The Red Sox trailed the Tigers, 5-1, as Game 2 of their ALCS series shifted to the bottom of the 8th inning. Max Scherzer, like Anibal Sanchez did on Saturday, was straight up dominating the Boston lineup. It was strikeout after strikeout. It was as if John Farrell’s club was stuck in a horrific nightmare and just could not wake up.
Detroit pitching had compiled 13 K’s leading up the 8th inning. Will Middlebrooks led off the frame and delivered in a big way. He ripped a double down the left field line. Jacoby Ellsbury followed up with walk. Dustin Pedroia then lined a single to right and the bases were all of sudden full with two outs in the frame. The many times a hero of October’s past then stepped to the dish.
David Ortiz came to the plate following a Jim Lelyland pitching change. Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit was brought in to face the big lefty. Ortiz whipped Fenway into a frenzy as he belted a towering drive into the Boston bullpen. It was his first career postseason grand slam and with one swing of the bat, the game was tied at five aside.
Koji Uehara dealt a scoreless ninth for Boston. Johnny Gomes led off the final inning for the Sox. He reached first then advanced to second on a throwing error by Jose Iglesias. Jerrod Saltalamacchia came to the plate next. Gomes would then advance to third on a passed ball thrown by Rick Porcello. Shortly there after, Boston would walk off victors, as Saltalamachhia singled to short left. The Boston bench stormed the field, greeting Saltalamcchia at second base for a jubilant celebration.
If not for the king of clutch, David Ortiz, Boston would be heading for Detroit facing a daunting two-games-to-none hole with a matchup against Justin Verlander on the horizon. Ortiz instead singlehandedly swung the momentum back to Boston. The series now becomes the best of five, now deadlocked at one game apiece.
Boston’s 6-5 walk-off win marks one of many this club has pulled off during the course of their storybook run this year. The Sox pride themselves on resiliency, hard work and a never say die attitude. They exhibited those traits Sunday and resurrected their series in doing so.
Game 3 will be played Tuesday night at Comerica Park.