Nava’s blast in eighth lifts Red Sox over Royals
BOSTON — After getting picked off second base in the seventh inning Daniel Nava certainly redeemed himself by hitting the game-winning, three-run home run in the next inning to give the Red Sox a 4-3 win on an emotional afternoon at Fenway Park. The Red Sox have now won seven straight games and it is their longest winning streak since June 12, 2011.
Jonny Gomes led off the eighth with a pinch-hit double followed by a walk to Dustin Pedroia. After David Ortiz grounded into a double-play and a walk to Mike Napoli, Nava hit his fourth home run of the season sending the Fenway faithful into a frenzy.
“It was a fantastic finish to a great day,” manager John Farrell said. “The tribute before the game to the many that were acknowledged to the way we went out and played. I thought Clay [Buchholz], it was an outstanding performance on his part. We got a few key double plays. Nava, just not only a key moment, but a huge hit when we’re down a run.”
Although he wasn’t as dominant as he’s been in his last two outings, Buchholz still pitched extremely well going eight innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and striking out six. He earned his fourth win of the season and despite giving up the two runs his ERA still sits below one at 0.90. The Red Sox are now 8-0 in games started by Buchholz or Jon Lester.
Andrew Bailey came on for the ninth, and despite a lead off home run he picked up his third save.
Ortiz made his season debut, coming back from an Achilles injury suffered last July. He had a good day at the plate going 2-for-4 with an RBI. He drove in the first Red Sox run on a two-out single to left in the sixth scoring Jacoby Ellsbury.
The teams will play a doubleheader Sunday (1:35 and 7:00) in wake of Friday night’s game being postponed. Tickets from Friday will be honored at the nightcap. Both games will be televised on NESN as the Red Sox got permission from ESPN and MLB as normally ESPN is entitled to the only game on Sunday nights. Ryan Dempster will start Game 1, with Allan Webster making his major league debut in the nightcap.
What they’ll be saying: In a game where the win or the loss meant relatively nothing in terms of what has taken place this past week, the Red Sox certainly gave the people of Boston something to cheer for and take their minds off of what has taken place. Of Nava’s four home runs, three have come with the score tied or the Sox trailing … On a day where Buchholz certainly did not have his best stuff, he grinded it out and did what it took to get the win, making key pitches when he needed to. After four times through the rotation for he and Lester, it seems like the Sox have something special at the top of their rotation