40,” Reardon said.
Seattle 11, Milwaukee 0--Mike Moore pitched a two-hitter and faced the minimum 27 batters at Seattle. In all probability, he also put an end to the Brewers’ hopes of winning the East.
Moore struck out eight and improved his record to 9-14.
The Brewers dropped six games behind Boston. With only 12 games remaining, the Brewers trail the Red Sox by seven in the loss column.