Pedro Ciriaco may not stand much of a chance of making the team out of spring training, but at least for March 12, he's the man of the day, as his two-run shot in the tenth inning gave the Red Sox a walk-off win over the Miami Marlins.
The Marlins would be the first to draw blood, however, as a completely wild Josh Beckett would dig himself a hole in the first. After allowing a double to Emilio Bonafacio, Beckett lost all semblance of control. While he was still able to strike out Austin Kearns, the surrounding plunkings of Omar Infante and Aaron Rowand left the bases loaded. So, when Beckett's final fastball to Chris Coghlan ran outside for ball four, there was no place to put him, bringing in the first run of the game.
Beckett would end up settling down, walking Matt Dominguez to start the second but not allowing another baserunner as he finished with four frames of one-run ball. Ricky Nolasco, meanwhile, was not quite so fortunate as Beckett. Fighting back in the bottom of the third inning, a triple from Mike Aviles and double from Nick Punto would tie the game at 1-1.
The fourth inning would hold a rally for Boston as well, with Nolasco allowing David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to reach base with one out before being lifted for Tom Koehler. He would not fair much better, allowing an RBI single to Cody Ross and a sacrifice fly to Kelly Shoppach to make the score 3-1 in Boston's favor.
Andrew Bailey would show the rust caused by his injury layoff in his first appearance, sitting a few miles per hour off his typical range and throwing some very hittable balls to Marlins hitters, who were happy to oblige him. Three hits would turn into one run for Miami, cutting the lead down to one run after six.
Ross Ohlendorf would hold down the fort for the next two innings, leaving Scott Atchison with just the ninth to pitch to win the game. It was not to be. Giving up a leadoff single, Atchison was given something of a reprieve when Dominguez was cut down at home on Clint Sammons' double. While that likely saved the game for the Sox, it wouldn't save the tie, as Atchison's own throwing error and a sacrifice fly allowed the Marlins to equalize with their second out of the ninth.
Rob Delaney would pitch a scoreless ninth for the Marlins to force extras, and Jesse Carlson sent it to the bottom of the tenth pitching around a leadoff double. That was where Ciriaco would strike. After Nate Spears reached on a bunt single with one out, Ciriaco came to the plate and received an Alejandro Rojas fastball that he could do everything with. The high fly ball cleared the wall in left, and gave the Sox the 5-3 walkoff win.
Josh Beckett from innings 2-4, who seemed like his old self after the ugly start.
Mike Aviles' 2-for-3 day with a triple gets his engine going after his insanely hot start seemed to be cooling off.
And of course, Mr. Walkoff, Pedro Ciriaco.
Ryan Sweeney left the game early on after straining his left quad. Hopefully it's no big deal, but he's not the healthiest guy in the world to begin with.
Speaking of injuries, Andrew Bailey certainly showed what his had cost him in terms of getting ramped up. With three weeks to go, though, it's good enough just to see him on the mound for now.
Scott Atchison, in general.
Josh Beckett's first inning. Two plunkings and a base on balls. Sounds like a bad sitcom.