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On This Date in Sports August 2, 1985: Two at Home

In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com

The Chicago White Sox beat the New York Yankees 6-5 in 11 innings at Yankee Stadium. The game is best remembered for a crazy play in the seventh inning, in which Carlton Fisk tags out Bobby Meacham and Dale Berra trying to score on a hit by Rickey Henderson. The White Sox would win the game on a single by Luis Salazar in the 11th inning.

Entering a Friday Night Game in the Bronx, the Yankees were in second place at 55-45 under Manager Billy Martin but were eight and a half games behind the first-place Toronto Blue Jays. Led by Tony LaRusa, the White Sox were in a tight race in the AL West at 50-48, five and a half games behind the California Angels while in fourth place.

Marty Bystrom started for New York and struggled in the first inning as the White Sox scored two runs as Greg Walker had an RBI single and Carlton Fisk had a sacrifice fly scoring Bryan Little and Harold Baines. Britt Burns starting for Chicago did not do any better, as the Yankees answered quickly as Rickey Henderson walked to lead off the game followed by a two-run shot by Don Mattingly. In the third inning, the White Sox again took the lead as Harold Baines drove across Luis Salazar. Mattingly once again provided the answer for the Yankees with a home run in the sixth to tie the game 3-3.

In the seventh inning, the Yankees had something cooking against Burns, as Andre Robertson led off with a single and was replaced by Bobby Meacham who came in as pinch-runner. Dale Berra followed and reached on an error by Tim Hullett at third. Rickey Henderson came up and hit a long fly ball to the left-center gap, just over Salazar’s glove. Meacham thinking the ball was going to get caught went back to second to tag up and stumbled, nearly running into Berra as he rounded the base. Salazar picked the ball up and threw and got the ball to Ozzie Guillen who threw home. Meanwhile, Meacham with Berra on his tail was heading home. Carlton Fisk was able to make the tag on both keeping the game tied as Mattingly flew out to end the inning.

The Yankees were getting strong relief from Brian Fisher and Dave Righetti, while Britt Burns went nine for the White Sox. In the tenth inning, Righetti in his third inning of work appeared to run out of gas as he gave up two runs, with an RBI single by Walker scoring Guillen, while Fisk doubled home Harold Baines. With Jerry Don Gleaton on to close the game, the Yankees trailing 5-3 were down to their final out with nobody on with Don Mattingly at the plate. Mattingly got on base, as Mike Stanton was called on to face Dave Winfield. The Yankees cleanup hitter proceeded to tie the game with a two-run blast.

Rich Bordi came on to pitch for the Yankees in the 11th, as he retired the first two batters. However, the White Sox got three straight hits to take a 6-5 lead with Luis Salazar driving in Ozzie Guillen. In the bottom of the ninth Juan Agosto retired the Yankees in order and was credited with the win as Willie Randolph ended the game on a grounder to short.

A similar play would occur 21 years later in the NLDS with Paul LoDuca of the New York Mets tagging out Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second inning of the series opener in 2006 at Shea Stadium.