It ain’t over …

Thursday afternoon’s contest marked the 416th meeting between the Blue Jays and Red Sox. American League East foes for 30 seasons, there’s plenty of history between these two ball clubs; certainly no shortage of great stories. And yet every time they meet, whether it’s Game 200, 310 or 416, I’m reminded of one particular matchup at Fenway Park on an unforgettable Sunday afternoon …

Whitternie Recent callup Alex Sanchez made the start for Toronto in that June 4, 1989 contest against the Sox — though he lasted just a third of an inning. In his third — and final — start in a Blue Jay uniform, Sanchez allowed five runs on three hits in the first inning before giving way to Xavier Hernandez, who proceeded to give up five more over the next five frames in what marked his major-league debut. All total, Boston held a whopping 10-0 lead after six. And that’s when things got interesting …

Trailing 10-2 in the eighth, Lloyd Moseby delivered a bases-loaded single to cut the deficit to six. A Rance Mulliniks double and a Nelson Liriano base hit followed, leaving Toronto down 10-6 after eight innings.

Though the Blue Jays had some momentum, they still faced a four-run deficit heading into the ninth. Nevertheless, with Boston closer Lee Smith on the hill, George Bell doubled to put runners at second and third with Toronto down 10-7. Following a Fred McGriff strikeout, Smith walked Moseby to set up the double play with prime candidate Ernie Whitt coming to the plate. Whitt had other ideas though, and with one swing of the bat erased what was once a 10-run deficit, belting a grand slam to put Toronto on top — 11-10.

However, the game didn’t end there. Remarkably, the Red Sox managed to tie the score in the bottom half, sending the game into extras. Neither team scored again until the 12th, when Junior Felix delivered a two-run homer off Dennis Lamp to put the Jays ahead 13-11. And that would be the final, as Duane Ward shut the door to end the marathon contest that lasted 4:36.

I’ve often wondered how many Blue Jay fans made the unfortunate decision to cease watching the game after the visitors fell behind 10-0 …

TOR 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 5 0 0 2 – 13 16 4
BOS 5 1 1 1 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 – 11 13 0

It’s the Red Sox who muster a comeback on Thursday in Game No. 416 between these two squads … Though Roy Halladay leaves with a 3-1 lead in the seventh, the Blue Jay bullpen — sans B.J. Ryan — blows it in the eighth and ninth, as Toronto falls to 8-7 on the season … Frank Thomas hits a solo homer to keep his average above the Mendoza line (.204) … Having scored just six runs in the three-game set against Boston, the Blue Jays head to Baltimore Friday …

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