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March 23, 2012

April 12, 1984 - Start of Divisional Games

These are the last two games of April 12, as it looks like this was another major travel day for most teams.  If I'm not mistaken, though, these last two games were the first ones featuring opposing teams from the same division...

Game #93 - California Angels, 5 @ Oakland Athletics, 6
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third inning when Bill Almon sent a Tommy John pitch over the fence for a home run.  The Angels answered back in the top of the fourth.  Bobby Grich doubled and moved to third when Rickey Henderson bobbled the ball in left field.  Brian Downing then singled home Grich, and Downing scored behind a Juan Beniquez double.  The Angels added runs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth to give them a 5-2 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth the A's made their come back attempt against ace closer Don Aase.  Pinch hitter Mike Davis singled.  Mike Heath struck out, but pinch hitter Bruce Bochte walked to put two men on.  Pinch hitter Gary Hancock dribbled an infield hit to load the bases with one out, and Aase was struggling.  He induced a strikeout from Rickey Henderson, though, to make it two outs.  But 2B Tony Phillips cracked a single to score two runs, making the lead only 5-4!  Aase got yanked and in came Curt Kaufman.  He gave up a bloop single to Carney Lansford to once again load the bases.  Hulking Dave Kingman stepped to the plate.  He tied the game for the A's...on a walk!  Dwayne Murphy struck out but with the game tied it went to extra frames.

Bill Caudill came in and retired the Angels in order in the top of the tenth.  In the bottom half of the inning, Mike Davis once again started a rally by doubling.  Mike Heath hit a sacrifice fly to move Davis to third.  Kaufman got yanked for John Curtis, who walked Bochte to put runners on the corner.  Joe Morgan was also walked.  With the bases loaded Rickey Henderson was up.  So far in the game he had two fielding errors, two strikeouts, and had hit into a double play.  This time, though, he smoked a double for the game winning RBI.  Sweet redemption!

Winning Pitcher - Bill Caudill
Losing Pitcher - John Curtis
Player of the Game - Mike Davis, 2-2 (started the scoring in the 9th and 10th)
Hall of Famers in the Game - Reggie Jackson, Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan

Game #94 Atlanta Braves, 2 @ San Diego Padres, 3
The Braves were riding a four game win streak and the Padres a three game losing streak.  Dale Murphy launched a two run bomb in the first to give Atlanta a quick 2-0 lead.  Steve Garvey knocked in Alan Wiggins in the bottom of the first to put one on the board for San Diego.  The Padres tied the game in the sixth when Carmelo Martinez doubled home Tony Gwynn.  Tim Lollar and Rick Mahler both went seven innings and each surrendered two runs, but despite their stellar pitching, both received no decisions.  (I also batted Rick Mahler in the eight spot for the Braves to try something different.  He had a .296 AVG in the real 1984.  He went 0-2 with a walk.)  In the bottom of the eighth lefty specialist Terry Forster was pitching for Atlanta.  Alan Wiggins walked and moved to third on a Gwynn single.  Garvey hit a sacrifice fly to left that was deep enough to plate Wiggins.  Craig Lefferts gave up two hits in the ninth but held the Braves scoreless for the win and save.

Winning Pitcher - Greg Harris
Losing Pitcher - Terry Forster
Save - Lefferts
Player of the Game - Steve Garvey, 1-3, 2RBI's, Sac Fly
Hall of Famers in the Game - Tony Gwynn

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