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Walkoff!: Carl Crawford's Single Lets Red Sox Start May Off Right

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It wasn't a game the Red Sox were likely to win. With Tim Wakefield taking on Felix Hernandez, this was kind of a mismatch.

Somehow, however, it was Tim Wakefield who won the duel today, holding the Mariners in check through nearly six innings. Meanwhile, Felix found himself in trouble from the very first inning, escaping a bases-loaded situation only thanks to a friendly third strike call to Jed Lowrie that was well outside of the zone.

He was not so lucky in the third inning. After Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia hit back-to-back singles to lead off the frame, David Ortiz doubled high off the Monster to plate the first two runs of the game.

But, with Wakefield not particularly well stretched out, the Red Sox had to turn to the bullpen in the middle of the sixth inning. Of course, with two outs and only the one runner on base, this wasn't a problem and they got out of the inning quickly.

Oh, wait, no. Bobby Jenks came into the game, gave up a single, and then walked the next three batters to bring in the two tying runs. Only Carl Crawford racing down a line drive saved him from completely giving away the game.

That wasn't the only bit of heroism from Carl Crawford, however. With the Sox and Mariners trading scoreless innings, the game entered the bottom of the ninth on pace for extra baseball. Then, with one out, the Sox got lucky: Jed Lowrie, after fouling off a couple of two-strike pitches from Jamey Wright, found a pitch he could hit. The contact off the bat actually made it seem like it had a chance to leave the park, but as Ichiro pulled up well short of the wall, it was clear that wasn't the case. It was also clear that Ichiro didn't quite have a bead on it, shrinking from the sun and falling almost to his knees as he tried to find the ball in the sky before it eventually bounced off his leg, letting Lowrie pull into third.

We all know how bad the Red Sox have been with timely sacrifices to bring in runners from third with less than two outs, and today was no different as Marco Scutaro immediately grounded out to third on the first pitch, leaving Lowrie still 90 feet away. But then up came Carl Crawford, who shot Jamey Wright's 1-1 pitch back up the middle, off the pitcher's mound, and into center field for the walk-off hit.