Pitcher John Tudor of the Boston Red Sox said he had a dream before tonight's game with the Baltimore Orioles. In the dream, Tudor's teammates congratulated him for a victory.
Unfortunately for the Orioles, his dream came true.
Tony Armas hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly with two out in the eighth inning and Tudor pitched a steady nine innings to give Boston a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Orioles before 36,668 at Memorial Stadium.
The Red Sox, who also beat the Orioles Friday night in the first game of the three-game series, pulled within four games of first place in the American League East. The Orioles, who have lost three straight, remain in first place, 1 1/2 games ahead of Detroit.
"This was a sweet win," said Tudor (4-4), who gave up five hits and struck out two. "I actually saw myself being congratulated in the dream, but I didn't think about it until the eighth inning. I don't think we stole this win. We worked hard for it and we earned it."
Boston's rally, which came at the expense of reliever Tippy Martinez (4-3), ruined a solid performance by starter Mike Boddicker, who pitched seven business-like innings, allowing two hits and striking out six.
Boston entered the eighth inning trailing, 2-1. Pinch hitter Rick Miller walked and that was it for rookie right-hander Boddicker, who said he had developed a blister on his pitching hand in the fourth inning and could no longer grip the ball properly.
Martinez gave up a single to Jerry Remy, moving Miller to second. Dwight Evans tied the game with a ground rule double to straightaway center, scoring Miller and sending Remy to third. Jim Rice was walked intentionally to load the bases, then Armas' fly to center brought Remy home.
"This was one of those games," Martinez said. "I threw Tony a breaking ball, but it was right where he wanted it."
Martinez ended the inning by getting Wade Boggs to fly deep to left.
The game started almost two hours late because of rain. The teams finally took the field at 9:13, even though it drizzled through the third inning.
Boddicker, starting his seventh game of the year, retired the first two batters, but left fielder Jim Rice hit a 3-2 fast ball over the left field wall. The home run was Rice's 15th of the year, tying him with California's Doug DeCinces for the league lead.
Tudor retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, then yielded two runs in the fourth. Tudor, who threw 36 pitches in the inning, walked Rich Dauer, then gave up a single to Cal Ripken. Eddie Murray then singled to left, scoring Dauer and advancing Ripken to second.
After Gary Roenicke flied out to Rice deep in the left field corner, Ken Singleton walked to load the bases. Benny Ayala then drove a 2-2 pitch to deep center; his sacrifice fly scored Ripken with the go-ahead run.
But Tudor struck out Aurelio Rodriguez on a 3-2 changeup.
"I didn't want to give Aurelio a fast ball," said Tudor. "I've seen him before in enough sitiations to know he can hit that. I threw him two straight changeups before I got him."
Boddicker was in a groove by the fifth. He retired 20 of the next 24 batters he faced after Rice's home run, and got 12 straight between the second and fifth innings. He struck out five and only one ball was hit out of the infield in that stretch.
Tudor also recovered quickly from his one bad inning. Tudor, who had no decision in his only other start against the Orioles this season, got the Orioles out in order in the sixth and had two out before allowing Roenicke a two-out single to left in the eighth. But Tudor struck out Singleton on a 3-2 breaking ball.
"I wanted the fast ball and he (Tudor) knew it," said Singleton. "I kept wanting him to come inside with something, but he wouldn't do it. He gave me a fast ball the first time up, and I got a single off him. After that, everything was outside and down."