Reliever Dan Plesac walked Marty Barrett to load the bases in the eighth inning, then went 3-0 on Wade Boggs, the major leagues' leading hitter. But Plesac ended up striking out Boggs swinging and preserving the Milwaukee Brewers' 2-0 victory over the Red Sox yesterday in Boston's Fenway Park.
"Nine hundred and 99 times out of a thousand that won't happen," Brewers Manager George Bamberger said. "This was the most entertaining game I've seen this year. Never an easy game at this ballpark."
Plesac got Boggs on three fastballs, then ended the inning by getting Bill Buckner to ground out to second base. Plesac had no trouble in the ninth and earned his fifth save.
"It was a good feeling," Plesac said. "I'll tell you that. That I got into the jam in the first place was my own fault. I just went out and got him."
Boggs admitted later he was expecting to walk. "But I didn't," he said. "I struck out."
Tim Leary (5-5) held the Red Sox to seven hits in 7 1/3 innings in beating them the second time this week.
*Blue Jays 6, Tigers 5: Willie Hernandez, called upon to protect Jack Morris' 5-3 lead in the ninth inning in Toronto, yielded consecutive home runs to Cliff Johnson and pinch-hitter Buck Martinez.
Hernandez (2-3), the AL's Cy Young winner and most valuable player in 1984, relieved after Jesse Barfield led off the inning with an infield single. On Hernandez's second pitch, Johnson homered off the left field foul pole. It was his ninth this season and second in two days off Hernandez.
Three pitches later, Martinez, batting for catcher Ernie Whitt, homered to left, his first homer since June 6, 1985.
Winner Tom Henke (5-3) pitched 1 1/3 perfect innings in relief of Mark Eichhorn. Eichhorn struck out six and walked one in 3 1/3 innings before his leg was spiked when he covered first on an infield grounder.
Morris took a four-hitter into the seventh, then Rick Leach hit a two-run pinch-hit homer to narrow the Tigers' lead to 5-3.
Pat Sheridan's speed enabled Detroit to take a 2-0 lead in the second. With two outs, Darnell Coles walked and Sheridan beat out a hit. Alan Trammell followed with a two-run double, with Sheridan sliding ahead of second baseman Garth Iorg's relay throw.
Toronto pulled within 2-1 in the second when Barfield tripled and Whitt singled.
*Twins 9, Indians 3: In Cleveland, Keith Atherton's three innings of shutout relief ended the Indians' five-game winning streak.
He yielded two hits and struck out four in raising his record to 3-1 and lowering his ERA to 2.20 in his 10 appearances since leaving the Oakland A's.
"He's pitched real well for us in middle relief," Twins Manager Ray Miller said. "Sometimes a guy gets a new lease on life going to a new organization. He's throwing good and it seems like he's getting quicker every time he goes out there."
"I was in the Oakland organization nine years," Atherton said, "and it didn't seem that I was going anywhere with them this year. Coming over here was like starting over, a new life."
Greg Gagne's two-run double ended an eighth-inning tie as the Twins scored three runs in each of the last two innings.
Gary Gaetti opened the Twins' eighth against Neal Heaton (3-6) with a line drive near the warning track in left field. Mel Hall caught it, then dropped it, allowing Gaetti to reach second.
Heaton struck out Tim Laudner and intentionally walked Mickey Hatcher before Scott Bailes came on to retire Billy Beane on a ground ball.
Gagne then lined his double inside the left field line. The Twins extended their lead to 6-3 when Kirby Puckett singled home Gagne.
The Twins got three more runs in the ninth on Tim Laudner's double.
*A's 3, Rangers 2: In Oakland, rookie Eric Plunk's first major league victory ended the A's losing streak at nine.
Plunk (1-2) struck out 10, walked five and allowed Texas only three hits in 7 2/3 innings. He was one of the minor leaguers the Yankees sent to Oakland in 1984 to get Rickey Henderson.
Texas outhit the A's, 5-3. Texas' Ed Correa (4-4) gave up the three hits in his six innings but his wildness kept him in trouble.
*Mariners 7, White Sox 3: In Seattle, Ken Phelps' three-run homer highlighted a five-run fourth inning against Chicago's Tom Seaver.
Seaver (2-5) has lost three straight since April 25. He gave up seven hits in the big inning and nine in his seven innings.
Alvin Davis led off the fourth with a single and Danny Tartabull doubled. Phelps then hit his 10th homer this season (although he has only 83 at-bats). Dave Henderson singled, Spike Owen tripled and John Moses singled to make it 6-0.
Winner Mark Langston (6-5) pitched 5 2/3 innings and struck out 10. He gave up six hits, including Carlton Fisk's three-run homer in the sixth.