The Red Sox had scored one run through the 16 innings in the first two games of the ALCS, going 3 for 51 at the plate with 30 strikeouts. Then Detroit used four relievers in the eighth inning and each put a man on base. David Ortiz smashed a grand slam – that tumbling Tigers outfielder Torri Hunter couldn’t grab – into the Red Sox bullpen. In the bottom of the ninth Jonny Gomes dove into first base with a broken bat infield single and moved to second on a bad throw from Jose Iglesias. Gomes moved to third on a wild pitch to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, before Salty’s base hit for the walk-off win. Here’s a look at the most memorable games of 2013.
Daniel Nava and the Red Sox clinched the American League East title to cap a remarkable season filled with dramatic comebacks, walk-off wins, and exciting games.
April 13: Red Sox 2, Rays 1 (F/10)
In the first of six straight wins for the Red Sox, Jacoby Ellsbury was standing on third base with Shane Victorino up in the bottom of the 10th inning. The Rays had shifted to a five-man infield to try and cut down Ellsbury trying to score, but it was to no avail, as Victorino hit a hard ground ball that second baseman Ben Zobrist dove to stop, but by then Ellsbury had already crossed the plate to give the Red Sox the 2-1 extra innings win. The Red Sox improved to 6-4 on the season with the win.
April 20: Red Sox 4, Royals 3
In an emotional day at Fenway Park – the first Red Sox home game since the Boston Marathon bombing and first since suspected bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested in a standoff with police the night before – David Ortiz addressed the crowd to booming applause, charging up the crowd with a statement that on any other day might have resulted in a fine from the FCC.
The Red Sox did not disappoint the Fenway Faithful, although it was a nail biter until the final out. The Red Sox entered the bottom of the eighth down 2-1, but a three-run home run by Daniel Nava gave the Red Sox a two-run lead. Andrew Bailey let up a leadoff home run in the top of the ninth to make it 4-3, and the Royals had runners at first and second with two outs, but Bailey coaxed a ground ball out to secure the victory.
May 6: Red Sox 6, Twins 5 (F/11)
A true back and forth game the whole way, the Twins jumped out to a early 3-0 lead on the Red Sox and then a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth. But the Red Sox rallied each of the next four innings, with Stephen Drew hitting an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth; Mike Napoli singling home a run in the bottom of the sixth; Drew hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at four; and Dustin Pedroia gave the Red Sox a 5-4 lead with a solo homer of his own in the bottom of the eighth.
Joel Hanrahan gave up a leadoff home run to Minnesota’s Brian Dozier in the ninth, and would later leave with forearm tightness (he eventually had season-ending Tommy John surgery). After a scoreless 10th and top of the 11th, it looked like it was going to 12 innings after the first two Red Sox were retired in the bottom of the 11th, but singles by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Will Middlebrooks put the Red Sox in position to win the game, and Drew, with his fourth hit of the day, doubled off the Green Monster to send Red Sox fans home happy.
May 16: Red Sox 4, Rays 3
The Red Sox were one strike away from a tough defeat, down 3-1 in the top of the ninth against the Ray’s Fernando Rodney and had the bases loaded, but Will Middlebrooks snatched victory from the jaws of defeat when he lined a 1-2 changeup to left field, clearing the bases and giving the Red Sox a 4-3 lead.
The Red Sox had loaded the bases on back-to-back walks to Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz before a strikeout by Mike Napoli, with Rodney allowing another walk to Daniel Nava before striking out Stephen Drew for the second out. Junichi Tazawa, who had pitched in the eighth, came back out for the ninth and shut the Rays down to pick up the win.
May 26: Red Sox 6, Indians 5
This looked like it was going to be a game in which the Red Sox gave up too many chances to come back and just couldn’t get over the hump. Trailing 5-1 to the Indians in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Red Sox could only manage one run on a Jose Iglesias sac fly that scored Stephen Drew, but still left Boston with a three-run deficit heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Dustin Pedroia led off with a walk, and advanced to third on a double by David Ortiz. Consecutive ground-out RBIs by Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia made it a 5-4 game with two outs and the bases now empty. Walks to Jonny Gomes and Iglesias, along with a single by Drew, re-loaded the bases for Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury hit a double on the first pitch he saw that scored two runs and gave the Red Sox the 6-5 win.
