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From the archives | July 2

Reggie Smith homers from both sides as Sox sweep

A baseball manager dreams about what happened at Fenway Park yesterday -- a blending of some veteran ball players and a few pushy kids. The combination worked well for the Red Sox as they defeated the Brewers, 15-4, and 3-2, in 11 innings.

Ray Culp, who has lost some of his speed after several years of hard work, had the big cushion in the first game. Rico Petrocelli hit his second grand slam of the year; Reggie Smith hit a homer left handed, and another right handed. Rockets were flying all over the place.

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In the second game, one of the younger breed, lefty John Curtis, stayed strong the whole way even though it got awfully humid. The power failed in the second game, but the young fry, like Juan Beniquez, Ben Oglivie and the lefty, brought about the sweep.

Beniquez had five hits in eight times at bat in the doubleheader, and the slim shortstop wound up knocking in the winning run off aging Frank Linzy, brought over from the National League.

Oglivie, who has seen more service than Beniquez, had six hits in the two games. He started the last inning by hitting a hard one-hopper back to the mound.

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Linzy reached up for the ball, tapped it about 10 feet in front of him, but fell trying to get the thing. So catcher Ellie Rodriguez helped out by going after the ball. He threw it wildly past first and Oglivie got to second. Bob Burda was walked intentionally.

Doug Griffin bunted well, forcing Ferrero to come in from third to handle the ball, and the two men moved up.

Linzy has a good sinker and Beniquez wanted only to get it into the outfield. “I hit better to right,” he said. “So I look out there. I just want to meet the ball.” Which he did. He lined it to Tommy Reynolds, who had no chance to get Oglivie at the plate.

Curtis had been knocked out of the box in less than four innings when he pitched against the Brewers last week. Yesterday, he gave up two runs in the fourth when John Briggs doubled off the fence in left centerfield.

Two men who had singled scored. “I got a hanging curve to him, and I never wanted it there,” said the pleasant leftie. “But then I did all right.”

That hardly tells how well he did. At one stage he retired 16 men in a row with his riding fastball and good curve.

Curtis had no easy guy to beat in the Brewers rookie lefty, Gary Ryerson. The Red Sox’ first run was unearned. Beniquez singled, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored while Rick Auerbach was tossing Smith’s grounder into the Boston dugout.

Danny Cater tied the game in the sixth with a long homer to left on the first pitch. “A fast ball up high,” said Cater, who also added. “I can hit good in this park -- if I play.”

Culp had a 4-0 lead in the first when Rico hit a Skip Lockwood fast ball into the net with the bases loaded. Another was added in the fourth on Carlton Fisk’s homer; seven more came in the next two innings off Bill Parsons, and Reggie hit his left handed homer in the sixth and the right handed homer in the seventh.

Smith’s feat one for the book

Reggie Smith’s switch homer in consecutive innings in the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader may be one for the record book. Going into this season, switch homers (by a batter hitting left handed and right handed) had been done 11 times in the National League, 17 times in the American League.

Mickey Mantle 10 times hit homers left and right handed in the same game.

This was No. 2 for Smith. He homered right handed against George Brunet of the Angels at Fenway Park Aug. 20, 1967, then -- after two more times at bat -- homered left handed in the sixth off Pete Cimino.

The first Boston player to hit switch homers was Jim Russell of the Braves -- June 7, 1948, at Chicago -- but not on consecutive times at bat. He also doubled batting right and left, giving him six total bases from each side of the plate that day.

Smith is the only Red Sox player to have switch homers in one game.

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