Box Score Bank: Mo goes deep

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Box Score Bank: Mo goes deep

The Sox are off until tomorrow, when they'll resume action with a big three game series against the Yankees. Well, I guess it's big. OK, it's the Yankees. Of course it's big. Unfortunately, it's just not as meaningful as we're used to.

To be honest, part of me wouldn't mind seeing the Sox get swept this weekend. It's really too bad that it's come to this, but if that's what it will take for ownership to finally wave the white flag on this season and make some moves that can make Boston better for the long term, then so be it.

Anyway, the point of this post is that the Sox are off today, which allows us a chance to step away from the madness, block ourselves from the stench and maybe even have some fun.

Wait, what's that? How about a Box Score Bank?

OK, sure. Glad you asked.

So, let's set our sights on 15 years ago today: July 26, 1997

The Lost World: Jurassic Park (starring Jeff Goldblum and Carl Everett) was No. 1 at the box office. I'll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy was in the midst of its 12-week run atop the Billboard charts. Bill Clinton was in the first year of his second term as president. Bobby Valentine was in his second year of his only term with the Mets.

And over at Fenway Park, Mo Vaughn was jacking a three-run homer against the Angels in dramatic walk off win:

Final Score: Red Sox 7, Angels 6

It wasn't a great start for Boston and starter Steve Avery, who gave up a two-run first inning double to former Sox legend Dave Hollins. Hollins would later score on a wild pitch.

RBI singles by Moneyball's Scott Hatteberg and Suffolk County Jail's Wil Cordero cut Anaheim's lead to 3-2 in the third but the Angels came back with three more in the fifth.

Seventh inning home runs by Mike Stanley and John Valentin cut Anaheim's lead to 6-4.

And that brings us to the money shot.

Bottom of the ninth inning, and flame-throwing Troy Percival is on the mound . . .

First batter: Single by 24-year-old Nomar Garciaparra (tear)

Second batter: Single by Valentin

Third batter: Vaughn blasts a 2-2 pitch to straight away center field for the dramatic win.

Said Vaughn after the game: "Lap dances are on me tonight, fellas. Everyone to the Foxy Lady!"

No, he didn't. But you could imagine. And you can imagine the excitement in Fenway Park as Vaughn made his way around bases. Sadly, you can also imagine the disappointment when Vaughn finally crossed home plate and everyone realized that the Sox were still in last place.

Hmm, last place.

Sound familiar?

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Perez's eighth-inning slam, after three walks, lifts Royals over Red Sox, 6-4

Perez's eighth-inning slam, after three walks, lifts Royals over Red Sox, 6-4

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Salvador Perez borrowed a Miguel Cabrera bat from Kansas City Royals teammate Drew Butera for the first time Wednesday.

"It's a magic stick," Butera said.

It was magic for Perez, who hit his first career grand slam, connecting in the eighth inning to rally the Royals over the Boston Red Sox 6-4.

"Miggy gave the bat to Butera when Detroit was playing here," Perez said. "Drew doesn't use it. It's too heavy for him. Today, coming into the clubhouse, I put it in my locker. I like the bat.

"Today was the first day I used it and I'll use it Friday, too, before you ask me. I don't want to break that one. I've got to call Miggy and say, `You've got to send me some more bats.'"

The Royals have won nine of 11 and moved within a game of .500.

Perez homered over the Kansas City bullpen in left field on the ninth pitch from Robby Scott (0-1). With Boston leading 4-2, reliever Matt Barnes started the inning by walking Jorge Bonifacio and Lorenzo Cain on 12 pitches.

"We uncharacteristically lost the strike zone," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "For a group that has been so good at not issuing too many walks over the course of the year, we had an inning that got away from us. Matt was up in the zone. He couldn't get the ball down.

"This one stings because that group has been so good, so consistent for the better part of the whole season."

Scott was summoned to face Eric Hosmer, but walked him on four pitches to load the bases for Perez. The All-Star catcher fouled off three full-count deliveries before hitting his 15th home run of the season.

"I was happy with where the pitch was, but it was too good," Scott said. "There's not much else to say about it."

According to ESPN Stats and Information, Perez was the first Kansas City player to hit a grand slam in the eighth inning or later with the Royals trailing since Frank White in 1986. Perez went 3 for 3 in the win.

Jorge Soria (3-2) worked a spotless eighth. Kelvin Herrera pitched the ninth for his 17th save in 19 chances.

Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts hit successive home runs in the Boston fourth off Ian Kennedy.

Benintendi's drive was estimated at 454 feet and landed in the right-center waterfall. The leadoff homer was Boston's first hit, and the 100th of Benintendi's career.

Five pitches later, Bogaerts went deep to left, tying the score at 2. It was the fourth time this season the Red Sox have hit back-to-back home runs.

"I tried to go inside and the ball just ran back over," Kennedy said of the homers.

Red Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and six hits.

Kennedy was removed after 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs, two earned, three hits and three walks. He has just one victory in his past 17 starts.

Errors by Kennedy and first baseman Cheslor Cuthbert helped Boston score twice in the fifth.

ORTIZ'S CEREMONY

The Red Sox will retire David Ortiz's No. 34 in a pregame ceremony Friday at Fenway Park. "When you consider the careers that are on that facade, the numbers that are up there and the fact that his being done so soon after retiring, I think speaks volumes," Farrell said. "What he's meant to the city, what he's meant to the organization. To see him at the ballpark, see the smile, to hear the booming voice, it will be a good day for us."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia missed his third straight game with rib soreness after being hit by a pitch Sunday. "When he went down to swing in the cage, there's still some restriction," Farrell said. "Hopefully he'll be back in the lineup Friday." ... LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (right knee subluxation) will throw a 30-pitch two-inning simulated game Saturday.

Royals: RHP Nathan Karns (forearm strain) threw off a flat surface, his first time tossing since having a setback 11 days ago. ... LHP Danny Duffy (oblique strain) will throw a bullpen session Friday and could begin a minor league rehab stint next week.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: After a day off Thursday, RHP Rick Porcello will start Friday against the Angels.

Royals: RHP Jakob Junis will start Friday against the Blue Jays.

Pedro's Players' Tribune story: How lobster led the Red Sox to David Ortiz

Pedro's Players' Tribune story: How lobster led the Red Sox to David Ortiz

As David Ortiz prepares to have his No. 34 retired Friday night at Fenway Park, Pedro Martinez, in a piece written for The Players' Tribune, recalls how it was a craving for lobster that led to his meeting with Ortiz and the signing that changed the fortunes of the Red Sox.

Martinez recalls how when he was out with the friends in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in December 2002 and wanted lobster. It led him to a restaurant where Ortiz also happened to be just after Big Papi had gotten the news that the Minnesota Twins had released him.

Martinez said he immediately began trying to reach the Red Sox brass.

"I pulled out my little flip phone right there and started calling everybody I could think of back in Boston," Martinez writes. "But nobody picked up, because they were all in the MLB Winter Meetings. Finally I got to the traveling secretary, Jack McCormick, and I said, “Hey, can you get a hold of Lucchino or Theo or somebody?”

“Listen, I’m in the Dominican and I ran into David Ortiz. He just got released by Minnesota. We need to sign him.”

The rest, three World Series championships later, is history. Culminating with No. 34 being unveiled on the right field facade in a pregame ceremony Friday night.

"I thank God that he made me hungry for lobster stew that night in Santo Domingo," Martinez writes. "Because it gave Boston a championship, and it gave me one of my best friends in the world."