Drew gives Sox a chance with highlight catch

Drew gives Sox a chance with highlight catch
October 13, 2013, 1:00 am
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BOSTON –  It lies somewhere between a baseball cliché and a baseball truism: The guy who makes a spectacular defensive play in one half of an inning often seems to get the chance to be an offensive star in the next half.
 
Stephen Drew had that chance in the ninth inning Saturday night against the Tigers in Game 1 of the ALCS at Fenway Park.
 
With two outs, two runners on, and the Tigers holding onto a precarious 1-0 in the top of the ninth, Prince Fielder lofted a fly ball to left-center field that seemed destined for no-man’s land and two more Detroit runs.
 
Drew sprinted with his back to the plate as Jacoby Ellsbury ran in from center and Daniel Nava raced over from left. Looking back over his right shoulder, Drew stretched out his left arm as the ball fell into his glove, jostling a bit before Drew secured it for the final out.
 
“I got a good read and the ball wasn’t carrying good,” Drew said. “But with Fielder up there with Ells, he’s going to play back and I thought it was Ells that said something to start with and it was Nava. I don’t even really honestly know what he said. I just said when I was running after it this ball can’t drop. In my head I thought somebody was going to get hit, but when I made the catch and looked back at the video nobody was there. So it kept us in the game.”
 
And trailing by just a run it gave the Sox a chance to do something in the bottom of the ninth, as they had done so often in the regular season. Drew was due up third to face Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit. With one out and Quintin Berry on first base, pinch-running for Nava, who had just broken up Detroit’s no-hitter with a single.
 
With a 1-and-1 count, Drew drove a Benoit 93-mph fastball to deep right field. But the ball got caught up in the wind blowing in from right, and right fielder Torii Hunter was able to easily catch it for the second out.
 
“I hit it well,” Drew said. “That’s another frustrating part is the wind’s blowing in and Torii over there hit his ball well and [Alex] Avila. So there was three balls that could have changed the game and can’t do nothing about it.”