A flash of last year’s moxie propelled the Red Sox to a walk-off win against their division rival, the Baltimore Orioles.
Jake Peavy did not have his best stuff, giving up five runs in just 5.2 innings. He walked four and allowed ten hits, including a solo home run to Nelson Cruz. With all of that, he did not end up with the loss. His teammates picked him up and it started with a shot to left.
That’s because Ubaldo Jimenez ran into a huge problem in the sixth. With two on and one out, Jimenez hung a breaking ball and Jonny Gomes had a ticket to the Green Monster seats waiting for it. That home run chased the Orioles’ starter, who had been just fine up until that point, giving up only three hits before the Gomes drive. Then the worst defensive three innings of the Orioles’ season happened.
It started with reliever Zach Britton in the bottom of the seventh. Grady Sizemore had chopped one right back to the mound and Britton looked to start a 1-6-3 double play, but Ryan Flaherty dropped the ball on the transfer. Buck Showalter would come out to argue the play but made no challenge. When asked later why he didn’t challenge the play, Buck called it a “waste of time,” citing that the play hadn’t been overturned once this season. Two batters later, David Ortiz singled to right, bringing the BoSox within one.
That brought in reliever Evan Meek, who, with one out, induced a sharp double play grounder to third. The problem with that was that Jonathan Schoop chose not to go for the double play; he went for the out at the plate. That may have been fine, but he threw it wide of the plate and allowed Grady Sizemore to score the tying run. Evan Meek was charged with a blown save.
An error brought Boston within one, an error tied the game, and so it would just be fitting that an error would allow Boston to win the game. With Darren O’Day on the bump and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Mike Carp lined a rocket to left fielder David Lough, hit much too hard for Dustin Pedroia to tag up and score. Carp fired it towards cut off man Jonathan Schoop – except Schoop wasn’t there. He had gone to cover third base and by the time he reached back out to cut the throw off, keeping everyone where they were, the throw had sailed to the backstop. Pedroia, who had still tagged up, raced home with the winning run on David Lough’s throwing error. Afterwards, according to Baltimore reporters, Schoop accepted the blame for not being there to cut the throw off, having thought that the double play would be at third.
On an emotional night, the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, the Red Sox provided a thrilling finish to what looked like a dismal game.