The Vegas odds had to be against the Sox in this one. Boston sent out Ryan Dempster to square off against Seattle’s own King Felix Hernandez, backed up by a beleaguered offense who sent the Sox to a walk off win in a fifteen inning marathon less than 12 hours before.
Felix Hernandez did what he gets paid to do all night long. Through seven innings Hernandez dominated, allowing only one run on a sacrifice fly and nothing else. Ryan Dempster was not so lucky. Wild and hittable all night, things blew up in the top of the fifth when Henry Blanco launched a grand slam that cleared everything in left, just his second homerun of the year.
But then the tides changed. After seven innings and 107 pitches, King Felix was pulled from the game with a 7-1 lead, leaving the easy clean up in the hands of the bullpen.
Shane Victorino struck in the eighth, hitting a towering fly ball into the Monster and bringing the Sox within five. The rest of the order went down easily enough and the Mariners carried a 7-2 lead into the ninth.
Thanks to Steven Wright and Jonny Gomes, the Mariners were held at seven runs through their half of inning. Gomes closed out the inning with a spectacular catch that culminated in a violent encounter with the Green Monster. So the Mariners trotted into the bottom of the ninth clinging on to a five run lead.
Daniel Nava walked to lead off the inning, followed by Ryan Lavarnway single. Brock Holt, Jose Iglesias he is not, hit a double to score Nava and all of a sudden the Sox had no outs and the tying run on deck. Jacoby Ellsbury beat M’s closer Tom Wilhelmsen, drawing a five pitch walk to fill the bases. Shane Victorino punished Oliver Perez, brought in to relieve Wilhelmsen, slapping a single through the infield to put Boston down by only two. Dustin Pedroia hit a liner to left, to bring the Sox back within one.
With bat in his hand, David Ortiz looked poised to give the Sox the win. Instead, Perez sat Ortiz down on three pitches. Jonny Gomes battled Perez through a lengthy at bat and finally won, reaching out and smacking a fastball up the middle, tying the game at seven in the process.
Stephen Drew was once again given the chance to be the hero; instead he drew a walk, leaving it up the Nava, the man who started the whole thing to just hit a long fly ball to score the Pedroia for the winning run. Nava came out swinging, lofting the first pitch he saw deep to center that would have easily scored a tagged up Pedroia. Instead the ball caught the wall in center, barely missing a grand slam, and Pedroia trotted home.
Boston had rallied for six runs in the ninth; giving the Sox their second walk off on the first of August.