Aug 1, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; The Boston Red Sox celebrate with right fielder Daniel Nava (center) after his game-winning hit to defeat the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Nava lifts the Red Sox to their second walk off win in as many games.

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.

Aug 1, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster (46) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

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.


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  • Rick M

    I especially enjoyed the defensive positioning that resulting in the M’s first run. I have not seen any reference to this in any game story since the exuberance over this startling win is the real story line.

    In the first the M’s had a runner on third and Seager – a left hand batter up – and the Sox put on a shift. The shift was so extreme that Holt was getting up close and personal with second base so the only defense against anything dropped down the third base line was the less than adroit Dempster whose follow thru has him staring at first after every pitch.

    Seager merely pushed a bunt down past Dempster for an automatic run and a hit. This move was beyond me since on the previous batter they had the infield in since a run was important with Felix pitching. I have never seen a shift like this with a runner on third. In fact the runner could go half way down the line. Was it Holt having a brain freeze? Was it something Farrell dreamed up?

    So that is my nitpick for the day.

    • Michael Macaulay-Birks

      There have been a few of those type plays lately Rick….I love seeing the team use spray charts, etc. to dictate their positioning, but more than once this year, it’s bitten us on the ass…

      • Rick M

        Yeah…this one just seemed so convoluted. Just a basic tap by the pitcher and an automatic run. I have actually never seen one like this with less than two outs and a runner on third. It was almost like they forgot a runner was on third.