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MLB – 1986 – ALCS – Red Sox Vs Angels – Game 5 – 11th Inning – With Al Michaels + Jim Palmer

Heading into Game 5, California looked set to earn their first-ever trip to a World Series…..as Rich Gedman’s two-run home run in the 2nd put the Red Sox up 2 – 0….but Angels Bob Boone’s home run off Bruce Hurst in the 3rd cut the lead to 2 – 1….then the previous night’s hero, Bobby Grich, hit a two-run home run to give the Halos a 3 – 2 lead in the 6th inning….as Red Sox CF Dave Henderson had tried to leap at the wall to catch Grich’s long fly ball…..but ended up deflecting it over the fence. The Angels added to their lead in the 7th off Bob Stanley on Rob Wilfong’s RBI double with two on….and Brian Downing’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly to take a 5 – 2 lead.

In the ninth, Angels’ Mike Witt allowed a lead off single to Bill Buckner….but struck out Jim Rice….and putting him two outs away from his 2nd complete game victory of the series. The next batter, Don Baylor, hit a two-strike, two-run home run to pull the Red Sox within one run….then after retiring the next batter….Witt was replaced….Gary Lucas was brought in to face catcher Rich Gedman who had been 3 for 3 in the game against Witt, including a double and a home run. Lucas, on the other hand, had a history of striking Gedman out. But with his very first pitch, Lucas hit Gedman….and was replaced by Donnie Moore…..when the Angels closer brought his team within one strike of its first-ever AL pennant….but Dave Henderson being one strike away from being the Goat of the Series because of what happened on Grich’s homer…..caught hold of a Moore forkball and launched a home run into the left field stands….while stunning the hometown crowd and greatly redeeming himself for his earlier miscue. Boston had taken a 6–5 lead.

The lead would not last, however, as in the bottom of the ninth, Bob Boone singled off Stanley, and Ruppert Jones pinch-ran for him…..when Gary Pettis sacrificed Jones to second….and Wilfong singled him home off Joe Sambito, tying the game.  Dick Schofield then singled, sending Wilfong to third, and Downing was intentionally walked to load the bases with only one out…..as all of Boston’s top-half heroics would have been washed away with a mere sacrifice fly at this point. But instead, Doug DeCinces only managed to hit a short fly ball to right field…..and Grich’s subsequent line-out to pitcher Steve Crawford ended the inning.

The teams settled down and the 10th inning was again scoreless…..but the Red Sox loaded the bases in the top of the 11th off Donnie Moore on a hit-by-pitch and two singles for Henderson.  He hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Baylor with the go-ahead run…..and that is when Calvin Schiraldi retired the Halos in order in the bottom of the 11th, completing a shocking comeback and sending the series back to Boston.

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