On June 2, 1995, the Seattle Mariners came to Boston for a 7:09 start at Fenway Park. The Red Sox, with their new manager and new team were off to a 20-11 start after three straight disappointing seasons. The Red Sox sent their ace, Roger Clemens to the mound. Clemens was making his first start of the season after spending over a month on the disabled list. He was opposed by Seattle right-hander Chris Bosio, who had thrown a no-hitter against the Red Sox in 1993.
Valentin Starts With a Bang
Clemens looked in fine form to begin his season, striking out the first batter he faced in Joey Cora. After a double he retired dangerous hitters Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner to finish a scoreless inning. John Valentin was the second batter in the Red Sox lineup. On a 1-1 pitch from Bosio, Valentin crushed it to deep left, easily clearing the monster for a home run. The Sox held a 1-0 lead after the first inning thanks to Valentin’s eighth home run of the season.
Clemens retired the first two batters of the second before running into trouble. He hit Darren Bragg with a pitch to put a man on. Bragg, who the Red Sox traded for the following season, then stole second base. Clemens then hit catcher Chad Kreuter as well, giving the Mariners two baserunners on two hit by pitches. Light hitting infielder Felix Fermin made him pay for it with an RBI single to right field and the game was tied.
The Rocket would rebound in the third with a 1-2-3 inning. He struck out both Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner in the inning. In the bottom half of the third, Bosio retired each of the first two batters to bring John Valentin back up to the plate. The count ran full and Valentin fouled off two more pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat Valentin went down to get a low offering and lined it to left, just clearing the monster. The line drive left the yard in a hurry and the Sox had the lead again in the third.
Clemens Runs Into Trouble
There was no scoring in the 4th. Roger Clemens cruised through another 1-2-3 inning and had allowed just the one hit through four innings. The Sox got two men in scoring position in the bottom of the inning but failed to score. However, Clemens seemed to run out of steam in the fifth inning. After hitting Chad Kreuter with a pitch for the second time, Felix Fermin came through with another single. After a bunt moved the runners up Alex Diaz brought home Kreuter with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at two. Edgar Martinez, who would win the batting title that season, singled home Fermin to give the Mariners their first lead of the game. Jay Buhner then hit one of his 40 home runs that season and the inning became a disaster. Two more men reached base before Clemens escaped the inning with a 5-2 deficit.
Roger Clemens’ first start of the season was over. He had pitched well for four innings before running out of steam having not pitched since the previous August. He had hit three batters and allowed five runs over five innings. Derek Lilliquist replaced Clemens on the mound and combined with Mike Maddux for a scoreless sixth inning.
Valentin was due up to lead off the sixth inning to take another crack at Bosio. This time he hit a ground ball into center field for a single to kick-off the inning. Mo Vaughn singled Valentin over to third and Reggie Jefferson followed with another single to give the Sox their first run other than a John Valentin home run.
Mike Maddux, who had recorded the final out of the sixth, stayed on to throw two more scoreless innings for the Red Sox. The older brother of Hall of Famer Greg Maddux allowed just one hit in his 2.1 shutout innings. After a 1-2-3 top half of the eighth, Valentin was again due to leadoff an inning. This time Chris Bosio was out of the game, with left-handed reliever Ron Villone set to face him. With night having fallen, Valentin got a 2-0 pitch out over the middle and annihilated the ball up into the night sky. The home run sailed over the monster, over the screen above the monster and out onto Lansdowne Street. The Red Sox were back within a run.
Sidearmer Stan Belinda was brought on for the ninth. A new addition to the team, Belinda was already 3-0 on the season. He had an uneventful inning on the mound, allowing just a 2-out single. The Red Sox faced a 1-run deficit with just a half inning to go. The Mariners brought on their closer Bobby Ayala. Ayala had 8 saves and a 1.89 ERA through May as he took the mound. John Valentin wouldn’t be due up unless six men were sent to the plate.
After the lead man was retired, Red Sox catcher Mike Macfarlane came to the plate. Macfarlane had some power for a catcher and showed it first pitch swinging. He homered to left field for his eighth home run of the young season and tied the game at 5-5.
The Red Sox had to like where they were at entering extra frames. They had come back from down 5-2 to tie the game. A home run had just tied things up and John Valentin was 4-4 with 3 home runs and due up first in the bottom half of the 10th.
Stan Belinda stayed on the mound for a second inning of work. This was nothing new to Belinda, who had worked for more than an inning in five of his twelve appearances so far on the season. He gave up a leadoff single but retired the next three batters to finish off a second scoreless inning.
John Valentin was due at the plate to face Salomon Torres, the third pitcher he would face on the game. They battled a bit, with the count running full. After fouling off three pitches Valentin laced a 3-2 offering down the line and into the left field corner for a double. After Mo Vaughn was intentionally walked Steve Rodriguez was called upon to bunt. He didn’t do his job, falling behind 0-2 while trying to bunt. He then put one in play, but it wasn’t a good one and Valentin was forced out at third base. With two men still on base, Mike Greenwell lined the first pitch he saw from Torres into left field for the game-winning hit as Vaughn lumbered home with the winning run.
John Valentin’s Night
John Valentin had gone 5-5 with three home runs, a single, double, 3 runs batted in and four runs scored. His 15 total bases were one shy of the franchise record, set by Fred Lynn in Detroit back in 1975. They were also a Major League record for a shortstop, as Valentin became the first shortstop in history to accumulate 15 total bases in one game. Here is the video from that night.