The Red Sox did something today they haven’t done all season: they came back to win after trailing in a game after 8 innings.
In what passes for good news these days, the Sox are now 1-65 when heading to the 9th without a lead, beating the potent, tough Toronto Blue Jays 7-6 in a fun albeit meaningless game.
For the Blue Jays, the game was far from meaningless. Knowing that their AL East rivals, the Yankees, had already beaten the Mets earlier in the day, Toronto was looking for maintain their 4½ game lead for the division crown.
In addition to being the Red Sox’ first win this season when trailing after 8 innings, it was the Blue Jay’s first loss of 2015 when leading after 8 innings. Elias reported that no team had earned its first win when trailing after 8 against a team that hadn’t lost when leading after 8 on September 15 or later since September 29, 1944 when the Giants (0-72 in such situations) beat the Cardinals (92-0 in such situations).
A thrilling finish
Tied 2-2 entering the bottom of the 8th inning, Boston’s Noe Ramirez walked two before Edwin Encarnacion singled in the go ahead run. Another single, this one by Kevin Pillar, then plated Jose Bautista for a 4-2 Blue Jays lead.
But in the top of the 9th with Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna on the mound, Brock Holt led off with a double and Jackie Bradley, 0-for-19 entering today’s game, belted a 2-run no doubter to right field. It was Bradley’s 13th career home run but his first-ever coming in the 9th inning, his first ever to tie a game. Bradley now has 4 home runs against Toronto, his most vs any other MLB team.
Nine Red Sox batters would come to the plate in the 9th. After a walk to Dustin Pedroia and a base hit by Xander Bogaerts, David Ortiz drove in his club-best 98th RBI of the season. A wild pitch and a Rusney Castillo base hit later, the Sox closed the inning up 7-4.
9th inning runs have been tough to come by for the Red Sox this season. The five that Boston scored today were remarkable, but still leaves them with a total of just 31, the fewest in the major leagues. The Astros are tops with 57 such runs. The 2013 World Champion Red Sox led baseball with 67 runs scored in the 9th.
Senior and Junior achievements
David Ortiz, the very definition of clutch for a generation of Red Sox fans, collected his club-best 40th RBI with 2-outs this season. That ties him for 7th most in baseball this season. The Royals Kendrys Morales is tops with 51 such RBI in 2015.
The Sox have been patient and strong with 2 outs for several years now. Their 1,357 RBIs with 2 outs are the most of any MLB club in the past five seasons. Saturday’s game gave Ortiz his 513th 2-out RBI since joining the Red Sox in 2003, or 13% of all such club RBI in that time.
In a larger context and by a substantial margin, Ortiz’ 351 RBIs with 2 outs is the most by any designated hitter in the past 10 years. Jim Thome is 2nd with 179.
Xander Bogaerts, who has developed into a star player in 2015, tallied his 51st multi-hit game of the season. Among MLB players Bogaerts’ age or younger, none have more such games this season. The nearest competitor is the Nationals Bryce Harper with 47 multi-hit outings.
The Red Sox now have 27 games this season with 13 or more hits, the fourth most such games in baseball behind the Tigers (33), Royals (31) and Giants (28).