The Red Sox walk it off again, their second walk off win in their last three games, to beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 in 11 innings. The win extended the Red Sox division lead to three games and their current winning streak to four games.
It was Mitch Moreland’s turn to receive the Gatorade shower, as he belted an opposite field home run to end the game.
“Obviously, for me it’s the first at-bat of the game, and I’m trying to go in there and slow it down a little bit,” Moreland said. “Try to get a good pitch. I kind of rushed myself on the 2-0, but was able to slow it down and stay on it and get a breaking ball there and put a good swing on it.”
It was John Farrell’s 55th birthday, and Moreland decided to give Farrell his 400th win as the Red Sox manager as a birthday gift.
The walk off was Boston’s 10th win in extra innings, the most in the American League. After a brief skid following the Price-Eckersley drama, the Red Sox seem to have gained momentum and hope to stay on track.
“I think it can have some momentum, there’s no doubt,” Farrell said of his team’s extra-inning wins. “Let’s face it: We’ve been pretty accustomed to playing extra-inning games. I don’t know if that makes us any more comfortable or relaxed, but we’ve found ourselves in that position many times.”
The bullpen tossed five scoreless innings, racking up seven strikeouts along the way.
The 11th inning was the craziest of the game. Red Sox relief pitcher, Heath Hembree, issued a leadoff walk to former Red Sox prospect, Yoan Moncada, and after a single by White Sox outfielder, Nicky Delmonico, White Sox manager, Rick Renteria, decided to attempt to advance both runners into scoring position with a bunt by center fielder Adam Engel.
The same situation occurred during the top of the ninth, and the bunt worked, although Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel would not allow the two runners to score.
This time, however, Engel placed a good bunt but a spectacular spinning throw by Hembree to a backpedaling Rafael Devers got the force out at third. At first, Moncada was ruled safe but after a challenge by Farrell, the ruling was overturned.
Boston catcher, Christian Vasquez, then decided to display his cannon arm and was able to pick off Delmonico at second base, and just like that, the game went from bases loaded with no outs, to man on first with two outs. That’s why baseball is baseball.
In the bottom of the 11th, Moreland, in his first at bat of the game after being substituted for Hanley Ramirez, who left the game with oblique pain, shot the solo walk off over the Green Monster to end the game.
The Red Sox have a chance to extend the winning streak to five games tonight against the same White Sox.
Boston will send out Drew Pomeranz (10-4, 3.46), while Chicago will counter with James Shields (2-3, 6.19). First pitch is at 7:10 E.T.