Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 21,1985: Braun's Two Run Shot In The tenth Wins It For The Birds

On July 21, 1985, Steve Braun's pinch hit home run off of Tom Neidenfuer in the top of the tenth led the Cardinals to a 4-2 victory over the Dodgers in Los Angeles. The Cards put two runs on the board in the first. Then the Dodgers came back with a run of their own in the second, from there zeros were posted across the scoreboard until the eigth when Steve Sax knotted things up with an rbi single. With the score tied 2-2 and headed into extras both teams were looking for a hero but only one team would have one and that would be the Cardinals. The tenth inning started with a double by Terry Pendleton, then a flyout by Darrell Porter before Braun was called into pinch ht for Jeff Lahti, Lahti had bailed the Birds out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth that put the Cardinals in a position to win. The 37 year old Braun came to the plate with Pendelton just hoping for a single out of the pinch hitter who was just 3 for 21 off the bench that season, his wish was granted and then some, as Braun parked it over the right field wall to give the Cardinals the lead. The Dodgers didn't lay down in the bottom of the tenth Ricky Horton leaded the bases before Bob Forsch picked up the final out of the contest. When interviewed after the game Braun said "It was a good time to hit one." he went onto say "We're in first place, if we're going to stay there we're going to have to use all 25 guys." Braun was nothing more than a bench guy while he was with the Cardinals but his words ring true, every man that sits on a major league bench is there for a reason. It was Braun's only home run of that '85 season, it was a huge one, it snapped a 3 game losing streak and sparked a 6 game winning streak as the Cardinals finished off July strong and would go onto win the National League East by 3 games, then knocked the Dodgers off again on their way to another World Series.

Here's the box score:

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