Red Sox take A's out in old bash game, 11-9 American League

July 09, 1993|By Hartford Courant

OAKLAND, CALIF — OAKLAND, Calif. -- There was nothing subtle about the game yesterday between the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics. It was bash or be bashed. Or actually, both.

When the hitting was over -- how does 20 runs on 24 hits sound? -- the Red Sox had returned to the land of the living, and of the winning.

Their 11-9 victory over the Athletics ended a two-game losing streak and left them 5-2 on the 10-game West Coast trip, with three games to go before the All-Star break.

Red Sox first baseman Mo Vaughn was 3-for-5, drove in five runs, hit his 13th home run -- a grand slam in the first -- and is hitting .304. He has 55 RBI. Billy Hatcher was 2-for-3 with four RBI.

Starter John Dopson (7-5, 4.24 ERA) allowed nine hits and five runs in five innings but earned the victory.

It was a game in which no lead was safe for long.

"The ball was flying everywhere today," Red Sox manager Butch Hobson said. "When two teams battle the way these two teams battle, the game is never safe."

It certainly didn't feel safe when troubled closer Jeff Russell came in to pitch the ninth, with the Red Sox leading, 11-9.

In his previous two appearances (Monday and Wednesday against the California Angels), Russell also came in with two-run leads and lost both leads.

So he was under the spotlight even more yesterday. But Russell struck out three of the four Athletics who faced him and earned his 19th save.

He struck out Rickey Henderson swinging and Brent Gates looking before walking Ruben Sierra on a 3-and-2 pitch.

That brought DH Troy Neel to the plate. Neel hadn't had too bad a game to that point -- 4-for-4, two homers and seven RBI.

Russell jumped ahead. Then, at 1-and-2, Russell threw a fastball high and tight and Neel struck out swinging to end the game.

It wasn't only Russell's day to rise above disappointment. The same could be said for Vaughn.

Vaughn had been hitless in his past 11 at-bats and had dropped below .300 for the first time since the second game of the season. He found out just before the game he had not made the All-Star team.

Oakland starter Todd Van Poppel (0-1, 21.00) paid the price. H walked the first three Boston batters to open the game, Vaughn made him pay by hitting his first career grand slam.

Then in the sixth, with the Red Sox holding a 10-5 lead, Vaughn greeted reliever Storm Davis with a single to right that made it 11-5.

But the A's kept coming back. They scored four in the seventh on Sierra's RBI single and Neel's three-run homer off Scott Bankhead.

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