Four hundred and ninety-five pitches, 26 position players, 17 runs, 16 pitchers, 14 innings, five hours, two ejections and one big Red Sox win. That is Saturday's 9-8 victory over the A's in a nutshell.
In a game moved to the afternoon to accommodate Boston sports fans' desire to watch both the Red Sox and Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Sox played their longest game in over two years. But there was never a dull moment in the five-hour, 17-minute marathon, particularly in the ninth inning.
With the Sox adding two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth via a two-run double by Carl Crawford, it looked as though they were going to coast to their second straight victory. But the A's scored four runs to tie the game in one of the more bizarre innings of the season, opening the floodgates to what would be a 14-inning battle.
With two runners aboard, Coco Crisp hit a ground ball to Dustin Pedroia that looked as if it would be a game-ending double play. But Pedroia didn’t get his glove down far enough, and the ball traveled through his legs and into right-center field.
It was a strange sight to see the usually sure-handed second baseman make such a costly error, but things only got stranger from there.
After Cliff Pennington doubled off the wall in left to cut the deficit to two, Jason Varitek was ejected following a disagreement with home plate umpire Tony Randazzo.
Conor Jackson, who pinch hit for Andy LaRoche, then tied the game with a double down the third base line. Following the big hit, Randazzo came out from behind home plate and ejected Jonathan Papelbon after it appeared as though the righthander was upset with the umpire's calls.
With Bobby Jenks taking over on the mound, the Sox were able to escape any more damage in the inning. But just like that, an average day at the ballpark turned into an unpredictable street fight.
The Sox nearly let the game slip away completely in the 11th inning after a Ryan Sweeney sacrifice fly gave the A's an 8-7 lead. But the game's unpredictable nature continued when Jarrod Saltalamacchia just missed tying the game on a shot high off the wall in left. Jacoby Ellsbury made sure a long day got even longer, though, by ripping a double down the right field line to tie the game at eight.
The game finally concluded with a J.D. Drew walk-off hit in the bottom of the 14th, ensuring that the wild day was also a good one for the home team.
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