June 6: Red Sox 6, Rangers 3
The Red Sox were in first place in June, nowhere near where many thought they would be, and they showed they were a team that was not just a fluke over the first couple of months of 2013. Down 3-1 to the slugging Texas Rangers going into the bottom of the seventh, Jose Iglesias walked and Jacoby Ellsbury singled before Dustin Pedroia hit a two-out, two-run double to center to tie the game at three runs apiece.
In the bottom of the ninth, Jonny Gomes led off with a double, and the Rangers decided to walk Pedroia to try and force David Ortiz to ground into a double play. That plan immediately back fired, as Ortiz lined the first pitch he saw into the Rangers’ bullpen for a game-winning three-run home run to give the Red Sox the 6-3 victory.
June 10: Red Sox 10, Rays 8 (F/14)
This looked like it was going to be the game that turned the tide on the Red Sox season, when everyone who doubted this team and said they were a fluke was going to be right as the Red Sox came back to earth and sunk back to where they were expected to be. But even a blown six run lead in the first inning could not stop the Red Sox at this point, and they showed their strength and perseverance that would become a theme for the entire season.
The Red Sox looked like they would blow away the Rays after taking a 6-0 lead before Tampa Bay even came to bat, but the Rays kept chipping away, scoring two runs in the first and a run in the third, forth, seventh, and eighth innings to tie the game 6-6. This contest even included John Lackey hitting Matt Joyce, which cleared the benches.
The game then looked like it would be over in the 10th, as Jarrod Salatalamacchia hit a two-run single to score Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia and give the Sox a 8-6 lead. But Tampa Bay just would not quit, and Jose Lobaton hit a solo home run to make it 8-7. Andrew Bailey walked two and allowed a hit to load the bases, then walked home the tying run, but his defense helped him escape a catastrophic loss, turning a 5-2-3 double play and then throwing out Sam Fuld after he tried to bunt home the game-winning run.
No one would score for the next three innings, but the Red Sox finally broke free in the 14th, with Nava and Saltalamacchia each hitting RBI singles to give the Sox another two-run lead. Franklin Morales came in for the 13th and back out for the 14th to pick up the win in a truly wild affair from Tampa Bay.
June 18: Red Sox 3, Rays 1
The second game of a day-night doubleheader, in which the first game was delayed by rain for three hours, is not usually one you expect to be a very exciting matchup. But Felix Doubront and Jake Odorizzi turned this into a pitcher’s duel, with the Red Sox holding a one run lead heading into the ninth inning.
Andrew Bailey came in to close the game, but allowed a leadoff home run to Kelly Johnson to tie the game 1-1, one of Bailey’s many blown saves that would ultimately cost him his job as the Red Sox closer.
The Sox came up in the bottom of the inning looking for some heroics, and it did not take them long to find some, as Daniel Nava walked to lead off the inning, bringing up Jonny Gomes with the winning run on first. Gomes ended the game with a blast over the Green Monster that sent the Sox to another walk-off win.
July 3: Red Sox 2, Padres 1
Just over two weeks after he punted his helmet rounding third base on a walk-off home run against the Rays, Jonny Gomes was at it again on July 3, starting the Independence Day celebrations early with another monster hit for the Red Sox. The Red Sox trailed the Padres 1-0 after three innings, but were able to tie the game up in the fourth with a double by Jarrod Saltalamacchia that scored Mike Carp.
After that, both teams went scoreless heading into the ninth inning, when Koji Uehara shut down San Diego to give the Sox a chance to walk-off with the win in the bottom of the inning. Jonny Gomes led off the inning pinch hitting for Brandon Snyder, and the electric outfielder worked the count to 2-2 before launching a towering shot into the Green Monster seats to send the Sox to a 2-1 victory, and in the process became the first Red Sox player to hit three pinch-hit home runs in a season since Bernie Carbo in 1977.
July 11: Red Sox 8, Mariners 7 (F/10)
After taking an early lead, falling behind, coming back, falling behind by more, then tying the game in the next inning, Red Sox fans must have felt they were watching a back and forth tennis match between their ballclub and the Seattle Mariners on July 11. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the game with a home run, but the Mariners scored five runs over the second and third innings to take a 5-1 lead.
The Red Sox scored three times to make it 5-4 in the top of the fourth, but the Mariners answered right back with two runs in the bottom of the inning to up their lead to 7-4. The Red Sox never gave up though, scoring another three runs in the top of the fifth to tie the game 7-7.
