Along with blowing the 9-0 lead to the Yankees on April 21, this has got to be at least contending for the most heartbreaking game. The Red Sox held a 4-3 lead in the ninth with two Twins runners on base, two outs, and a 2-2 count. Closer Alfredo Aceves painted the corner with a fastball that looked like strike three, but wait, it was called a ball. On the very next pitch, Joe Mauer sent one into the seats for a three-run homer riding on a bad call by home plate umpire David Rackley.
Making this even more heartbreaking was that the Red Sox had held the lead pretty much this entire game. After Ryan Kalish walked to lead off the home half of the first inning, Carl Crawford immediately drove him in with a double that gave the Red Sox a very early 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the second, the Red Sox made it a two-run lead when Mike Aviles drove a ball over the green monster in left field for his 11th of the year.
It stayed 2-0 for a little while as Twins’ starter Cole DeVries settled down and Clay Buchholz continued to roll right along. However, the Twins put something together in the fifth inning when Jamey Carroll singled with one out, then advanced to second on a bad pickoff throw by Clay Buchholz. He would score on another error when Kelly Shoppach made a bad throw on a dribbler in front of home plate to cut it to 2-1– on an unearned run for Buchholz. It took them a while, but the Twins would eventually tie up the game in the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly by Justin Morneau.
Now this was when the game got pretty high-scoring, as the Red Sox answered back in the bottom of the eighth. Leading off the inning, Pedro Ciriaco came in to pinch-hit and promptly hit his first career home run over the green monster. That wasn’t it for the inning, though, as Dustin Pedroia was hit by a pitch and stole second to put himself in a good position for Cody Ross– who drove him with a single to make it 4-2. Then in the next inning, the unthinkable happened as the Red Sox blew the game, and probably the season, in one felled swoop.