Napoli’s walk-off double gives Red Sox 3-2 win on Patriots Day
BOSTON — Andrew Bailey blew his first save of the season by allowing a run in the ninth, spoiling a tremendous start from Ryan Dempster, who allowed just one run on two hits over seven innings, but the Red Sox picked Bailey up in the bottom half of the inning on a walk-off double from Mike Napoli scoring Dustin Pedroia to give the Red Sox a 3-2 win. It was their second walk-off win in three games.
“The key was, despite the blown save, Andrew did a great job of shutting it off right there and keeping it tied,” manager John Farrell said. “Much like we’ve seen in a number of games over the course of the season, we continue to grind away. Mike gets a breaking ball up in the zone and Pedey, who has such a feel on the base paths, there was no hesitation on his part and scored from first and we walked off once again. I can’t say enough of the way we continue to compete.”
Dempster allowed a mammoth home run to Evan Longoria in the third and a single to Matt Joyce in the second to account for the two hits. He struck out a season-high ten batters and has now recorded seven or more strikeouts in nine of his last 11 outings dating back to last season. It was the 15th 10-strikeout game of his career.
Jeremy Hellickson was equally as impressive for the Rays, going seven innings allowing two runs on three hits, but the Red Sox certainly made their hits count. Jacoby Ellsbury led the bottom of the first off with a triple to center field, and scored on an RBI groundout from Shane Victorino, the next hitter. The Red Sox struck again in the fifth on a Jarrod Saltalamachhia home run into the Rays bullpen, snapping a 1-1 tie at the time.
The Red Sox swept the Rays in their rain-shortened three-game series and have now won three of their first four series’ of the season. The team will travel to Cleveland for a three-game set with the Indians and former manager Terry Francona. Felix Doubront (0-0) will get the nod Tuesday night (7:05 p.m., NESN), and the Indians will counter with Ubaldo Jimenez (0-1).
What they’ll be saying: It was the end of an outstanding first homestand for the Red Sox. Dempster was tremendous having complete control off all of his pitches, highlighted by the ten strikeouts. The Red Sox will be in great shape all season long if they continue to get these types of outings from their No. 3 starter … Another welcomed sign has been the teams’ ability to bounce back and overcome adversity in the teams’ two walk-off wins, something the team lacked last season.