The game remained tied into extra innings, when some small ball by Boston turned the tide in the contest. Ryan Lavarnway led off the top of the tenth with a walk and was pinch-run for by Jackie Bradley Jr. Brock Holt then sacrificed Bradley to second base, and, following a Jose Iglesias strikeout and walk to Jacoby Ellsbury, Bradley scored the eighth Boston run on a Daniel Nava single to centerfield. Koji Uehara came in for the bottom of the inning and shut down the Mariners in order to win the game.
July 21: Red Sox 8, Yankees 7 (F/11)
Mike Napoli saw both sides of the coin on July 21 against the Yankees. On one hand, Napoli struck out three times and grounded into a double play with the bases loaded in a tied game in the bottom of the eighth.
On the other hand, Napoli got the Red Sox right back in this game with a three-run home run in the third inning and came up with the biggest hit of the game, a game-winning home run, in the bottom of the 11th. This was an up and down game for Boston, which was down 3-0 after two innings, but rallied back to take a 4-3 lead in the third, and a 7-3 lead by the fifth.
The Yankees chipped away though, whittling the lead away with two runs in the sixth and seventh innings. The game stayed tied 7-7 through the eighth, ninth, and tenth innings before Napoli came up with two outs and no one on to launch the aforementioned game-winning homer in the bottom of the 11th.
July 31: Red Sox 5, Mariners 4 (F/15)
In a game that began in July and ended in August, the Red Sox survived a long battle against the Seattle Mariners to take a victory that put them back into first place in the AL East. The Mariners began the night by taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth. The Red Sox answered back with two runs in the fifth, only to see Seattle score two more in the top of the sixth to take a 3-2 lead.
A two-run home run by Dustin Pedroia in the bottom of the seventh gave the Sox a 4-3 advantage, but they gave it right back in the top of the eighth when Seattle’s Kyle Seager tied the game 4-4 with a home run of his own. Both teams were then held off the board for the next six innings.
The Mariners threatened with two runners on with one out in the top of the 15th, but Jonny Gomes ended the threat with one of the most electric plays of year: making a diving grab in left field on a Michael Saunders line drive, then ran all the way back in to second base himself to double off Raul Ibanez, who was halfway around third base when Gomes made the catch. The Sox loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame and Stephen Drew ended the game with a RBI single to deep right field.
Aug. 1: Red Sox 8, Mariners 7
Perhaps the most exciting 24 hours of the Red Sox season took place over July 31 and August 1, as one night after winning a 15-inning contest against the Mariners, the Red Sox pulled off their most improbable win of the season. Trailing 7-1 entering the eighth inning, Shane Victorino hit a solo home run to make it 7-2, but the Sox could not muster any more offense and went into the ninth still down 7-2.
Daniel Nava led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk, then scored on a double by Brock Holt to make it 7-3. Victorino singled home Ryan Lavarnway and Holt to make it 7-5, while Dustin Pedroia singled to score Jacoby Ellsbury and make it 7-6. After David Ortiz struck out, Jonny Gomes came up and added to his ever-growing Red Sox legend, singling in Victorino to tie a game that the Sox had been trailing by five runs at the beginning of the inning.
Daniel Nava came up for the second time in the inning and finished what he had started, hitting a game-winning single to deep center that scored Pedroia and sent Fenway Park into further pandemonium; a seemingly impossible comeback that summed up entirely how the Red Sox had played the first four months of 2013 and how they would keep on playing for the final two months.
Aug. 6: Red Sox 15, Astros 10
After Ryan Lavarnway allowed a MLB-record four passed balls in the first inning against Houston, the Red Sox knew that rookie knuckleballer Steven Wright was not going to be the answer on Aug. 6. John Farrell turned to starter-turned-reliever Brandon Workman to essentially “start’’ the game in the second inning, and he struggled at first after being called into the fray so quickly and unexpectedly.
Trailing 5-0 after two innings and 7-3 after four innings, the Sox exploded to score five runs in each of the next two innings, taking a 13-7 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning. The Astros scored three more runs, but the Sox scored two more of their own to secure a wild 15-10 win against the AL-worst Astros.
