Cardiac Kids redux: Top 10 Red Sox victories of 2013
|08.08.13 at 10:18 am ET|
If nothing else, the 2013 Red Sox certainly have a flare for the dramatic. They own the best record in the American League (70-46), and nearly one in five of their home games has ended with them hopping off celebrating a sudden win. They had that magic on the road with them Wednesday night when Stephen Drew‘s three-run homer in the ninth proved to be the difference in a 7-5 win over the Astros.
Here is a subjective, unscientific look at the top 10 Red Sox wins of the season, walkoff or otherwise:
10. May 6, 6-5 over Twins — In one of a number of nearly five-hour affairs, Drew collected his fourth hit of the night at a very opportune time — with two outs in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game, the winning run on second in the form of Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Drew sent a double to left-center to end it, bailing out soon-to-be-injured closer Joel Hanrahan and giving the Sox their only win in a seven-game stretch.
9. June 18, 3-1 over Rays — A long day of baseball at Fenway ended on a very bright note, with Jonny Gomes punting his helmet after rounding third during a celebratory trip around the bases following his walkoff two-run home run. It gave the Sox a sweep of their doubleheader with Tampa Bay, and salvaged a game in which eight shutout innings from Felix Doubront went to waste after Andrew Bailey blew the save in the ninth.
8. June 6, 6-3 over Rangers — In a season chock full of walkoffs, it comes as no surprise that David Ortiz has had a hand in the late-inning heroics. What may be a surprise, however, is that the opposing team intentionally walked the batter in front of him to get to Ortiz. Such was the case with first base open and the game on the line with Dustin Pedroia at the plate. When Pedroia took his base, Ortiz sent a first-pitch splitter into the Rangers bullpen for the 19th game-ending hit of his career.
7. May 26, 6-5 over Indians — Down 5-1 with an inning and a half to play, the Red Sox got one in the eighth and four more in the ninth for their third win in a row against Terry Francona’s crew. Jacoby Ellsbury did the honors this time around, as his double to left-center field scored Gomes with the tying run and Drew as the winning run. He has been one of the hottest hitters in the majors ever since.
6. July 3, 2-1 over Padres — Gomes started celebrating the Fourth of July a little early with a different kind of fireworks, but not before sitting on the bench for three hours. John Farrell sent him to pinch-hit for Brandon Snyder to lead off the ninth inning of a 1-1 game at Fenway, and he promptly sent a no-doubter over the Monster to end it.
5. April 15, 3-2 over Rays — The annual Patriots Day matinee ended in dramatic fashion courtesy of a Bailey blown save in the top of the ninth, then a Mike Napoli double to left-center in the bottom half to bring Pedroia to the plate. Ryan Dempster turned in his best outing of the season: seven innings of one-run ball, giving up only two hits while striking out 10. The game ended less than an hour before the explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line.
4. July 21, 8-7 over Yankees — It was a script all too familiar to the Red Sox this season — a blown lead late opened the door for a new hero — amplified by the circumstances: against CC Sabathia and the Yankees, on Sunday Night Baseball to boot. The teams did battle for nearly five hours before Napoli launched his second homer the night, this time a long fly ball to straightaway center field, to put the Red Sox on the right end of another instant classic.
3. July 31, 5-4 over the Mariners — Junichi Tazawa gave up a homer to tie it in the eighth, but seven innings and an 0-for-20 stretch later, Drew’s single to right, barely inside the foul line, ended the marathon affair in the 15th inning shortly after the clock struck midnight. Four relievers combined for seven scoreless innings after Tazawa blew the save, and Gomes’ unassisted double play from left field ended Seattle’s threat in the top of the 15th.
2. Aug. 1, 8-7 over the Mariners — This is likely the one freshest in Red Sox Nation’s collective memory. Down 7-2 headed to the bottom of the ninth, the Sox evoked memories of the Mother’s Day Miracle in May 2007 with a furious rally featuring Daniel Nava leading off the inning with a walk and ending it with a 400-foot single to center. The victory was particularly sweet since it came on the same calendar day as Drew’s 15th-inning single, also to beat the M’s. “In a word,” John Farrell said afterward, “magical.”
1. April 20, 4-3 over the Royals — Baseball offered an escape on a sunny, emotional Saturday afternoon at Fenway. Less than 24 hours after the manhunt of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers paralyzed the city, Clay Buchholz gave up two runs in eight innings, and Nava’s three-run homer in the eighth was the eventual game-winner. Ortiz stole the headlines early with a pregame speech in which he proudly declared, “This is our [expletive] city … and nobody is going to dictate our freedom.”
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