Red Sox: A Ninth Inning for the Ages

Red Sox: A Ninth Inning for the Ages

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Red Sox: A Ninth Inning for the Ages

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The Red Sox have been finding ways to lose games over the last week, including a four game losing streak against sub-par opponents. The team has been inconsistent both offensively and defensively. They were beating themselves more than losing because of the opposition. Late inning errors and pitching mistakes have cost the team more games in the last week than any other point this season. The Sox were about to lose another game in disappointing fashion Sunday afternoon when something amazing happened.

The Red Sox had only 5 hits in the entire game prior to the 9th inning, with the number 5, 6 and 7 hitters coming up to bat. To say the Red Sox were lifeless is an understatement. It seemed like they were wasting another decent start from their rotation down 3-0 after 8 innings. The 9th inning began with a walk from Jackie Bradley Jr., which was immediately followed by a single from Aaron Hill. With the tying run coming to the plate, the Red Sox began to become cautiously optimistic about their chances to come back.

Up next was Ryan Hanigan who was allowed to hit for himself, a questionable decision by Torey Lovullo, who was the acting manager after John Farrell was ejected earlier in the game (ironically Farrell was ejected defending Pedroia, the eventual home-run hitter). Hanigan then struck out and was followed by Brock Holt. Holt had a lengthy at-bat but was also struck out by the Angels closer. This brought the Red Sox back to the top of their order, which had been unusually quiet all afternoon.

Mookie Betts came up and had another lengthy at-bat against Huston Street, the Angels closer. This time, however, Mookie was able to come up with a two-out single that drove in a run and put runners on 1st and 3rd. This brought Dustin Pedroia, the leading run, to the plate against Street. After taking a high pitch Pedroia let loose on a pitch that was right at the letters and blasted a 3-run homer to straightaway center field. This put the Red Sox ahead 4-3 and gave them their first lead of the afternoon.

The Red Sox weren’t done, the next batter was Xander Bogaerts who launched a second two out home-run to help seal the win for the struggling Sox. At 5-3 the Red Sox went into the bottom of the 9th where Brad Ziegler finished the game off. This was a great character win for the club and shows their ability to grind out wins against beatable opponents. They certainly cannot rely on 9th inning comebacks in every single game, but it is a great way to stop a mid-season skid.

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