Jacoby Ellsbury hit two home runs and recorded three RBIs with four runs scored in the win, while Jonny Gomes hit a home run of his own and recorded two hits after pinch-hitting for Mike Carp. In addition, highly touted prospect reliever Rubby De La Rosa made his Red Sox debut, striking out two in a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Aug. 7: Red Sox 7, Astros 5
One night after coming back from five runs down to win a 15-10 game, the Red Sox once again found themselves down to the worst team in the American League, this time going into the top of the ninth inning. With the prospect of losing a series to a team that was almost 40 games below .500, the Red Sox were saved in the inning by a guy who keeps coming up with clutch hits, but is still questioned by fans as to why he played so much: Stephen Drew.
Facing a 5-4 deficit entering the top of the ninth, David Ortiz led off the inning with a single. John Farrell then elected to pinch-run for Ortiz, not an unusual idea, but with an unusual player, as he sent out relief pitcher Drake Britton to run at first. After Mike Carp lined out to left field, Jonny Gomes walked to bring up Drew with two on and one out. Drew took the first pitch from Josh Fields for a strike, but smacked the second offering 375 feet into the right field bleachers, turning the Red Sox one-run deficit into a two-run lead. Koji Uehara came in to close the game in the bottom of the ninth and struck out the side to help the Red Sox steal the series from Houston.
Aug. 25: Red Sox 8, Dodgers 1
When the Red Sox traded for Jake Peavy at the trade deadline, shipping outstanding shortstop and June’s AL Rookie of the Month Jose Iglesias out of town, they hoped for the results hat Peavy gave them on the final night of their six-game West Coast swing.
After splitting the first two games of the series with the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Peavy not only beat the team he faced so many times when pitching for San Diego, he dominated them. Peavy pitched one of the most complete games any Red Sox pitcher has thrown this season, pitching all nine innings and limiting the hottest team in the National League just one run on three hits; the lone run being scored on an Adrian Gonzalez solo home run.
Dustin Pedroia had three hits, while Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, and Xander Bogaerts each had two. Victorino, Napoli, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia also added home runs to support Peavy, who threw 77 strikes on 111 pitches and recorded five strikeouts on just one walk.
The Red Sox taking the series also marked the first time in two and a half months that the Dodgers lost a series, and the win came on the one-year anniversary of the Red Sox-Dodgers megadeal that sent Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett to Los Angeles and Rubby De La Rosa and Alan Webster to Boston.
Aug. 28: Red Sox 4, Orioles 3
John Lackey was arguably the best pitcher on the Red Sox for the entirety of the 2013 season, despite his record showing otherwise. It just so happened that the Red Sox, for some reason, could not score when Lackey was on the mound. On Aug. 28, it looked like it was going to be another one of those nights, with Lackey allowing just three runs over 7.1 innings against the Orioles, but the Sox were down 3-1 entering the bottom of the seventh.
The Red Sox, doing what they did for the entire season, rallied to tie the game in the seventh with a two-out, two-run double by Dustin Pedroia that scored Stephen Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury. The game was still tied in the bottom of the eighth, when Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled with two outs to get the lead runner in scoring position.
After Stephen Drew was intentionally walked, John Farrell decided to pinch-hit Mike Carp for Xander Bogaerts, and Carp was able to flare a light pop fly just out of the reach of Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, scoring Saltalamacchia to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead. A one run lead was all that closer Koji Uehara needed, as he mowed the Orioles down in order for his 14th save and the Red Sox’ 79th win of the season.
Sept. 3: Red Sox 2, Tigers 1
The Red Sox got their toughest test of the month early, with the Detroit Tigers coming to town for three games that many speculated might be an ALCS preview. After a hard 3-0 loss on Sept. 2, things didn’t get easier as 19-1 Max Scherzer got the start for Detroit in the second game of the series opposite Jon Lester. Scherzer was as advertised early on, striking out the side in the first inning and allowing just one Boston hit over the first four innings. The Tigers took the lead in the second inning on a RBI double to center by old friend Jose Iglesias, but the Sox were able to limit the damage when Stephen Drew threw out Brayan Pena trying to score on the double to keep the score 1-0.
The Sox would finally get to Scherzer in the fifth, as Jonny Gomes hit a one-out single and advanced to third on a ground-rule double by Drew. David Ross struck out for the second out, but Will Middlebrooks put the Sox ahead with a two-run single up the middle that scored Gomes and Drew. That proved to be all the scoring that would happen on the day, as Lester had perhaps his finest outing of the season, allowing just one run on eight hits, getting out of a bases-loaded jam with Miguel Cabrera at the plate in the fifth, as well as with two runners on and only one out in the sixth. The Sox southpaw recorded nine strikeouts while allowing no walks over seven innings.
