Dwight Evans' sacrifice fly completed a four-run eighth inning as the Red Sox rallied for a 7-6 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday in Boston. That gave the Red Sox a four-game sweep of the American League East leaders.
The Red Sox solved relievers Jim Acker, Gary Lavelle and Bill Caudill in gaining their 16th victory in 18 games and move within 3 1/2 games of Toronto. Boston had trailed Toronto by 10 games three weeks ago.
It was Boston's first four-game series sweep since 1981.
Acker, who relieved starter Jimmy Key after Toronto had rallied to take a 6-3 lead in the seventh, began the Boston eighth by walking Bill Buckner. Jim Rice singled and Steve Lyons produced an RBI single.
Lavelle (2-2) relieved after a sacrifice bunt by pinch hitter Reid Nichols moved the runners to second and third. After Lavelle walked Marty Barrett on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases, Glenn Hoffman, who had an RBI single earlier, lined a 3-2 pitch to right for a two-run single.
Barrett took third and Hoffman went to second on the throw to the plate. Caudill relieved Lavelle and walked pinch hitter Rich Gedman intentionally to load the bases. Evans followed with his sacrifice fly.
"The Red Sox are playing super, but you can't catch walks," Toronto Manager Bobby Cox said.
"Nothing was hit hard except for Hoffman's 3-2 pitch. Everything else was ground balls and walks. We gave away three ball games and they beat us once. You just can't give them games. However, we're still in first place and I'm sure the other clubs would rather be where we are now."
Steve Crawford (4-2), Boston's third pitcher, got the last seven outs.
Trailing by 3-2, the Blue Jays scored three times in the sixth. Willie Upshaw singled off Roger Clemens and George Bell greeted reliever Bruce Hurst with a double. Jeff Burroughs' sacrifice fly tied the score, Buck Martinez singled home Bell and Tony Fernandez got an RBI single.
Angels 3, White Sox 1: In Anaheim, Calif., Reggie Jackson hit his 511th career homer and rookie Urbano Lugo pitched well for eight innings to lead California to victory. The Angels trail first-place Chicago by a half-game in the AL West.
Jackson's homer tied him with Mel Ott for 12th place on the all-time list. It was his eighth of the season and first since May 11.
Lugo (1-1) struck out nine and walked one. He left the game after giving up his fourth hit, a leadoff triple by Harold Baines in the ninth. Reliever Donnie Moore gave up Greg Walker's RBI ground out and Carlton Fisk's single before getting Tom Paciorek to ground into a double play for his 14th save.
The Angels took the lead in the fourth on Jackson's homer off Tim Lollar (2-3). They made it 2-0 in the sixth on Bob Boone's RBI single.
Mariners 2, Royals 1: Jim Presley singled with no outs in the ninth inning to score Barry Bonnell as Seattle won at home.
Bonnell opened the ninth with a double off reliever Joe Beckwith (1-3) and scored as Presley hit a 2-1 pitch.
Karl Best (2-1) worked the final 1 1/3 innings to earn the victory.
Kansas City tied the score, 1-1, in the fifth. John Wathan doubled, moved to third on Buddy Biancalana's sacrifice bunt and scored on Willie Wilson's single to right.
The Mariners took a 1-0 lead in the first. Jack Perconte doubled, took third on Phil Bradley's single and scored on Ivan Calderon's double.
Seattle rookie right-hander Billy Swift worked the first 7 2/3 innings.
Kansas City's Bud Black, who pitched the first eight innings, struck out a career-high 10 batters. He became the first Royals pitcher to strike out that many since Rich Gale on June 26, 1983.
Twins 4, Rangers 1: Gary Gaetti and Greg Gagne homered and Ken Schrom pitched a seven-hitter as Minnesota won in Texas.
Gaetti's ninth homer, after Tom Brunansky walked, broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning.
Schrom (5-5) did not allow an extra-base hit and walked four in getting his third complete game this season.
Charlie Hough (5-7) lasted six innings. Hough had pitched six straight complete games against the Twins.