Red Sox walk-off Astros in series finale with 6-5 victory
Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com: (Sept. 8, 2018 – Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America)
The Boston Red Sox defeated the Houston Astros 6-5 on Sunday night via a walk-off single by Mitch Moreland. With the win, Boston ascends to 98-46 while Houston falls to 89-54 with the loss. Rick Porcello was given the ball to start for the Red Sox and Dallas Keuchel did so for the Astros. The game was played at Fenway Park in Boston.
After dropping the first two games to the defending World Series champions, the Sox managed to pull off a dramatic 9th inning walk-off on them. The baseball was hit to the opposite-field from Moreland’s stick, dropping in for a single right in front of left fielder Marwin Gonzalez. He held out his hand in an attempt to barehand the ball after it bounced, caroming off it and allowing Tzu-Wei Lin to score with ease.
The game also was not without controversy. In the top 5th, Jose Altuve tried to come home on a groundball to shortstop Xander
The throw from Bogey was a tad high to catcher Sandy Leon, who appeared to barely graze the diving reigning AL MVP a second before he crossed the plate. It was called out on first glance but it was briskly disputed via challenge. On replay, it is not apparent that Leon ever tagged Altuve, especially before he touched the plate. Regardless, the play was upheld, which came as a shock to many. Boston ended up winning by a run, so this was a consequential call.
Anyway, J.D. Martinez belted his 40th homer of the 2018 season; a three-run shot that put the Red Sox on top 5-1 in the bottom 5th.
Rick Porcello, facing the most formidable opposing lineup in the game, pitched relatively well. When he was removed from the game, it was a 5-2 score with runners on first and second and two outs. Heath Hembree was summoned to get him out of the inning, but failed to do so. He allowed Tyler White to slam a two-RBI double and was promptly removed from the game. Brian Johnson did not fare much better, relieving Hembree. He walked a batter and then also allowed an RBI double to make it 5-5. Like his fellow bullpen mate, he was taken out without yielding an out.
After that meltdown, the bullpen held its own with a particularly impressive two innings of scoreless ball from Steven Wright. Craig Kimbrel came in and pitched a seamless top 9th, maintaining the tie and the rest, they say, is history.
The Boston Red Sox will begin a three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays at 7:10 p.m. eastern on Tuesday. Chris Sale will make his return to the diamond, as he will be pitted against Blue Jays lefty Ryan Borucki.