The bullpen team of Brandon Workman, Craig Breslow, and Junichi Tazawa worked around a Victor Martinez single in the eighth to keep the score 2-1, and Koji Uehara shut down the Tigers in the ninth, including strikeouts of Pena and Iglesias, to continue his incredible run since becoming the full time closer in June, extending his stretch of 25 scoreless innings.
Sept. 4: Red Sox 20, Tigers 4
After two impressive pitching performances by both teams that split the first two games of the series, the Red Sox would open up their offense in the rubber match of their set against the Tigers. Stephen Drew started the scoring off in the second inning with a two-run homer to put the Red Sox up 2-0, and Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz each hit solo home runs to tie the game at 3-3 in the third and 4-4 in the fourth, respectively.
It was in the sixth inning that the floodgates opened for Boston. Leading 5-4, Mike Carp walked with the bases loaded to make it 6-4, then Will Middlebrooks continued his resurgence with a shot that landed on Landsdowne Street for a grand slam, making it 10-4 Red Sox. Red Sox Nation would get to stand on its feet and salute one of the greatest Red Sox ever later in the inning, as David Ortiz hit an RBI double to center field for his 2,000th career hit. Daniel Nava gave them more to cheer about right afterward, hitting a two-run homer to put the Sox up 13-4, the team’s fifth home run of the evening.
The runs kept coming in the seventh, as the Red Sox pounded out five more off two-run homers by Ryan Lavarnway and Ortiz to make it 18-4. The Red Sox scored twice in the eighth to put the icing on the cake, with a Quintin Berry RBI single preceded by a solo homer by Mike Napoli, the eighth Red Sox home run of the night. The Red Sox’ 20-4 win was the first time Boston had scored 20 runs in a game in 10 years, the last time being in a 25-3 win in 2003 against the Marlins, and it was the first time since 1977 that the Red Sox hit eight home runs in a game.
Sept. 5: Red Sox 9, Yankees 8 (F/10)
Some say “three is the charm,’’ and this was certainly the case for the stretch of Sept. 3-5, when the Red Sox played arguably their most exciting three games in a row in all of 2013. After the tight 2-1 win over the Tigers on Sept. 3, and the eight home run attack on Sept. 4, Sept. 5’s matchup against the Yankees looked like it would be pedestrian in comparison heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. The Red Sox had taken a 7-2 lead off of brilliant pitching by Jake Peavy, home runs by Will Middlebrooks and Shane Victorino, and Yankees pitcher Ivan Nova’s worst start in months.
But everything went haywire in the bottom of the seventh, with Peavy walking Ichiro Suzuki to lead off the inning, followed by a pinch-hit single by Vernon Wells that put runners on first and third with no outs. That ended the night for Peavy, as he was pulled from the game in favor of lefty Matt Thornton. Brett Gardner promptly singled off Thornton to score Suzuki, and on the next batter Wells stole third despite being beaten to the bag by the throw, as Middlebrooks simply missed the tag on the runner. A walk to Derek Jeter loaded the bases for Robinson Cano, who grounded into what sure looked like a double play that got Jeter out a second, but he throw was just late to get Cano at first.
The Yankees had made it 7-4 by that point, and Junichi Tazawa was brought in to try and stop the bleeding. The only problem was he was facing Alfonso Soriano, who had a season, and possibly career, renaissance after being acquired from Chicago at the trade deadline. In this instance, John Farrell decided to play Soriano to pull, moving Dustin Pedroia to the shortstop position, placing three infielders on that side.
The strategy didn’t work, as Soriano hit a weak ground ball through the space where Pedroia normally dominates, turning what could have been an inning-ending double play into a run-scoring single. Tazawa then surrendered a double to Curtis Granderson, scoring Cano and moving Soriano to make it a 7-6 game with still only one out.
Tazawa struck out Alex Rodriguez for the second out, but it was only fitting next that Lyle Overbay, who had spent spring training with the Red Sox, but was released before the season, came up with two runners in scoring position and made Boston pay for letting him go, hitting a hard single to right field that gave the Yankees their sixth run of the inning and an 8-7 lead. Tazawa would strike out Suzuki to end the inning, but the damage was long done, as the Yankees turned a five-run deficit into a one-run lead in just one inning …(continued on next slide)
(Cont.) Sept. 5: Red Sox 9, Yankees 8 (F/10)
The Red Sox went quietly in the eighth and by the time the ninth inning rolled around, Metallica’s “Enter Sandman’’ was blaring through the Yankee Stadium speakers, indicating that the greatest closer in baseball history was making his way to the mound to close out the 42d game of his final season. Mariano Rivera looked unhittable through the first two batters, getting David Ortiz to line out to first and Daniel Nava to weakly ground out to first, bringing up Mike Napoli with two outs and the game all but over, the Yankees about to steal a sure loss from their heated rivals.
