Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/2/13
By now it’s bordering on the absurd. All season the Red Sox have made a habit of ninth-inning comebacks and walkoff dramatics at Fenway Park. But even they had no business doing what they did in the ninth last night. Facing a five-run deficit that wasn’t greater only by the grace of left fielder Jonny Gomes’ barreling catch that rattled the Green Monster’s metal scoreboard to end the eighth the Sox rode six hits three walks and a little luck to an 8-7 victory over the shell-shocked Mariners that was punctuated by Daniel Nava’s game-winning single to deep center field. It was the Sox’ 11th walkoff win — and far and away their most improbable. How best to describe what happened here? “In a word” manager John Farrell said “magical.” After being largely shut down for seven innings by Seattle ace Felix Hernandez the Red Sox had to contend with closer Tom Wilhelmsen in the ninth. They already had scored one run to cut the margin to 7-3 and loaded the bases but still Farrell wasn’t sure they could pull off another comeback only one night after winning in 15 innings. That’s when acting Mariners manager Robbie Thompson came to the mound and signaled to the bullpen. Thompson had intended to bring in right-hander Yoervis Medina to face switch-hitting Shane Victorino but because he raised his left arm umpire Gary Darling made him bring in lefty Oliver Perez. “I thought once I pointed to the bullpen I had a chance to go to who I wanted” Thompson said. “Something learned for me.” And possibly a break for the Red Sox since Victorino is historically a better hitter from the right side of the plate. Batting right-handed against Perez Victorino laced a two-run single to slice the deficit to 7-5 and make a believer out of Farrell. “After Victorino’s base hit to right that seemed to be not only further momentum but it was getting closer” Farrell said. Said Victorino: “You watch the momentum get going you see the walks you see guys get hits and you’re like OK here we go.” Dustin Pedroia followed with an RBI single that made it 7-6. And after Perez struck out David Ortiz to finally record an out the Mariners called for Medina to face Gomes.
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