With Walk Off Hit, Ellsbury and Red Sox Win Series Against Indians

After taking games tellswalkoffwo and three of the four game series against the Indians, the Red Sox came into game four with the mindset to win the series, not just split it. This team was built around heart and grit. John Farrell said before the season “The one word we continue to talk about in here is to be relentless”.  Today at Fenway Park this team proved that it was not just a speech, but truly a way to play the game.

Felix Doubront took the mound in the first inning looking to build on his last outing. The Indians lead off the game with a single from center fielder Michael Bourn, who followed that up with a stolen base on the first pitch of the next at bat. Second Baseman Jason Kipnis then hit a ball to shallow center where Jacoby Ellsbury and Stephen Drew nearly collided, resulting in Ellsbury dropping the ball out of his glove to allow Kipnis to reach on an error. Doubront refocused and struck out short stop Asdrubal Cabrera before allowing first baseman Nick Swisher to single to left. With the bases loaded, Doubront struck out third baseman Mark Reynolds. Unfortunately, he followed that strikeout with a single from the catcher Carlos Santana to drive in two runs. However, Santana found himself getting greedy and got gunned down at second from Sox third baseman Jose Iglesias.

In the bottom of the first inning, Corey Kluber struck out both Ellsbury and Daniel Nava before walking Dustin Pedroia. That walk would prove to be a non factor as Kluber got David Ortiz to ground out to end the inning.

The Red Sox scrapped together a run in the third. Stephen Drew started off the inning with a ground rule double to right field, Jose Iglesias then got hit by a pitch from Kluber. Ellsbury stepped into the box and hit into a double play while advancing Drew to third. Nava came up in a crucial spot for the Sox and singled a ball to left field scoring Drew from third. Unfortunately he, much like Santana in the first for the Indians, got a little greedy and tried to push his single into a double and got thrown out to end the inning.

Doubront had a clean fourth inning and got through two outs in the fifth when Kipnis stepped to the plate and hit a Pesky like home run that just narrowly wrapped around Pesky’s pole. Swisher then added another solo shot over the monster in the sixth inning. The sixth inning would be Doubront’s last inning of his day. He left the game with a pitching line of 4 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 8 over six innings leaving him with a 5.29 ERA.

The Indians would add another run in the eighth from a Kipnis double, Cabrera single and a Swisher sacrifice fly that scored Kipnis. That is all the damage the Indians ended up doing in the game. The Red Sox put up one more run in the bottom of the eighth on a triple from Drew followed by a sacrifice fly from Iglesias. Going into the bottom of the ninth down 5-2 the Red Sox had to dig deep to find it in themselves to grind it out against Indians closer Chris Perez.

The relentless Red Sox started off the ninth inning with a walk for Dustin Pedroia. Ortiz then doubled to center field moving Pedroia to third. With men on second and third Napoli grounded out but that was enough to get Pedroia home. One out and now 5-3 Indians. With Saltalamacchia at bat David Ortiz shocked the world and stole third base. Saltalamacchia then grounded out to first base. Once again, allowing the runner at third (Ortiz) to score.

Two outs now 5-4 Indians. Jonny Gomes walks, then Drew singles to right field, and gets to second on a stolen base.  Next Iglesias takes a very disciplined walk to load the bases. Still two outs, bases loaded, 5-4 Indians. Ellsbury steps in. The feeling in the ballpark is tense.  Then on a 1-1 count Indians closer Chris Perez throws a ball and immediately clutches his pitching arm in pain.  Unable to continue he leaves the game with an apparent injury. With a 2-1 count Joe Smith is brought into the game for the Indians. Ellsbury knew he had a task at hand with seeing a new pitcher in the middle of an at bat saying in a post game interview “You have a few less pitches to make an adjustment or work the count. It’s a different scenario than I’ve ever been a part of. I figured he’s trying to throw a strike I’m trying to hit something hard.”  On Smith’s first pitch Ellsbury did just that shooting the ball straight out to left center field. The crowd of 37,000 jump to their feet. The ball bounces just before the green monster, bounces off of it and over the head of Michael Bourn. Johnny Gomes scores followed by Stephen Drew. The score is now 6-5 Red Sox, and it is a walk off hit for Jacoby Ellsbury, and the Red Sox win!  What a way to finish a series especially against Terry Francona’s Cleveland Indians.

Tyler Moore-MLB Contributor-Title Town Sports

 

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