The Boston Red Sox, the local version of major league baseball, managed enough hits and runs to survive the efforts of their own bullpen and straggled to a 6-5 triumph over the Washington Senators last night at Fenway Park.
After building a 6-2 cushion in the bottom of the seventh on the strength of two-run blasts by Carl Yastrzemski and George Scott, the team indulged in their fetish for late-inning dramatics in a familiar way.
Two pitching changes by manager Eddie Kasko yielded three runs, and the Sox were threatening to blow another one. With one out in the ninth Frank Howard lambasted a Sparky Lyle pitch into deep right field, and only a leaping catch by Tony Conigliaro saved a home run and the remnants of the Boston lead.
Yastrzemski's double, a wild pitch and an error gave Boston its first run in the opening inning. That margin vanished in the third when Frank Howard (again) bounced a two-out, 3-2 pitch off the centerfield wall, scoring two runs. Retaliation came in the seventh.
A Yastrzemski fly reached the bleachers just ahead of Washington's right-fielder, and one out later George Scott hit one over everybody and onto Jersey St. to give the Red Sox a seemingly safe 6-2 lead. The pitching collapse that followed simply added excitement to the game and further evidence that the sinking Boston mound staff must be salvaged or meet the fate of Harry Elkins Widener.