MILWAUKEE — Everyone leaving County Stadium was soaking wet tonight, but they were happy.
A steady drizzle fell in Milwaukee from the fourth inning on, and the wet conditions often affected the game. In almost every case, the rain benefited the Brewers.
But that didn’t come into play until the bottom of the seventh. The game was adventurous without the rain until then.
The first inning was an inning of dueling triples. Larry Herndon led off the game with a triple to right. He then scored on a groundout by Enos Cabell for the Tigers’ run in the top half. Paul Molitor led off the bottom half with a triple to left center. He then scored on a wild pitch by Petry to make it 1-1.
With two down in the bottom of the sixth and the Tigers leading 4-2, the Brewers rattled off three clutch hits (singles by Marshall Edwards, Paul Molitor and Robin Yount) to give the Brewers a 6-4 lead. The last run was after a puzzling decision by the Tigers to bring in Aurelio Lopez from the bullpen to intentionally walk Jim Gantner and load the bases for Robin Yount. Yount promptly made the Tigers pay.
The game got crazy starting in the top of the seventh. With one down, Lance Parrish lined a hit down the left field line. Ben Oglivie charged it and made a nice play, throwing a strike to Gantner at second. Parrish appeared to be out, but he was called safe. Gantner immediately erupted and spiked the ball into the ground. He was then tossed from the game by umpire Don Denkinger. It would become a key moment as Ed Romero took over at second base.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth of a 6-6 game and Molitor at first, Romero hit a harmless bloop single into center. Kirk Gibson charged the ball that died in the wet grass while Molitor rounded second and headed for third. Gibson fired to second to keep Romero at first, and the ball sailed over the heads of Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker. First baseman Enos Cabell slipped and fell trying to get the ball, and it slowly rolled towards the Brewers dugout. Gorman Thomas playfully waved the ball in, and it obliged. Molitor was given home plate and Romero third. Romero then scored on a Robin Yount sac fly for the final Brewers run.
It was the eighth straight win for Vuckovich, but it’s unlikely he’ll keep the game ball for this one. He labored through eight innings, allowing six runs on 13 hits and six walks. He threw 847 pitches. Not really, but he threw a lot.
After losing three straight in which onlookers began doubting the power of a managerial change, the Brewers offense is back. The Brewers scored seven total runs during the three losses, but have scored more in each game since (nine runs yesterday and eight runs today).
This is more Harvey Wallbangers-like. Now if we can only get the pitching back on track.
Game Notes: There were 26 hits in the games plus three errors by the Tigers and one by the Brewers … The Brewers are now seven games back in the AL East … Cecil Cooper didn’t play because of what is being described as a right buttock injury.