MILWAUKEE — For 8 2/3 innings and 83 pitches, Dennis Eckersley dominated the Milwaukee Brewers. But then, with a 3-2 lead and an 0-2 count…
“With two strikes I had to swing at anything close,” Ben Oglivie said of his ninth inning at bat. “I was looking for hard stuff. He got me out the other three times up that way.”
Oglivie guessed right. Eckersley dealt him a high fastball that Benji smacked into the right field bleachers to tie the game at three.
“This would have to be one of my biggest moments as far as the team… It has to be one of the greatest moments for me.”
Of course, had the Brewers lost in extra innings, Oglivie’s heroics would have been simply a footnote.
Robin Yount started the 11th by beating out an infield single. Cecil Cooper then singled to right to put runners at first and second with no outs. Third base coach Harry Warner then gave Ted Simmons the bunt sign. It would be Simmons’ first sacrifice bunt of the season.
“It was a hell of a bunt,” Warner said. “Boggs was playing behind Coop at first. The whole team thought he was going to hit.”
After Simmons’ surprise sacrifice bunt, the Red Sox intentionally walked Ben Oglivie to load the bases and set up a double play opportunity with Gorman Thomas at the plate.
“He’s got the best sinker in the league,” Thomas said of Red Sox reliever Bob Stanley. “Last thing I wanted to do was hit it on the ground.”
Thomas was able to hit a fly ball to left to score Yount with the winning run.
It was a classic Pete Vuckovich game. He regularly got himself into and out of trouble. The Red Sox stranded nine runners, but were 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and grounded into an astounding five double plays. Vuckovich pitched all 11 innings for his 18th win in 22 decisions.
“Anytime you win one it’s a big one,” Thomas said. “But because there are only so many left (12 games), they seem so much bigger.”
Every win does seem big right now, particularly with Baltimore winning seemingly every night. They won yet again, taking the Tigers 3-1 to remain two games back of the Crew.
Game Notes: Charlie Moore extended his hitting streak to 12 games and Cecil Cooper to 14 games. … Paul Molitor, who hit .429 with three homers, two triples, nine RBI, 25 total bases and 11 runs scored, was named AL Player of the Week.