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In honor of actor Andy Garcia and his (unintentionally) hilarious reaction to Sofia (Mary Corleone) Coppola's death scene in "The Godfather, Part III."
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August 24,1976

Posted 04-14-2018 at 07:37 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 08-18-2019 at 09:56 AM by TommyJohn

August 24,1976
vs. Detroit Tigers
at Tiger Stadium

The 1976 White Sox were a dull team, save for the occasional near no-hitter, ten game winning streak, game-winning home run or combined no-hitter. The game against the Tigers on this night was another one of those times that the Sox reached deep inside themselves and produced a classic.

Ken Brett took the mound that night for the Sox against Dave Roberts of the Tigers. The Sox gave Brett a 2-0 lead in the top of the 2nd, but Brett gave it right back in the bottom of the frame when he gave up a three run home run to veteran Tiger Bill Freehan.

The Sox took a 4-3 lead in the 4th, but Brett again couldn't hold it, giving up a two run single to Rusty Staub in the 5th.

The Sox scored once more and the Tigers twice to take a 7-5 lead into the top of the 9th. Against a weak-hitting, second division team like the Sox, the Tigers seemed to have the game all wrapped up. But as the great Yogi Berra once said "It ain't over 'til it's over."

Pat Kelly opened the inning by reaching base when Tiger reserve 2nd baseman Jerry Manuel booted Kelly's ground ball. Jim Spencer grounded to 1st, with 1st baseman Mickey Stanley taking the easy out, allowing Kelly to take 2nd. Brian Downing singled to score Kelly. Chet Lemon hit a potential game-ending double play ground ball to 3rd baseman Mark Wagner, who couldn't get a grip on it, then threw it wildly to 2nd base in his haste to get Downing. His two errors on one play put runners on 2nd and 3rd.

That finished pitcher Jim Crawford, who gave way to Steve Grilli, who intentionally walked Ralph Garr to load the bases. Grilli departed for Bill Laxton, who also faced one batter-Jack Brohamer, who drew an unintentional walk to force home Downing to tie the score.

John Hiller came on as the 4th Tiger pitcher of the inning. Jerry Hairston hit a sacrifice fly to score Lemon and give the Sox an 8-7 lead. Jorge Orta followed with a grounder to 2nd and Manuel kicked it for his second error of the inning. Garr scored on the play to make it 9-7. Bill Stein, Jim Spencer and Pat Kelly followed with RBI singles to make it 12-7. Brian Downing grounded to Manuel, who fielded it cleanly and tossed to short to force off Kelly and end the inning. Final tally for the Sox 9th inning: 7 runs on 4 hits and 4 errors.

Dave Hamilton mopped up in the bottom of the 9th, putting the Tigers down in order to wrap up the 12-7 win. The seven run 9th was reminiscent of when another bad team, the 1970 Sox, won a game against Boston by overcoming a 5-2 deficit in the 9th with an 11 run rally.

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