BOSTON — This four-game series pits first against second in the American League East. Most importantly, it’s billed as Harvey’s Wallbangers vs. The Wall, the famed Green Monster of Fenway. After one game, the wall took a beating. As did the Red Sox.
The Brewers scored nine runs on 16 hits, several of which went either into or over the Green Monster. While the Monster gets all of the attention, the Brewers made sure to spray the ball around the field. The action started in the first inning when Cecil Cooper, who complained of blurred vision due to a migraine, clanged a two-run homer off of the right field foul pole.
Gorman Thomas‘ two-run homer over the Monster in the sixth gave the Brewers the lead for good, and the Crew tacked on four more runs in the seventh on six singles for good measure, one of which was a Ben Oglivie smash off of the big wall.
But the key moment in this game may not have involved the wall or the Brewers’ bats. The Red Sox opened the fifth with three consecutive singles, scoring a run to pull to within one of the Brewers. Jim Slaton relieved Randy Lerch and walked Tony Perez on five pitches to load the bases. He then disposed of Dave Stapleton, Glenn Hoffman and Carl Yastrzemski on consecutive infield pop-ups to get out of the jam.
While that may have been the turning point, it was also the story of the game for the Red Sox. Boston’s mashers reached on 15 hits, but 13 were for singles. When it counted, they failed, going 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position and leaving 13 runners on base overall.
While Boston may have come into this game as the favorite, they certainly played the role of the underdog. And the Brewers simply pounded away.
One down, three to go. The Brewers are now to within four games.
Game Notes: The Brewers are now 15-6 under manager Harvey Kuenn … Jim Gantner‘s sore shoulder is still bothering him, and he may go on the DL. He could not throw without pain, so Ed Romero started in his place at second and had two hits while playing flawless defense … The Red Sox placed third baseman Carney Lansford on the DL with torn ankle ligaments and called up Ed Jurak from Pawtucket.