The Boston Red Sox certainly have their flaws, but there’s no denying the team’s fight and flare for the dramatic.
This was on display Wednesday night at Fenway Park when the Red Sox rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to edge the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 in walk-off fashion.
Xander Bogaerts kicked off the ninth with a solo shot to trim St. Louis’ lead to one run, followed by walks to Mitch Moreland and Jackie Bradley Jr. Then, with two outs and a 3-2 count, Mookie Betts planted a double high off the Green Monster. Pinch-runner Chris Young scored with ease, while Bradley hustled all the way from first base, narrowly beating the throw home to give Boston its ninth walk-off win of the season.
The Red Sox have been troubled by base-running mistakes this season, but their aggressiveness on the base paths Wednesday night helped lift the team to its 12th victory in its last 14 games. After the big win, Betts had a message for all of the doubters who have knocked the Red Sox for their base-running tendencies.
“It seems like everybody is saying we’re too aggressive because guys are getting thrown out, but it’s risk reward,” Betts said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “You’re going to run into some outs but you’re also going to run into something like today. It just shows you that there’s a means to the end, and we’re just going to be an aggressive base-running team.”
As for Bradley, there wasn’t a doubt in his mind that he was going to try and score the winning run if Betts put one off the wall.
“I was telling Butter (Red Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield) before the play, anything off that wall, send me,” Bradley said. “So it kind of helped that it got to a 3-2 count, so I could get a running start. It hit off the wall, and I was just trying to keep telling myself to get the truck off my back.”
The Red Sox are rolling at the perfect time, as they start a big weekend series against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on Friday. If Boston’s pace continues, it could create a healthy gap atop the American League East standings.
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Cardinals.
— Eight of the Red Sox’s last 19 wins at home have come via walk-off fashion.
— Boston’s bullpen tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings, marking the 27th time this season the team’s relievers have thrown three-plus innings without allowing a run.
— Betts (3-for-4) leads the Red Sox with 34 multi-hit games, including 11 three-hit performances.
— Rafael Devers extended his hitting streak to six games with a double in the sixth inning. He’s the first Red Sox hitter in the last 100 years to hit safely in as many as 15 of his first 18 games, all before turning 21 years old.
— Andrew Benintendi extending his hitting streak to 10 games, which is longest by a member of the Red Sox since Rusney Castillo reached the mark in 2015. Benintendi is batting .412 through the first 12 games of August.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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