July 3, 2017

G83: Red Sox 7, Rangers 5 (11)

Red Sox - 020 003 000 02 - 7 10  0
Rangers - 100 100 111 00 - 5  7  1
Andrew Benintendi's eleventh-inning, bases-loaded, opposite-field bloop single over a drawn-in infield scored two runs, giving the Red Sox their fifth consecutive win and seventh victory in their last eight games. (Don't the Rangers know that intentionally walking the bases loaded never [sic] works?)

The midnight rally began when Tzu-Wei Lin drew a one-out walk against Ernesto Frieri, only the second Boston baserunner since the sixth inning. Mookie Betts doubled off the left field wall and Texas elected to intentionally walk Dustin Pedroia, who had driven in four of the Red Sox's five runs. Benintendi, who pinch-hit for Chris Young in the ninth and was playing left field, flared Frieri's 1-0 pitch just past the infield dirt behind shortstop. While Elvis Andrus chased it down, Lin and Betts scored. Frieri got the next two batters, but Boston led 7-5.

Heath Hembree, who had pitched a perfect tenth, faced Rougned Odor, Mike Napoli, and Carlos Gomez - each of whom had homered earlier in the game - in the bottom half of the inning. Hembree made quick work of Odor, striking him out on three pitches, before striking out Napoli looking and getting Gomez on a fly to right.

Rick Porcello (6.1-3-3-3-3, 110) allowed only three hits, although two of them were solo dongs. In the first, Andrus doubled, went to third on a groundout, and scored on a wild pitch.

The Red Sox took a 2-1 lead in the next half-inning. Sam Travis hit a hard grounder into left for a single. After Sandy Leon struck out, Marrero singled to right. Lin struck out, but Betts walked to load the bases. Pedroia's single to left was just out of the reach of Andrus, who dove to his right. Two runs scored.

Odor homered in the fourth to tie the game at 2-2. The bottom of the Red Sox's order set the table once again in the sixth. Travis doubled into the left field corner, but was caught off base when Leon grounded back to the mound and was eventually tagged out by third baseman Adrian Beltre. A wild pitch with two outs moved Leon to second. Lin's grounder on the infield grass was bobbled by Odor at second and the Red Sox had runners at first and third. Betts walked (again) to load the bases.

Texas changed pitchers, bringing in Tony Barnette, whose wild pitch allowed Leon to score, breaking the tie. Pedroia's single to center scored two more runs, giving Boston a 5-2 lead. (It is worth noting that "ball 4" to Betts should have been called "strike 2" by home plate umpire Chad Whitson. A correct call would have given Betts a full count and might have ended the inning with the score still 2-2. But Whitson blew the call, leading to the pitching change, the run-scoring wild pitch, and Pedroia's two-run hit. I still want robots.)

Boston would not have another baserunner until the tenth inning and, as you can see from the linescore above (and my mention of the tenth inning), the Rangers came back and tied the score. In a somewhat surprising move, Porcello came out for the seventh, even though his pitch count was at 103. He recorded one out before Gomez homered to the grassy knoll in center. In the eighth, Robby Scott gave up a leadoff double to Shin-Soo Choo and Nomar Mazara (facing Joe Kelly) singled Choo in.

Craig Kimbrel took the mound in the bottom of the ninth, assigned with nailing down a 5-4 victory. But Napoli crushed Kimbrel's first pitch - a high fastball - to left for a game-tying home run. On Kimbrel's second pitch, Gomez tapped a grounder toward third. Marrero raced in, bare-handed the ball, and threw to first. His throw was wild and sailed into foul territory. However, the ball ricocheted off the wall by the stands and caromed back towards the field, somewhat near Pedroia who was running after the ball and was in short right field by the foul line. In one motion, Pedroia reversed course, dove for the ball, and as he fell chest-first onto the grass, flung the ball to Mitch Moreland, who was able to tag Gomez on the left shoulder as he tried to dive back to the bag. It was a stunning play, a case of Pedroia being in the exact right place at the exact right time and then executing what seemed like an impossible play. (If FY had been wearing pinstripes, this play would likely have been talked about on national broadcasts for decades. Maybe even referred to as "The Fling". Since he does not wear pinstripes, this play will soon be forgotten.)

Speaking of pinstripes, New York beat the Blue Jays 6-3, so the Red Sox's lead atop the AL East remains at three games.
Rick Porcello / Martin Perez
Betts, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Young, LF
Ramirez, DH
Bradley, CF
Travis, 1B
Leon, C
Marrero, 3B
Lin, SS
The Red Sox, winners of six of their last seven games and armed with a three-game lead in the AL East, head to Texas for three games against the Rangers (40-42).

Martin Perez has been on the disabled list with a fractured tip of his right thumb, which he jammed in a hotel door. This will be his first start since June 22.

Rick Porcello has a 7.04 ERA in his last five starts.

Boston swept three games from the Rangers at Fenway on May 23-25: 11-6, 9-4, 6-2.

Since 1913, 12 Red Sox players have had as many as eight RBI in a game. Only two players have done it more than once: Nomar Garciaparra (10 on May 10, 1999 and 8 on July 23, 2002) and Mookie Betts (8 on August 14, 2016 and 8 on July 2, 2017). ... Amazing: On September 2, 1996, Mike Greenwell drove in all nine of Boston's runs from the #8 spot in the order.

Also: The Yankees are hosting the Blue Jays.

1 comment:

allan said...

"Andrew Benintendi's two-run single in the 11th inning provided the final margin in the Red Sox' 7–5 win at Texas. It was Benintendi's second extra-inning game-winning RBI this season – he hit a 12th-inning walkoff single against the Phillies on June 13. The last Boston rookie to have more than one extra-inning game-winning RBI before the end of July was Nomar Garciaparra, who had three in 1997."