- Omar Rawlings/Getty
The Boston Red Sox entered Tuesday’s game as a team in need of a break, and they finally got one, topping the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 thanks to a clutch walk-off hit in the 19th inning.
The Red Sox trailed throughout the first half of the game, but they managed to tie things up with a two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth to send it to extra innings. Then, after nine more innings of great pitching on both sides, designated hitter Hanley Ramirez finished the job with a bloop single that allowed Mookie Betts to score from second base.
The game started at 7:07 p.m. and wrapped up around 1:15 a.m.
Take a look at the game-winning hit:
— MLB (@MLB) September 6,2017
The game took over six hours to complete, so Fenway Park’s lively crowd of 33,009 had dwindled to around 700 by the end of play. Still, Ramirez was elated with the victory.
“That was a team win right there,” he said, according ESPN. “Sometimes it’s not going to be easy. There’s a lot of things in our way, but nothing’s going to stop us from continuing to where we want to go and what we want to be. We want to be a champion.”
It was a much-needed victory – the Red Sox’s week started out about as badly as it could have. They lost three straight games between Saturday and Monday, including back-to-back contests against the Yankees, and that was before MLB commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed that Boston is under investigation for using electronic communication to steal signs earlier this season.
But the team’s luck took a turn for the better on Tuesday. Young starter Eduardo Rodriguez delivered six solid innings of two-run ball, and from there, the bullpen took control, with 11 relievers combining for 13 scoreless innings and 15 strikeouts. Both sides took advantage of MLB’s liberal roster rules for September – all told, 19 different pitchers took the mound during the game.
With the win, the Red Sox increased their lead in the American League East to 3.5 games. The Yankees are their closest pursuers, while the Baltimore Orioles are seven back.