1994 Foxes Home Game #7 – May 2
A folder was found during the renovations of Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Inside this folder, an era of Appleton Professional Baseball was rediscovered. The original scoresheets and boxscores from home games of the first half of the 1994 Foxes season. This was the time of Alex Rodriguez, Raul Ibanez, and many other future major league ball players.
Rattler Radio will look back at each of these games from 1994 between now and Opening Day, 2013. Enjoy.
DATE: May 2
OPPONENT: Rockford Royals
FOXES STARTING PITCHER: Ivan Montane
OPPOSING STARTING PITCHER: Kevin Rawitzer
TRIVIA: How many home runs did Alex Rodriguez hit with the Foxes in 1994?
CONDITIONS: 58°, crisp
Mike Barger – cf
Marcus Sturdivant – lf
Giomar Guevara – 2b
Alex Rodriguez – ss
Brian Wallace – 1b
Raul Ibanez – c
Jason Cook – 3b
Jose Cuellar – dh
Chad Dunavan – rf
Jeremy Carr – 2b
Eric Walls – cf
Sal Fasano – 1b
Carlos Mendez – dh
Mike Sweeney – c
Lino Diaz – 3b
Jimmy Byington – rf
Carlos Subero – ss
OJ Rhone – lf
Montane had a rough start. Heck, the defense had a rough start. Carr reached on a single and took second when Wallace missed a catch on a pickoff throw. Walls followed with an RBI single. One out later, Wallace missed a grounder off the bat of Mendez. On the same play, an errant throw to third by Guevara let Walls score and Mendez to take second. Then, Montane threw a wild pitch to send Mendez to third. Sweeney knocked in the final run of the inning with a grounder to short.
Rockford added a run off Montane in the third and the fourth innings for a 5-0 lead. In the third, Mendez walked, went to third on a single by Sweeney, and scored on a single by Diaz. In the fourth, Walls reached on a fielder’s choice. Fasano doubled to left and Manny Patel was charged with an error for missing the ball on a grounder. That let Walls score.
The scoresheet isn’t clear when it happened, but Foxes manager Carlos Lezcano made a switch in left before the inning started and brought Patel into the game for Marcus Sturdivant.
Appleton got a run back in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a defensive miscue by the Royals. Guevara singled to third and took second on a bad throw. A-Rod followed with a single. Then, Wallace knocked in Guevara with a sacrifice fly.
Guevara singled to start the sixth and went to second on a wild pitch. Rodriguez stepped to the plate and launched his first Goodland Field home run. Not only was it his first home homer, it was the first Foxes round tripper at Goodland Field for 1994. It happened in Game #7 and the long ball to center pulled the Foxes to within 5-3.
That was the end of the line for Rawitzer, the Rockford starting pitcher. Pat Flury came on in relief and gave up a single to Wallace. One out later, Jason Cook singled to left and an error by Rhone let Wallace take third base. Jose Cuellar made it 5-4 with an RBI single.
It appears that the Foxes tried to steal a run – either through the double steal or a squeeze play – to tie the game. Dunavan was at the plate with Cook at third and Cuellar at first when Cook was tagged out 2-unassisted for the second out. Cuellar ended the inning at second base and it is not indicated how he got there. Take your pick on this one, folks.
Foxes reliever Greg Theron, who came on for Montane to start the fifth, was cruising as he kept the Royals off the scoreboard. He worked a 1-2-3 top of the seventh on a pair of strikeouts with a flyball to center sandwiched between the K’s.
After the stretch, Flury hit Barger. Patel dropped a sacrifice bunt to get Barger into scoring position. Guevara drew a walk to bring A-Rod to the plate.
Rodriguez hit his second Goodland Field home run, this one to left field! This drive put the Foxes up 7-5!
Theron worked a 1-2-3 eighth, including his fourth and fifth strikeouts of his four innings of work.
Theron went back out for the ninth, but allowed a single to Carr and the tying run was at the plate. Robert Krueger came on in relief and got pinch hitter Paul Vindivich to fly out to center.
Matt Mantei took over for Krueger. (NOTE: Carr stole second at some point in the ninth, but I’m not sure against which Foxes reliever he did it.) Mantei got Fasano to ground back to the mound, but walked Mendez. That brought Mike Sweeney to the plate as the go ahead run in the top of the ninth.
Mantei got the strikeout to end the game and get the save.
FOXES OF THE GAME:
Alex Rodriguez: 3-for-4, 2HRs, 5RBI
Greg Theron: 4IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 5K, Winning Pitcher
Raul Ibanez: 1-for-4
Mike Sweeney: 2-for-5, 2B, RBI
Matt Mantei made his MLB debut on June 18, 1995 with the Florida Marlins. Mike Sweeney made his MLB debut on September 4, 1995 for the Kansas City Royals.
Mantei faced Sweeney twice – and struck him out twice – in this series between the Foxes and Royals.
Mantei faced Sweeney two times in the big leagues. Mantei (an Arizona Diamondback) retired Sweeney (a Kansas City Royal) both times in 2003 in interleague play, but neither out was a strikeout.
Both times Mantei faced Sweeney came in a game on September 4, 2003 at Kansas City. Mantei retired Sweeney on a grounder to second to start the ninth inning, but eventually gave up the tying run to send the game to extra innings. The Diamondbacks scored a run in the top of the tenth to take a 6-5 lead. The Royals put two runners on base with two outs in the bottom of the tenth to bring Sweeney to the plate again. Mantei got Sweeney to popout to short to end the game. And for the second time in his life Matt Mantei retired Mike Sweeney to end a game.
Oh, Raul Ibanez played in that game on 9/4/03 for Kansas City, too. He went 0-for-1 as a defensive replacement. Mantei walked Ibanez in the ninth inning to set up the tying run.
One last Foxes tie-in to that Interleague Game from ten years ago: Joe Randa, a Fox in 1992, was the starting third baseman for the Royals. He went 0-for-5, including a walk in the tenth against Mantei.
ANSWER: Alex Rodriguez hit 14 home runs in 65 games with the Foxes during the 1994 season.
Carlos Lezcano put David Lawson in for Patel in left field as a defensive replacement in the top of the eighth for three left fielders during this game for Appleton.
The Foxes have won three straight home games and are now 5-2 at Goodland Field to start the season.
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