Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. stepped to the plate with two outs in the ninth inning and the Boston Red Sox leading 1-0 on Monday night.
Boston was one out away from surrounding closer Matt Barnes on the mound at Fenway Park, celebrating tying the series after a forgettable stretch from their starting rotation. (Thankfully, Nathan Eovaldi stepped up.)
The Blue Jays slugger, however, had different plans. He sent the second pitch he saw from Barnes to deep center field and tied the game 1-all in the top of the ninth inning. Guerrero showed extraordinary power with his third home run of the four-game set.
Fortunately, fellow countryman Rafael Devers would help the Red Sox have the last laugh as he hit a walk-off single in the home half of the ninth to lift Boston to a thrilling 2-1 win.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora, given the fact Boston pulled out the win, was able to breath a sigh of relief following the game. But he certainly didn’t regret the decision to pitch to Guerrero. In fact, Cora never thought about putting him on base with an intentional walk as it would have brought what was, at the time, the winning run to the plate.
“No chance. No chance. No chance,” Cora said on a postgame video conference. “We beat him with fastballs in certain counts, we hung a breaking ball and he hit a home run. The other guy is really good too. He’s a good hitter. We just didn’t execute one pitch and he hit it out of the ballpark.
“I didn’t even think about that,” Cora continued. “But he is that good. He is that good.”