The Red Sox earned a walkoff win in the day half of their Saturday doubleheader, with the game-winning hit coming from an unexpected source.
In fact, unexpected production was kind of the them of the afternoon. In the second inning, it was Stephen Drew who put Boston on top. Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez missed badly with a first pitch fastball, delivering it high over the middle of the plate rather than on the outside corner where Caleb Joseph had set up. Drew did not let the opportunity go to waste, taking Gonzalez deep over the bullpens and into the right field bleachers for a solo shot.
The first-pitch trouble would continue for Gonzalez just two at bats later, with Jackie Bradley Jr. hooking a double to right on the first offering he saw. Gonzalez might have escaped the inning without any further harm, getting Brock Holt to hit a ground ball to Jonathan Schoop at second, but Schoop's throw to first was wide of the bag, pulling first baseman Pearce too far from the bag to tag Holt. In fact, Pearce couldn't even hold onto the ball, letting it pop from his glove and giving Bradley a chance to run all the way home for Boston's second run.
The first two innings had held no such trouble for Jon Lester, whose only baserunner had come due to his own defensive gaffe, and had immediately been erased by a J.J. Hardy double play. The third inning wouldn't be half so clean, though it's hard to fault Lester for much of what occurred. Instead, it was the usually sure-handed Dustin Pedroia becoming the third player of the day to make a mess of a throw to first base, allowing Delmon Young to reach to start the inning. Lester did allow his first hit of the day after that on a ground ball single to Caleb Joseph, but managed to get within an out of escaping. It looked like he had it when Steve Pearce hit a ground ball to third. A high bounce off the lip of the grass was all it took, however, to turn a likely out into a two-run error on Xander Bogaerts, leaving the game tied at two even with Jon Lester having allowed all of one hit.
From there, the game settled into what might be called comfortable routine for the Red Sox at this point. Jon Lester providing inning after inning of zeroes, the lineup doing the same. Lester would last through the end of the eighth, allowing just four more baserunners all day, Gonzalez matching him step-for-step, escaping the last inning after hitting Dustin Pedroia and walking Mike Napoli with one out, A.J. Pierzynski popping out and Xander Bogaerts striking out to end the frame.
With Koji Uehara coming into the tie game at home and wiping the Orioles out in quick fashion, the Red Sox had a chance for a walkoff in the ninth. And after the starting lineup had been quieted for six straight innings, it was a pair of pinch hitters that got the job done. Coming in to face the lefty, Jonny Gomes wasn't up to the task of launching the sort of dramatic homer Red Sox fans have seen from him in the past. He was, however, able to beat out an infield single, of all things, giving the Red Sox the baserunner they needed.
With David Ross at the plate, the Red Sox opted to sacrifice, leaving them in need of only a base hit to win the game. Most eyes turned to the top of the lineup and, but the hot-hitting Brock Holt would never get his chance. Replacing Stephen Drew, who struggles mightily against lefties, Jonathan Herrera managed to connect with a 1-0 fastball down the middle. His bat broke on the swing, but Herrera still managed to get enough into the ball to get it over Schoop's head and into right-center field. Jonny Gomes came barrelling around third, and slid into home well ahead of the throw from Adam Jones, securing at least one victory for the Red Sox on Saturday.