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Orale Papi! David Ortiz Wins In The 9th (This Time)

Teammates throw a celebration for David Ortiz at 2nd base after Ortiz' walk-off double; the celebration included an impromptu sumo match with Kevin Youkilis. (AP Photo / Winslow Townson)

When a grand slam isn’t enough, try it again. It may not have been a homer, but David “Big Papi” Ortiz hit a walk-off double, driving in his seventh RBI in the 9th inning in two nights. It didn’t start out so well, and didn’t look good until the end; Miguel Cabrera thrust a spear through Boston’s hearts with a two-run shot in the 1st. Daisuke Matsuzaka gave up three straight singles in the next inning to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.

With Jeremy Hermida being designated for assignment and Ramon Ramirez being shipped off to San Francisco, the Sox called up outfielder Ryan Kalish from Pawtucket (I know, I’ve never heard of him either). But when he led off the 3rd, batting out of the 8th slot, Kalish singled to lead off the inning in his first major league at bat. Too bad the Sox offense did nothing with it. And too bad Matsuzaka gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead in the next inning following two doubles, too.

The Tigers threatened again in the 7th, leading off with a double and sacrifice bunt, but a strikeout and flyout (with an intentional walk of Cabrera in between) fixed all that. The Sox did their first damage in the bottom of the frame, scoring two runs on four straight hits. Included in that streak was Ryan Kalish’s first career RBI. It could’ve been 4-3 instead of 4-2 if Bill Hall had either run faster or hadn’t attempted to stretch his single into a double; he was out by a country mile.

Then the game came down to the bottom of the 9th, with the Sox down 4-2. Down to their last chance, Darnell McDonald singled to short, in what could have been ruled an error on a bobble. Marco Scutaro flied out, but Jed Lowrie (pinch hitting) pulled out a double to put the tying run in scoring position. Kevin Youkilis was walked intentionally (remember this for later), in order to get to the strike-out master David Ortiz. It’s not a bad move, but this time, Ortiz doubled to left-center. Remember Youkilis being put on first? The ball was placed well enough for Youkilis to run around from first and beat out the throw, which didn’t quite arrive in time.

Sox Stud of the Game: David Ortiz

Ortiz was Boston’s best bet to do something to put the Sox back in it, and did he ever.

Sox Dud of the Game: Adrian Beltre, Bill Hall, and Daisuke Matsuzaka

Beltre grounded into two double plays in consecutive plate appearances. Hall could have done more damage without his base running mistake. Matsuzaka gave up four runs in 6.0 innings plus a batter; he always seems to run into trouble.

Game Notes:

W: Hideki Okajima (4-3)
L: Phil Coke (6-2)

  • Newcomer Ryan Kalish was 2/4 with two singles, a strikeout, a RBI, and a run scored. He also made a nice catch against the wall to end the top of the 6th, and nailed home plate umpire Dan Iassonga in the face with a broken bat (accidentally) in the 7th.
  • Dustin Richardson, also up from Pawtucket, pitched 0.2 innings.
  • The Red Sox got the lead-off hitter on base seven times, but only capitalized the twice. Both times they didn’t get the lead-off man on, it was Scutaro.
  • The bottom third of the Tigers’ lineup was 5/9 against Matsuzaka, but started 5/6.
  • The last walk-off home run by the Red Sox was on August 26, 2009 by David Ortiz against the White Sox.
  • As off press, time, the Sox’ win put them 6.0 games behind the Rays and 7.0 behind the Yankees, and the Rays and Yankees were tied 3-3 in the middle of the 6th.
  • Saturday baseball on Fox was brought to you by Taco Bell.

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