White Sox - 110 100 100 - 4 10 0 Red Sox - 000 000 032 - 5 9 1Stymied by Chris Sale (7.2-4-1-0-6, 107) and four outs from yet another lifeless defeat, the Red Sox attacked the White Sox bullpen, eventually winning the game with one out in the bottom of the ninth on Daniel Nava's game-tying double and Brock Holt's game-winning single.
The Red Sox had done absolutely nothing with Sale for seven innings, managing to get only one batter past first base in that time. That came courtesy of Mookie Betts, who doubled with one out in the fifth, a successful end to an 11-pitch at-bat.
This was the first time since August 16, 1987, that the Red Sox started five rookies, not including September call-ups, in a game.
Betts also got the eighth inning rally going - with an infield double! Facing Sale, he grounded to shortstop and beat the throw to first, then noticed that no one was covering second base, so he took off - and slid safely in head-first. Sale retired the next two batters, and was then pulled by Chicago manager Robin Ventura. He had thrown only 107 pitches, and the hook may have been too quick.
Dustin Pedroia greeted reliever Jake Petricka by lining his second pitch to center, scoring Betts with a single. David Ortiz doubled off the left field wall, and Pedroia scored, making it 4-2. Mike Napoli walked on five pitches, bringing the potential tying run to the plate. Jonny Gomes ripped a 1-1 pitch down the left field line, into the corner, and Ortiz scored. Four batters and no outs, and Petricka was yanked. Javy Guerra came in to face pinch-hitter Mike Carp, who was batting for Xander Bogaerts. (I would have rather seen X hit for himself; hell, I would have rather seen the already-departed A.J. Pierzynski.) Carp grounded out first-to-pitcher to snuff out the promising rally.
But the Red Sox were not done. After Koji Uehara struck out the side in the top of the ninth, the bottom of the Boston lineup went to work on Guerra. Although Jackie Bradley fouled out to third, Betts was hit by a pitch. Nava, pinch-hitting for Christian Vazquez, doubled to the opposite field, the ball one-hopping the wall in left-center. The speedy Betts had no trouble scoring the tying run from first base. Guerra then got ahead of Holt 1-2, but Holt slashed a hit to right field, bringing in Nava with the game-winner. It was the Red Sox's seventh walkoff win of the season.
Vazquez went 0-for-3 in his major league debut, flying to right, lining to shortstop, and grounding to second. He was also part of two sterling defensive plays. In the fourth he came out in front of the plate to grab Betts's throw and gun down Dayan Viciedo trying to advance to second after singling in Chicago's third run. He also blocked the plate and tagged out Alejandro De Aza, who was trying to score on a double to left in the seventh; the play went 7-5-2.
Bradley went 0-for-4, but made one of the most amazing catches of the season in the second inning. Chicago led 2-0 and had a runner on second with one out. Tyler Flowers smoked a line drive to the gap in right-center. Bradley ran and ran, then leapt flat-out, seemingly hanging in the air an extra split-second, before spearing the ball and crashing to the ground. You can watch video here.
Chris Sale / Rubby De La Rosa
Holt, SS39-51. Last place. 10.5 GB.
Joon Lee, Over The Monster: "The Season Is Over"
Alex Speier, WEEI: "Reality Bites: Brutal Homestand Forces Red Sox To Accept 2014 As All But Lost"