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October 9, 2008

Tigers Even Series, Blow Out Cardinals With Ten Run Third Inning

by @ 3:11 am. Filed under Willie Horton
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October 9, 1968 at Busch Stadium
Tigers 13, Cardinals 1
Best of Seven Game Series Tied 3-3

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The 1968 World Series moved back to St. Louis and the Tigers showed up like they did in game two, the last time a game was played at Busch Stadium.  The Tigers scored enough runs to put this one away with two in the second but the ten they scored in the third frame turned this game into a big time blowout.  In the process, the Tigers forced a pivotal winner take all game seven.

It was Denny McLain going up against Ray Washburn and the 31 win variety of McLain showed up.  The Tigers first got to Washburn in the second inning.  Norm Cash led off with a walk and he scored on Willie Horton’s double.  An out later, Horton scored on Bill Freehan’s single to left.  The inning could have been worse because with two men on, Denny McLain grounded into a double play to end the inning.

The third inning was one for the record books.  The Tigers picked up ten runs on seven hits against four different pitchers.  Dick McAuliffe led off with a walk and he moved to second on Mickey Stanley’s single.  McAuliffe scored on Al Kaline’s single before Larry Jaster came in to relieve Washburn.  Norm Cash singled home Stanley and Willie Horton walked to load up the bases before Jim Northrup came through with one of his trademark grand slams to open the game up.  Ron Willis came in to pitch for Jaster but still the Tigers weren’t done.  Bill Freehan walked and Don Wert was hit by a pitch before Denny McLain moved them both over with a bunt, the first out of the inning.  Dick McAuliffe was given a free pass before Mickey Stanley forced out Bill Freehan at the plate to make it two outs.  Still, Al Kaline picked up his second hit of the inning with a two run single before Dick Hughes came in to replace Willis.  Norm Cash singled home Stanley and Willie Horton singled home Kaline to put the tally at ten runs in the inning.  Finally, Jim Northrup flied out to left to end the inning.

Al Kaline belted a solo homer in the fifth to further pad the lead.  The Cardinals finally got to McLain in the ninth when Julian Javier singled home Roger Maris with two outs.

McLain finished with his first and only win of the series.  He gave up one run on nine hits without a walk and he struck out seven in the complete game.  Al Kaline and Norm Cash both had three hits and Kaline and Northrup both drove in four runs.  The only Tiger starter to not reach base at least once was Denny McLain, who struck out in four at bats.

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