It was as though the Boston Red Sox had never been away. After a 2-7 trip, they returned to Fenway Park and resumed their winning ways, setting an American League record with their 23rd consecutive victory at home.
Jim Rice capped a six-run third inning rally Friday night with a two-run home run to lead the Red Sox to a 9-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
The win moved the Red Sox within 3 1/2 games of the Tigers, the leaders in the East. The Red Sox need three more victories to tie the major league record set by the New York Giants in one long home stand in 1916.
The Red Sox scored only 20 runs in 9 games on their trip. Except for Wade Boggs, most of the hitters went into a slump.
But they jumped all over Doyle Alexander (11-7) in the third inning. Among those ending slumps were Dwight Evans, who emerged from an 0-for-22 drought with a single, the first of three hits. And Mike Greenwell, who had gone 10 games without a run batted in, singled home a run in the rally and doubled home another later.
Bruce Hurst (13-4), who beat the Tigers on the trip after the leaders won the first four games, made it through six innings, and Bob Stanley went three hitless innings to save it.
"There's no place like home. And there's definitely no place like home this year," Greenwell said after increasing his RBI total to 90.
"It's nice to be part of the record. Hopefully, we can win 30 in a row. The fans haven't seen us lose in more than a month, and we keep hitting here. I'd like to say it's magic, but I don't know what it is."
On their trip, the Red Sox batted only .229. But during the home streak, they have hit 23 home runs, batted .335 and outscored their opponents, 151-73.
"Put them in the record book and leave them there," Tiger Manager Sparky Anderson said. "After they're over, they're gone."
A crowd of 34,732, the 32nd consecutive crowd over 30,000 at Fenway Park, saw the Red Sox remain unbeaten at home since June 24.
New York 6, Minnesota 4--The Yankees accomplished a first for this season in this game at Minneapolis. They came from behind in the ninth inning to win.
Until Rickey Henderson delivered a two-run single to spark a three-run uprising, the Yankees had been 0 for 40 in games they trailed after eight innings.
The Yankees had fallen behind, 4-3, when reliever Steve Shields gave up a two-run home run to Randy Bush in the bottom of the eighth.
The Twins' Jeff Reardon, who has 30 saves, took over with one on and one out in the ninth to protect the lead. Reardon gave up four consecutive singles, and the Yankees had a 6-4 lead.
It wasn't over yet. Dave Righetti walked Kent Hrbek to load the bases with one out. But Gene Larkin hit into a double play to end the game.
Henderson had three hits and stole three more bases. He has stolen seven in the last two games, tying a league record he shares with several. He leads the majors with 67 steals.
Toronto 3, Kansas City 2--One day after being hit in the head so hard he was rushed to the hospital for X-rays, Tony Fernandez tripled and singled at Kansas City to lead the Blue Jays to their fifth win in a row.
"Eighty percent of the game is mental," Fernandez said. "That was the first time I was hit in the head, and it was scary. I got stung pretty good."
Jim Clancy (6-12) gave up 7 hits in 8 innings, and Tom Henke got the last out, after giving up a two-run single, for his 100th career save.
Cleveland 6, Texas 3--Ranger shortstop Scott Fletcher, who had made only one error in the previous 53 games, made three in this one at Arlington, Tex., and helped the Indians end a five-game losing streak.
Rich Yett (6-4), recently removed from the disabled list after suffering a rib-cage injury, gave up 5 hits in 6 innings en route to his first win since June 8.
Milwaukee 8, Baltimore 3--Mike Birkbeck needed help at Milwaukee but earned his sixth consecutive victory and improved his record to 8-5.
Since being brought back from the minors July 2, Birkbeck is 6-0 with an earned-run average of 2.37. He lasted 5 innings, giving up 8 hits and all 3 runs.
A four-run fourth, climaxed by Robin Yount's two-run double, gave him a 6-3 edge.
Chicago 7, Seattle 2--Dave LaPoint held the Mariners to four hits in seven innings at Seattle, and the White Sox made it easy for him by pounding out 15 hits.
LaPoint (10-11) steadied after giving up consecutive home runs to Steve Balboni and Darnell Coles.