Red Sox Win Thanks To Stephen Drew’s Ninth Inning Heroics
The American League’s highest scoring team barely escaped with the win courtesy of a ninth-inning game winner off the bat of Stephen Drew.
While the Sox took home their 70th “W” of the season, eclipsing last year’s 69 win total, it was not a win that came easily, thanks, in large part, to the efforts of Ryan Dempster. A two run shot by Robbie Grossman in the third was the only blemish on Dempster’s line until he suddenly imploded in the sixth, allowing three more runs to cap off a generally disappointing outing. It wasn’t all bad for the 36-year-old though, as he managed to get seven Astro strike outs throughout his precarious six innings of work.
Aug 7, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes (5) watches his two-run home run clear the fence against the Houston Astros during the seventh inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
The Sox couldn’t seem to muster anything off of Houston rookie Jarred Cosart, who was making just his fifth Major League start. Boston failed to make good on chance after chance against Cosart, who seemed to be able to constantly escape any and all sticky situations despite handing out walks and hits like candy. Cosart allowed only two runs, one in each of the second and third, but Boston could not capitalize elsewhere. The Red Sox left two men on in both the first and fourth, and a double play blew away all hope of scoring in the fifth. The worst wasted chance came in the sixth, as Shane Victorino was called out on a questionable check swing after three walks had loaded the bases for the Flyin’ Hawaiian.
Boston would lose their right fielder for the night after third base umpire Brian Knight threw Victorino out of the game for arguing the call.
With Victorino gone, the Sox made sure his loss wouldn’t be in vain. While David Ortiz’s liner was snagged at first, Mike Carp quickly knocked a single to bring up Victorino’s replacement in right, Jonny Gomes. Gomes took a fast ball on an 0-1 count and slammed it over the scoreboard in left to plate two runs.
After the side was set down in order in the eighth, Boston headed into the ninth down a run and were set to face former farm hand, Josh Fields. David Ortiz Promptly kicked things off with a single to right, only to be pulled from the game in favor of pinch runner, Drake Britton.
“We’re looking for one or two steps quicker than what David can give us,” Farrell said. “We talked about it before the inning was even taking place, made sure we’re not trying to show them up, just making sure we do whatever we could to get the best foot-speed available to us and that was Drake in that case.”
Aug 7, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew (7) runs the bases after hitting the game-winning three-run home run off of Houston Astros relief pitcher Josh Fields (50) during the ninth inning at Minute Maid Park. The Red Sox won 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
However, it wouldn’t come down to Britton’s speed or a close play anywhere on the field. After Gomes drew a six pitch walk which put Britton in scoring position with one out, Stephen Drew stepped up to the plate. Drew took an 0-1 hanging breaking ball from Fields and swiftly deposited it five rows back in right field, flipping a one run deficit into a two run advantage.
Boston called on Koji Uehara to close out the game, a task he performed admirably, striking out the side and handing the Sox the win. It was Boston’s league best 24th series win, and their fourth win when behind after the eighth.