Although it wasn't as dramatic as his eighth inning home run in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers, David Ortiz crushed a three-run homer just inside Pesky's Pole in the eighth inning to lead the Red Sox to a come-from-behind, 4-2 win over the Texas Rangers Wednesday afternoon.
With the Red Sox trailing 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth Jackie Bradley Jr. led the inning off with a single. Then, A.J. Pierzynski pinch-hitting for Jonny Gomes blooped a single into right, setting up first and second with no outs. Dustin Pedroia then grounded into a fielder's choice, setting up Ortiz's game-winner.
"Huge hit. Hopefully this gives us a little bit of momentum finishing out a series win here and with a long road trip hopefully this is a jump start for us," manager John Farrell said. "So many times has he bailed us out and no different today, particularly against a match up that was way in favor of [Neal] Cotts, you know five at bats previous, five strikeouts and this time David got him."
As usual, the dependable Koji Uehara pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the save.
Red Sox starter Jake Peavy looked much like the Cy Young winner in the mid-2000's going 6 2/3 innings allowing just one run, but in the end took a no-decision. The 32-year-old went 6 2/3 innings allowing just one run on three hits while striking out eight and walking four. The one run he did allow came in the seventh inning on a solo homer from Mitch Moreland into the Rangers bullpen. He was in a groove in the middle of his outing as between the first and the fifth he retired 11 of 12 hitters -- seven coming via strikeout.
"He was outstanding," Farrell said. "Second start in a row for him. I thought he had good stuff, a lot of strikes. Moreland is the one guy in that lineup that has handled him a little bit. He gets into a 2-0 count and a 2-0 fast ball and with no margin for error all day, I thought Jake made a number of quality pitches."
With the game knotted at one in the eighth, Andrew Miller allowed a lead off double to Elvis Andrus, who advanced to third on a ground out and then scored on a sacrifice fly from Alex Rios. Miller was bailed out by the offense in the bottom half of the inning.
The Red Sox offense did struggle, recording just two hits before the eighth inning. They scored their first run in the third inning on a nibbler in front of the plate from Pedroia that pitcher Robbie Ross badly overthrew first allowing Bradley Jr. (walk) to score from second base. As a team they hit into two double plays, extending their season total to 17 after nine games.
Junichi Tazawa relieved Peavy allowing a hit in a 1/3 of an inning of work.
Boston will travel to New York for a four-game series against the Yankees this weekend. Clay Buchholz will get the ball tomorrow night (7:05, NESN and MLB Network) going up against Michael Pineda.
What they'll be saying: For an April 9 game, it was as big of a win the Red Sox could have as with the win they avoided their second straight series loss and instead of being 3-6, they are now 4-5 heading to the Bronx for a four-game series with the Yankees ... Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts continue to swing hot bats to open their years, but Wednesday it was about them getting on base as Bogaerts drew three walks and Bradley Jr. two, marking the first time two players age 23 or younger had multiple walks in the same game since 1975 ... Uehara picked up his second save of the year with a perfect ninth. In 55 games since the start of July 2013, including the postseason, he's allowed just two earned runs in 59 innings, surrendering just two walks in that span.