BOSTON -- It may have been the costliest win of the year for the Red Sox.
While erasing an early three-run deficit to beat the Orioles 4-3 last night, Boston probably lost leftfielder Mike Greenwell for the season. And, if that wasn't enough, relief ace Jeff Reardon appeared to injure his back while striking out Brady Anderson for the final out.
Greenwell was injured when he stumbled over first base after grounding out in the third inning. He was diagnosed as having a strained groin muscle and a possible cartilage tear in his right knee. He was due to have tests today, but the prognosis was not not good.
Reardon was in obvious discomfort after throwing the first pitch to Anderson after getting Randy Milligan to ground out and striking out pinch-hitter Sam Horn. Reardon, who has had similar trouble in the past, indicated the pain was in the middle of his back, below the shoulder area.
He struck out Anderson on two more pitches, but neither was thrown with the velocity Reardon had displayed before the interruption. There was no immediate word on his condition, but the Red Sox will sweat out further evaluation.
* INSTRUCTIONAL FOURSOME: Four Orioles will spend some time with the club's Instructional League team in Florida.
Outfielders Mike Devereaux and Luis Mercedes, third baseman Leo Gomez and pitcher Arthur Rhodes will report to Sarasota shortly after this season ends. All are scheduled to be there briefly, primarily to work on specific aspects of their game.
Gomez and Devereaux will each spend about a week; Mercedes and Rhodes will stay about two weeks before going to winter ball. The Orioles want Devereaux to spend time working on his bunting and base stealing, while Gomez will work to improve his lateral movement and fielding balls hit in the air.
Mercedes will continue his crash course in the outfield -- working on "the whole scheme of things," according to manager John Oates. Rhodes will continue to work on his mechanics and keep himself in shape for play in the winter league.
* CREAM OF DH CROP: After years of mediocrity, the Orioles' designated hitters are putting up some strong numbers. They have set a club DH record with 31 home runs, leading the league in that category with one more than Detroit.
With 99 runs batted in, the Orioles also have a shot at the club record of 114 RBIs (1980).
* THIS 'N THAT: The Orioles have hit 10 home runs in Fenway Park this year, the most by an opposing team . . . They have already hit 27 this month, tops in the major leagues and two more than they hit the entire month of August . . . With 155 home runs, the Orioles are second in the American League, trailing only the Detroit Tigers.
Gomez hit his 14th homer last night and is now tied with Houston's Jeff Bagwell for the major-league lead among rookies.
Reardon's save last night was his 40th, enabling him to match Dennis Eckersley as the only reliever to reach that figure in three different seasons. Reardon has done it with three different teams (Montreal, Minnesota and Boston).
The Red Sox have won eight straight one-run decisions and 10 of their last 11 games decided in that fashion. Overall they have won 11 of their last 14 and are 28-10 since Aug. 9.