The Red Sox rallied back from two three-plus run deficits Thursday night to pick up a dramatic win over the Seattle Mariners.
In a series that has had no shortage of runs, Thursday night's game did not disappoint, nor did it waste any time. In the very first at bat of the game, Jacoby Ellsbury put a big looping swing on a pitch over the heart of the plate, hooking it ten rows deep into the right field seats. Just like that, the Red Sox were ahead 1-0.
The lead would be short-lived, and the last they'd see for a long, long while. Ryan Dempster surrendered a homer to Kyle Seager to lead off the bottom of the second, and a crucial error by Brock Holt with two away and one on allowed the Mariners to score three more runs before the inning came to an end. Another tally in the third would make it 5-1 Mariners.
Boston's first big rally of the night would not quote manage to tie the game, but it did make it clear the Mariners still had a long way to go to escape with a win. A wild Erasmo Ramirez put two men on with two outs in the top of the fourth without surrendering a hit. Not letting the opportunity go to waste, Brock Holt, Jose Iglesias, and Jacoby Ellsbury would string together three straight singles, bringing Boston within a run at 5-4.
As quickly as Boston had closed the gap, however, Ryan Dempster allowed the Mariners to build their cushion right back up. Allowing three-of-four batters to reach to start the inning, Dempster would find himself removed from the game with a sixth run in, and one down in the inning. With Steven Wright allowing a single in the process of recording the final two outs, the Mariners one again found themselves up by three.
Even after all their hard work had been undone, however, the Red Sox lineup showed no quit. Putting three straight batters on to start the fifth, the Red Sox had the tying run at first with nobody out. Erasmo Ramirez would manage to get two outs while allowing just the one run, but was lifted for Charlie Furbush with two away. And he had no such luck. Back-to-back base hits from Holt and Iglesias scored two more runs, and the game was tied.
For all the trouble the Mariners had given Dempster, Wright had no difficulty at all mowing them down. In one of the most impressive and surprising bullpen performances of the season, Wrighr held the Mariners in check for almost six full innings, all the way through to the end of the ninth. Unfortunately, a resurgent Furbush and Oliver Perez had done the same to the Red Sox, sending the game to extra innings.
All game long the Red Sox had been grinding out long at bats. Appropriately enough, it would be one such trip to the plate that ultimately spelled the difference. A long leadoff battle between Ryan Lavarnway and Tom Wilhelmson ended with ball four, putting a pinch-running Jackie Bradley Jr. on first as the go-ahead run. After a sacrifice bunt from Brock Holt, strikeout from Jose Iglesias, and intentional walk of Jacoby Ellsbury, it all came down to Daniel Nava. He delivered. Neva's ground ball up the middle was not a rocket, but it was well-placed, and perfectly timed. The Red Sox jumped ahead 8-7, leaving only three outs for Koji Uehara, who struck out the last two batters of the game to secure a big win for the Red Sox.