The Red Sox’ amazing six-run comeback walk-off win over the Mariners in August was one in a season filled with memorable moments, especially walk-off wins. Daniel Nava’s game-winning drive in the bottom of the ninth inning capped an almost impossible comeback for the Red Sox, who were down five runs heading into the inning,
It was the Red Sox’ 11th walk-off win of the season, prompting second baseman Dustin Pedroia to dub it #WalkOffCity on Twitter. Boston hasn’t had this many walk-off wins since 1978, and the Red Sox are one shy of their club record of 13 set in 1940.
Here’s a look back on the other 11 walk-off victories the Red Sox have put together through what has already been a seemingly magical 2013 season.
Oct. 13: Red Sox 6, Tigers 5
Recap: Down by four runs in Game 2 of the ALCS, the Sox tied the game on a grand slam by David Ortiz in the eighth inning then won it when Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled to drive in Jonny Gomes in the ninth. Gomes, again the catalyst, broke his bat and dove into first with an infield single. Jose Iglesias made an ill-advised throw that hopped past Prince Fielder and Gomes was awarded second base. Salty nearly fouled out to Fielder near the stands but he missed the ball. A wild pitch moved Gomes up before Salty singled to left. It was bedlam at Fenway as the players burst from the dugout with their 12th walk-off win of the season.
They said it: “When you back us into a wall, you either do two things: cave or fight. We’re gonna fight.’’ – Dustin Pedroia
Aug. 1: Red Sox 5, Mariners 4 (F/15)
Recap: Despite little offense for most of the game, the Red Sox looked like they would be able to salvage a solid start from John Lackey when Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to put the Sox up 4-3. But the Mariners tied the game in the eighth with a solo home run from Kyle Seager in the eighth inning to tie the game 4-4.
The Red Sox bullpen would bend, but not break, for seven innings after that, with Koji Uehara, Matt Thornton, Craig Breslow, and Drake Britton combining for seven shutout innings to keep the Sox in the game. The Sox then came up in the bottom of the 15th, and walks to Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli, and Jonny Gomes, coupled with two outs recorded by David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, brought Stephen Drew up to bat with the bases loaded and two outs. Drew drove an inside pitch down the right field line and into the stands, giving the Red Sox a 5-4 victory in 15 innings.
They said it: “It’s just huge to get a win out of that game … Back and forth, their bullpen’s doing well, our bullpen’s doing well. We made some key plays that kept us in it. Overall it’s an exciting win and hopefully we keep this thing rolling.” – Stephen Drew
July 21: Red Sox 8, Yankees 7 (F/11)
Recap: Mike Napoli was on both sides of the Red Sox spectrum in this game. He batted six times, including three strikeouts and grounding into a double play with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning. But the two at-bats he didn’t record an out were the ones that mattered: a massive three-run home run in the third inning to give the Sox a lead after falling behind early, and another homer to straightaway center field in the bottom of the 11th with two outs to send the Sox to victory over the Yankees after Boston let New York back into the game despite going up 7-3 on the Yankees after five innings.
They said it: “I had a chance to win it in the eighth – to put a run across with a sac fly… That’s what is so great about this game, you always get another chance. You’ve just got to keep going. You can’t do anything about it.” – Mike Napoli
July 3: Red Sox 2, Padres 1
Recap: In a pitching duel that saw both teams score just one run through the first eight innings, the Red Sox set off fireworks of their own on the eve of Independence Day. Boston had a great chance to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth after a leadoff double by Dustin Pedroia and a walk to David Ortiz, but the Padres’ Luke Gregerson shut down the next three Sox hitters to keep the game tied into the ninth. After Koji Uehara pitched a scoreless top of the inning, Jonny Gomes showed why he is arguably the most clutch hitter on the team, smacking a pinch-hit home run to give Boston the win. It was Gomes’ second game-winning home run and his third pinch-hit homer of the season, tying Bernie Carbo in 1978 for the most pinch-hit homers in a single season in Red Sox history.
They said it: “I just had three swings tonight… [The other] guys [on the team] did a lot of work. Whether it’s me or someone else, winning’s fun. It’s contagious.” – Jonny Gomes
June 30: Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 4
Recap: The Red Sox secured their 50th win of the season on the last day of June in thrilling fashion from what looked like it may be a chance squandered. The Sox led 4-3 heading into the ninth inning, but the Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista hit a game-tying home run with one out in the inning. After allowing a single to the next batter, Uehara battened down the hatches and sent the Sox into the bottom of the ninth with the game still tied. Jose Iglesias grounded out to start the inning, but a single by Brandon Snyder and a walk to Jacoby Ellsbury put the winning run on second base. Jonathan Diaz came in to run for Snyder, and Shane Victorino won the game with a hard grounder to first that was misplayed by first baseman Josh Thole, allowing Diaz to score from second.
