The Boston Red Sox rallied in the ninth inning to score three runs and tied the game at five to send the game into an extra six innings on the night before sealing the 13-6 win against the Tampa Bay Rays in 15 innings.
Boston was down by three runs heading into the ninth inning, thanks in part to Rays’ catcher Wilson Ramos driving in three runs, including a pair of home runs.
This game looked out of reach for the Sox heading into the their final at-bats in the ninth, but the offense came alive to rally for three runs before sending the game to extra innings.
Moreland walked to leadoff the ninth inning before third baseman Rafael Devers drove him in after the Rays committed a throwing error.
Pinch-hitter Christian Vazquez came in to the game to hit for infielder Tzu Wei Lin and singled before speedy outfielder Rajai Davis came in to pinch-run for him with runners on the corners and zero outs.
Catcher Sandy Leon drove in Devers on an infield single and Boston found themselves down by one.
Fellow catcher Blake Swihart came in to the game to pinch-run for Leon before shortstop Xander Bogaerts hit an RBI single to tie the game at five and chase Rays closer Alex Colome out of the game.
In the top of the 11 inning, Boston took the lead after infielder Deven Marrero avoided the tag at third base and crossed home plate – but the Rays challenged that he was indeed tagged. After a two-minute review, the umpires reversed the call and the game was still knotted at five runs a piece.
The Sox threatened to score in every inning – once with the bases loaded and one out but could not produce any runs. Strange but true: Boston is the only team in the major leagues without a grand slam.
In the top of the 14 inning, after the team stranded six baserunners in the extra innings, Devers singled to drive in a run and Boston took a 6-5 lead – but just when the Sox thought they sealed the win, the Rays would not go away quietly.
Tampa Bay center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who was a nuisance to Boston all night by making two outstanding catches to rob Boston of extra bases and runs, hit a solo home run off Boston’s relief pitcher Brandon Workman to tie the game at six.
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was 0-for-7 coming into his at-bat in the 15 inning, hit what should have been a routine groundball to Rays second baseman Brad Miller, but he could not handle the ball and was charged with an error as a run came in for Boston for a 7-6 lead.
The error by Tampa Bay sparked the Boston offense yet again as they put up six more runs – more runs than Boston put up in the first 14 innings – in the 15 inning for the comfortable 13-6 lead.
Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer came in to close out the game and seal the 15-inning victory at 1:16 a.m. – the longest road game of the season.
With the win, the Red Sox improve to 84-64 and hold on to their three-game lead over the New York Yankees for first place in the American League East division.
Applegate Punishment: Before the game, the league announced fines for both the Red Sox and New York Yankees regarding the stealing of signs using an Apple watch. Both teams were fined undisclosed amounts.
Game MVP: Dustin Pedroia: Despite going 0-for-9 on the night, he reached on the error in the 15 and would score the game-winning run and would spark the offense to put up six more runs after that.
Honorable mention: Kevin Kiermaier – the Rays center fielder made two amazing catches in the outfield to rob the Red Sox of extra runs and saved the game for the Tampa Bay Rays on two separate occasions late in the game.
Fun fact: On Sept. 15, 2016, the Red Sox trailed the New York Yankees 5-2 heading into the ninth inning. They walked off the game on a three-run home run by then-first baseman Hanley Ramirez.
What’s on deck: The Red Sox continue their three-game set with the Rays on Saturday when they send Rick Porcello (9-17, 4.64 ERA) to the mound to oppose Alex Cobb (11-9, 3.59 ERA).
First pitch is set for 6:10 p.m.