An old familiar feeling returned to Fenway Park on Sunday night as the Boston Red Sox rallied from a five-run deficit to defeat the Baltimore Orioles 6-5 in walk-off fashion. According to Boston.com on April 21, it was the first walk-off victory since the team defeated the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 1, 2013.
Boston’s late rally wouldn’t have been needed if the team didn’t get off to such a rocky start. Red Sox starter Jake Peavy couldn’t match his strong pitching performances from his previous three starts. Peavy went 5 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on 10 hits. It was his shortest stint of the season so far. But the team did rise as the bats finally began to come alive. It all started with a three-run homer by Johnny Gomes in the sixth inning, making the score 5-3.
The home team then scored two more runs in the seventh to tie the game setting up a dramatic ninth inning. Red Sox second baseman led off the ninth with a double off the top of the Green Monster. The double was reviewed and fans wanted officials to rule the double a home run, but after a 2 minute, 2 second delay, the ruling stood as a double. Pedroia then advanced on a wild pitch. The Orioles then decided to intentionally walk David Ortiz to get to Mike Napoli, but a pitch thrown by reliever Darren O’Day hit Napoli, loading the bases for pinch hitter Mike Carp with one out.
Carp hit a liner to left. Pedroia tagged, raced down the line and headed back to third base. But a wide throw to the plate from left fielder David Lough enabled Pedroia to race home with the winning run, lifting the Red Sox to a 6-5 comeback win. After the game, Pedroia described the winning run as “lucky.”
“I was a little nervous when he threw it that I was going to be out at third, so there was a lot going on. All their outfielders have great arms, so you have to get a great jump from situations like that. We just lucked out.”
The team showed great grit in battling back in the game, as they did so many times during the 2013 season. An emotional and moving pregame ceremony for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings brought back that feeling of Boston Strong in Fenway Park and a winning feeling that goes well beyond the ballpark and game of baseball.
Notes: Reliever Edward Mujica (1-1) got the victory. The Red Sox relievers combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings in the game. Will Middlebrooks is scheduled to start a rehab assignment Monday with Pawtucket. The team will send Clay Buchholz (0-1) against Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (2-1) in the series finale Monday morning at Fenway Park.