Rangers - 021 000 000 - 3 10 0 Red Sox - 002 000 103 - 6 13 0Texas manager Ron Washington made two big mistakes in the ninth inning. One, even though he had closer Joe Nathan warmed up, he brought in Michael "6.89 ERA" Kirkman. Two, after Jonny Gomes led off with a first-pitch double, he called for an intentional walk to Dustin Pedroia, so Kirkman could face David Ortiz.
Yes, Ortiz came into the game batting only .250 against left-handers and, yes, he had grounded out in his previous three at-bats. But choosing to face Ortiz with the game on the line? That is madness.
After a pep talk from pitching coach Mike Maddux, Kirkman threw Ortiz a slider that broke inside and low. Ortiz swung and hit a screaming line drive that just cleared the short wall of the visitors' bullpen. And just like that, the Red Sox had a win and Kirkman's ERA ballooned to 8.18!
It was the 11th walk-off home run of Ortiz's career (10th with the Red Sox) and his first since August 26, 2009. Ortiz now has 19 career walk-off hits, 16 with Boston.
It was also a sweet ending to what had been a frustrating night, as Lester (6-7-3-3-4, 108) had a rocky outing and his teammates squandered numerous opportunities to score, stranding 11 men in the first eight innings.
Jacoby Ellsbury, back in the lineup after missing five games, went 4-for-5, with two doubles. Gomes was also 4-for-5. Dustin Pedroia slugged a two-run double in the third. Jose Iglesias singled and walked three times.
Ellsbury, CFLester has allowed at least four runs in each of his last three starts.
White Sox - 000 000 000 000 050 2 - 7 17 0 Mariners - 000 000 000 000 050 0 - 5 16 2