The Red Sox needed 10 innings to take down the Rays on Wednesday. But long before Mike Carp drilled his go-ahead grand slam, Stephen Drew made a very important defensive play.
Ryan Dempster, who pitched five innings of one-run ball, found himself in some trouble in the third inning. Dempster had already given up a run, and he plunked Evan Longoria and walked Matt Joyce to load the bases for Desmond Jennings. It took a sensational diving play by Drew to get Dempster out of the inning without any further damage.
Jennings hit a first-pitch grounder into the hole. Drew completely laid out to make a diving stop and then fired from his knees to complete an inning-ending forceout at second base.
The play was huge, as it kept the Red Sox’ 3-1 lead intact. That lead held up until the Rays posted runs in the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game at three apiece. The Red Sox eventually won 7-3 in 10 innings after Carp’s pinch-hit grand slam off Roberto Hernandez.
Carp’s big blast will be the lasting image of Wednesday’s game, but without Drew’s terrific glove work, the game might have unfolded much differently.
Check out Drew’s nifty play in the video below.