Bogaerts on second. Two outs in the bottom of the 11th. Big Papi at the plate. He hits it high to center field, it’s over the fielder’s head! Bogaerts scores, and Big Papi and the Red Sox had themselves the first walk-off win of the season!!! The image above pretty much summarizes the entire big celebration. Well, how’d they get to extras?
Things started off on the negative side. Clay Buchholz gave up a moonshot over the monster in the 1st inning that nearly left the ballpark altogether. Carlos Correa’s dinger gave the Astros a 1-0 lead. The Red Sox struck back pretty quickly. Mookie Betts and JBJ hit back-to-back singles, and Xander Bogaerts made that 2nd and 3rd with a 1-1 tie on a ground rule double. David Ortiz loaded the bases on a walk, and Hanley Ramirez grounded into a force out. The bases were still loaded, but JBJ had gotten out at the plate. Travis Shaw walked, driving in a 2nd run.
But the Astros secured a lead the next inning. After a single and two walks, George Springer nailed a grand slam to center field, and the Astros had the 3-run lead. Clay Buchholz started to calm down after that, and David Ortiz hit a moonshot of his own to center to make it 5-3. The next inning, Josh Rutledge continued a hot start to his season with a double to left. Christian Vazquez made it 1st and 3rd with a base hit and Mookie Betts grounded into a force out. Vazquez got called out but Rutledge scored and Betts was safe. 5-4 Astros. The Red Sox were catching up.
As both pitchers kept control, it was a quiet game for the next few innings. Tommy Layne got in a bit of a jam in the 8th inning. Marwin Gonzalez doubled and ended up on third after an intentional walk. But he got out at the plate, and Junichi Tazawa came in to secure the last out, making sure pinch runner Carlos Gomez couldn’t come home from third.
The Red Sox changed that in the bottom of the 9th. JBJ walked, and Xander Bogaerts grounded into a force out. But when David Ortiz came back up, he hit it into center field and Jake Marisnick lost the ball and he couldn’t find it! David Ortiz ended up with an RBI triple in the process, tying the game 5-5. It was going to extra innings.
The 10th inning was quiet, and Koji got to first and second in the 11th, but he was alright. Then, with two outs in the bottom of the inning, Xander Bogaerts got a base hit. Then he went to second on a wild pitch, and Big Papi was up. Ortiz did his thing, doubling over Jake Marisnick’s head to knock in the walk-off run. The Red Sox shocked the Astros in extras, 6-5.
David Ortiz was a single shy of the cycle, hit his 600th career double (he is now one of just three players with 500 homers and 600 doubles, joining Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds), and his first triple since 2013. That’s amazing for his final season. He can still add on to that by becoming a 2016 All-Star or winning the World Series, maybe both. The Red Sox are looking pretty good right now, all they need to do is find a way to get past the Orioles. It may seem like a fluke, but the Orioles are good again.