They said it: “I think a lot of people doubted this team, the capabilities that we had… We’ve got that target on our back because we’re in first place. But you know what? We’re up for the challenge.” – Shane Victorino
June 18: Red Sox 3, Rays 1
Recap: The legend of Jonny Gomes grew larger on June 18, when he saved the Red Sox closers from another blown opportunity with a two-run home run to beat the Rays in the bottom of the ninth inning. After a brilliant pitching performance by Felix Doubront, in which he threw eight shutout innings and allowed just three hits, Andrew Bailey came in and could not shut the door, allowing a game tying home run to Kelly Johnson, a performance in a string of bad outings that would later lead to Bailey’s removal from the closer role. The Red Sox didn’t need much time to finally beat Tampa Bay, as Daniel Nava led off the inning with a walk and Gomes followed him with the game-winning homer, completing the sweep of a day-night doubleheader against the Rays.
They said it: “Long day at the yard. Two wins kinda sums it all up.’’ – Jonny Gomes
June 6: Red Sox 6, Rangers 3
Recap: Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington and the rest of the league learned a hard lesson: never intentionally walk the hitter in front of David Ortiz, especially not in the ninth inning of a tied ball game. But that is exactly what the Rangers did that evening: after allowing a leadoff double to Jonny Gomes, they walked Dustin Pedroia hoping to set up a possible double play. Ortiz made them pay, slamming the first pitch he saw into the Rangers’ bullpen to give the Red Sox the walk-off win, coming back from being down 3-0 after three innings.
They said it: “I think it was a good move. I don’t think there was anything wrong with [walking Pedroia]… It’s part of the game. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.” – David Ortiz
May 26: Red Sox 6, Indians 5
Recap: One of the more memorable moments of the young Red Sox season took place when Boston, facing a 5-2 deficit heading into the bottom of the ninth, rallied for four runs to win the game and stunned the Cleveland Indians. Trailing 5-1 heading into the bottom of the eighth, the Sox got one run back on a Jose Iglesias sacrifice fly that scored Stephen Drew, but the rally didn’t really begin until the ninth, when a walk to Dustin Pedroia and a double by David Ortiz gave the Sox runners on second and third with no outs. Pedroia scored on a Mike Napoli ground out, and, after Ortiz stole third base, he scored on a ground out by Jarrod Saltalamacchia. A walk to Jonny Gomes, a single and stolen base by Stephen Drew, and a walk to Iglesias loaded the bases with two outs for Jacoby Ellsbury, who lined a double to deep center field that scored Gomes and Drew and sent the Fenway faithful home with an unexpected victory.
They said it: “[Cleveland pitcher Joe Smith’s] mindset, I would think, is to attack the hitter… The last thing I think he’s wants to do is walk me and bring in the tying run. I just wanted to be aggressive in the zone and get a pitch I could drive. Fortunately, I got it.” – Jacoby Ellsbury
May 6: Red Sox 6, Twins 5 (F/11)
Recap: Leading 5-4 heading into the ninth, Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan gave up a game-tying home run to the Twins’ Brian Dozier. Hanrahan would later leave the game with forearm tightness, and it ended up being the last game he would pitch in 2013 because he was placed on the DL and underwent Tommy John surgery shortly thereafter. After a scoreless 10th inning, the Red Sox came up in the bottom of the 11th with the game still tied. The inning did not start off on the right note, as Mike Napoli grounded out to third and Daniel Nava flew out to give the Sox two outs. But Jarrod Saltalamacchia reached on an infield single, moved up to second on a single by Will Middlebrooks, and later scored the game winning run on a double off the Green Monster by Stephen Drew.
They said it: “I knew I hit it good. You never know here sometimes… It was a good night. Everybody battles, Salty beats it out and Middlebrooks gets a hit. We’re just trying to have fun.” – Stephen Drew
April 15: Red Sox 3, Rays 2
Recap: For a short time on April 15, the Red Sox and the city of Boston were able to enjoy the traditional Patriots’ Day game, in which the Red Sox walked off in the bottom of the ninth to complete a three-game sweep of the Rays. That all changed around 2:50 p.m., when two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon sent shockwaves across the city and nation.
In the game, Andrew Bailey blew a 2-1 Red Sox lead in the ninth after allowing a single to Ben Zobrist that scored Desmond Jennings from second base. After a leadoff fly out by Shane Victorino in the bottom of the inning, Dustin Pedroia singled and scored the game-winning run all the way from first base on a double by Mike Napoli, giving the Sox the 3-2 win.
They said it: “I was a little out front but I was able to keep my hands back,” Napoli said. “My body went a little forward (and) I just kind of flicked my wrist at it.” – Mike Napoli
April 13: Red Sox 2, Ray 1 (F/10)
Recap: This one featured a pitching duel between Jon Lester and David Price, and both allowed just one run to set up a 1-1 tie heading into the ninth inning. Koji Uehara came in to relieve Joel Hanrahan after Hanrahan walked the first two Rays batters to start the top of the ninth and got out of the inning unscathed. After Junichi Tazawa shut down the Rays in to top of the 10th, Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out to lead off the bottom of the inning, but Jacoby Ellsbury singled to center, stole second base and ended up at third on a throwing error by Rays’ catcher Jose Lobaton. Ellsbury was running on contact and scored the game-winning run on a grounder to short by Shane Victorino for the Red Sox first walk-off win of 2013.
They said it: “When I saw [Rays’ second baseman Ben Zobrist] dive, I knew I was going to get in… It’s probably got to be hit right at someone to have them make a throw.” – Jacoby Ellsbury