July 22, 1976
Detroit at Chicago, doubleheader
Lets play three! After a doubleheader yesterday and a doubleheader today, the last thing you would want is an extra innings game, right? The boys on both teams were a little tired at the start today, and it only got worse. Ray Bare got the start against Blue Moon Odom of the White Sox in game one. Jason Thompson gave Detroit the lead in the 2nd inning with a two run homer, but sloppy play allowed the White Sox to score three times in the 4th to take the lead. Ben Oglivie hit a two run homer in the top of the 5th to give the Tigers the lead back, but the two teams traded sloppy play back and forth and after 8 innings, the game was tied, 9-9. On and on the game went, with John Hiller being abused for 8 innings of relief work, striking out 9 batters along the way. Clay Carroll was impressive for Chicago, as the former Red allowed just 2 hits in 7 innings of relief. It wasn't until the top of the 18th inning that the Tigers broke through against Dave Hamilton for two runs and the lead. Bill Laxton made the lead hold up in the bottom of the 18th and got the win.
Detroit: Bare, Grilli (7), Hiller (8), Laxton (16) and Freehan
Chicago: Odom, Forster (7), Carroll (9), Hamilton (16) and Essian
After a very short break, game two started. Vern Ruhle was told to last as long as possible and no doubt, Paul Richards instructed Goose Gossage to do the same. Chicago took an early 1-0 lead, but Willie Horton cracked a three run homer in the top of the 6th to give Detroit the lead. Pat Kelly countered with a two run homer in the bottom of the 6th to tie the game back up. Mickey Stanley had a clutch, two out, two run single in the top of the 7th, but the White Sox rallied for a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning, thanks to two Detroit errors. With the game tied at 5-5, why not play extra innings? Gossage falters in the 10th inning, as sloppy play by the White Sox appears again and with Jason Thompson hitting another two run homer, the Tigers score 4 runs to take a 9-5 lead. Ruhle trouts out to the mound in the bottom of the 10th and promptly gives up a lead off homerun to Ralph Garr. As Ralph Houk tries to figure out just who could possibly relieve for Detroit, Ruhle guts out the next three outs, as the Tigers sweep both doubleheaders and get back above the .500 mark at 45-44.
Detroit: Ruhle and Wockenfuss
Chicago: Gossage, Vuckovich (10) and Downing