Napoli worked Rivera though, and with two strikes was able to send a single into right field that gave Boston some life. Napoli was quickly pinch-run for by Quintin Berry, and this is where the magic began for the Red Sox. Berry took off on the first pitch to Stephen Drew, sliding in safe at second and advancing to third when catcher Austin Romine’s throw sailed into center field. The very next pitch, Drew drove into right field that brought Berry to the plate, tying the game 8-8 in Rivera’s sixth blown save of the season, the most blown saves he has had in one year in over a decade.
Still having a chance to win it all in the bottom of the inning, Soriano worked a one out walk from Craig Breslow, then appeared to be caught in a rundown trying to steal second, but Breslow one-hopped the throw to first and the Red Sox did not try to get him at second. With a runner now in scoring position with just one out, it looked like the Yankees were going to pull this one out after all, but Soriano was too greedy, attempting to steal third when Breslow checked on second and got tagged out in a rundown that left the Yankees now with no runners on and two outs. Breslow promptly struck out Granderson on the next pitch and it was on to extra innings.
Jacoby Ellsbury hit a one-out single to right and then stole second base to get in scoring position for Victorino. On a controversial call that would later get Joba Chamberlain thrown out of the game, first base umpire Joe West said Victorino did not go around on a check swing that could have been strike three. Victorino, sensing his at bat had just been saved, hit a single to right field on the next pitch that Suzuki would fire home for a play at the plate, but one hopped the catcher Romine and Ellsbury scored the go-ahead run.
Koji Uehara came in for the ninth inning, getting the Yankees to go down in order when Rodriguez popped out to second, and Overbay and Suzuki struck out to give the Red Sox the heart-stopping victory from what had originally looked to be a solid win, but then looked to be a crushing defeat.
Sept. 11: Red Sox 7, Rays 3 (F/10)
The Red Sox, looking to put away the Tampa Bay Rays for good in the AL East race on Sept. 11, pulled another last-inning victory out of a potential disappointment. Leading 3-1 going into the seventh inning, Brandon Workman allowed a run to make it 3-2, then another run in the eighth to tie the game 3-3. Needing a shut-down ninth, John Farrell brought in Koji Uehara to keep the game tied at three, and he did just that, retiring the Rays in order to send the game into extra innings. In the top of the 10th, Dustin Pedroia walked to lead off the inning and then took second on a sacrifice by Shane Victorino.
David Ortiz was intentionally walked before the Rays brought in Roberto Hernandez to face Mike Napoli. Hernandez walked Napoli on four pitches, loading the bases for pinch-hitter Mike Carp. With the go-ahead run on third with one out, Carp slammed the first pitch he saw deep to center, knowing it would be deep enough to score a run. I
t ended up being much more than that, as the ball continued to sail high and deep, all the way over the center field wall for a grand slam to put the Sox up 7-3. Junichi Tazawa came in for the bottom of the inning and allowed just one batter to reach, completing the remarkable night for Carp and the Red Sox.
Sept. 13: Red Sox 8, Yankees 4
Welcoming the Yankees to town for the final time this season, the Red Sox wanted to make a big statement against their longtime rivals. The Bronx Bombers were still in the race for an AL wild card spot, and needed every win they could muster the rest of the way. The Sox jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead after the first inning, but the Yankees clawed their way back, scoring a run in the third and the sixth, then tying the game with two runs in the seventh off starter John Lackey.
Now tied 4-4, Shane Victorino led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and moved up to second when David Ortiz was hit by a pitch. Jonny Gomes walked to load the bases, but Daniel Nava struck out to give the Yankees some breathing room.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia stepped up to the plate with one out, and the Sox catcher crushed a pitch from Preston Caliborne into the right field bleachers for the Red Sox’ second grand slam in three games. Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara worked a perfect eighth and ninth innings, respectively, and the Red Sox took down the Yankees 8-4. The Sox would later go on to sweep the Yankees that weekend to officially eliminate New York from the AL East division race.