Travis Shaw Has Grand Old Time Playing Hero In Return to Fenway

August 23

The Sox have 17 straight games. After this, they will play Minnesota, Cleveland, and Tampa all in a row. The next day off will be September 9. I’m in it for the long haul. Are you? This could be the defining stretch, and it might (and likely will) dictate whether the Sox play in October. Right now, Boston is tied with the Athletics for the wild card, as both teams have identical records of 70-55, and are somewhat comfortably ahead of Seattle, with a lead of three games. Eovaldi pitches for the Sox against Allard in the finale as the Sox try to guarantee the Rangers a .500 record at best. For as rough as our season has been, we’re contenders when compared to Texas. Thanks to the rainout, Christian Arroyo is back in the majors, a small consolation for a slipping team. He was called up today, according to CBS Sports. To make room, Arauz has been demoted to Triple-A. Arroyo is not starting this game. Hey, here’s a refreshing change for today’s game: the Red Sox draw first blood! With a runner at first and two out in the bottom of the second, Verdugo homers to the Boston bullpen in right. It's 2-0 on his twelfth of the year, which ties his career high. There aren’t all that many people in Fenway today, but the dinger did not escape their notice! The Rangers respond by putting two on with one out in the top of the third, but Bogaerts catches a line drive and fires it back to second for the easy pickoff to end the inning as Texas comes away with nothing. The first two batters reach in the top of the fifth thanks to a single and an error and move into scoring position on a sacrifice groundout. A fielding error at first base brings in Martin and puts the Rangers on the board at 2-1. The Sox catch two players in a rundown to end the inning. On a bunt back to Eovaldi, they catch Solak in a rundown and tag him out, followed by Devers’ running across the diamond to get the other man out as the Red Sox retain the lead, albeit not as safe. That was the oddest and most confusing double play I’ve seen in a while, and I would imagine that would have resembled seven-year-olds playing sandlot ball, not seasoned pros at the highest level of the game. Given how ugly the inning was, Boston, both the city and the team, will take the one run and peculiar ending over the alternative.

The Sox put two on with one out in the bottom of the inning but strand them. In the bottom of the sixth, though, Renfroe hits a two-out Monster shot to get back the two-run lead and make it 3-1. This is his twenty-third of the year and his eighth this month. The Sox put two on with one out in the bottom of the seventh, resulting in a Texas pitching change. A single to left by Schwarber loads the bases, and then he is taken out of the game in favor of Arroyo (remember he was just taken off the injury list). I knew he’d see time today! All the runners are stranded thanks to a strikeout and a groundout. The Rangers bring the go-ahead run to the plate with two out in the eighth, but he pops out to end the inning. They have no intention of quitting after that, loading the bases with one out in the ninth after the Sox fail to get an out on what should have been a game-ending double play. Ibañez responds with a game-tying ground-rule double to right that scores Lowe and Peters and makes it 3-3. Now Barnes and the team get a round of boos as he exits. A hit-by-pitch loads the bases with two out, but the next man strikes out. This game should be over, but we head to the bottom of the ninth tied. Frankly, we should consider ourselves lucky we aren’t behind!

The game goes into extras. Remember that each team is granted a runner at second to start every inning. With one out in the top of the tenth, Lowe singles into left to score Kiner-Falefa and give Texas a 4-3 lead. Having made the last out of the ninth, Arroyo takes his place at second in the bottom of the tenth. He moves to third on a flyout that looked at first like it might leave the yard and is thrown out at home for the second out. A two-out, two-strike double by Devers ties up the game again at 4-4 as Bogaerts motors home. It’s his 250th extra-base hit, and it’s a huge one! A strikeout ends the inning. A runner is at third with two out in the top of the eleventh after a groundout but is stranded by another groundout as Sox fans breathe a sigh of relief. Runners are at the corners with nobody out in the bottom of the eleventh after a throwing error by the pitcher that allows Vázquez to reach. An intentional walk loads the bases as the Rangers are walking on thin ice. Travis Shaw ends it with a walk-off grand slam to right to complete another Boston comeback. 8-4 F/11 This is the first walk-off grand slam for Boston since Bogaerts’ grandy in the tenth inning of a 6-2 win over Toronto on 7/14/2018, during Boston’s championship run.