Boston Red Sox

Ramirez's 15th-inning home run lifts Red Sox over Blue Jays, 5-4

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Ramirez's 15th-inning home run lifts Red Sox over Blue Jays, 5-4

BOSTON -- Hanley Ramirez finally ended another long night for the Boston Red Sox, and his teammates found just enough energy to celebrate his walk-off shot.

Ramirez hit a drive out of Fenway Park in the 15th inning, giving the Red Sox a 5-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in a rain-delayed game that ended at 1:09 a.m. Wednesday.

"This was a gritty win and a very important win," Boston manager John Farrell said.

It was also an exhausting one. After the start was pushed back an hour Tuesday night because of thunderstorms, the Blue Jays and Red Sox played for 4 hours and 59 minutes. The Red Sox rallied from a 3-1 deficit to tie it in the seventh, and came back again after Toronto regained the lead with one run in the 11th.

The 4-all tie lasted until Ramirez drove the first pitch of the bottom of the 15th high into the Boston night - or morning - and trotted around the bases for a subdued celebration with his weary teammates at home plate.

The Red Sox haven't gotten a lot of rest lately. They lost in 16 innings to the Yankees on Saturday, then split a day-night doubleheader with New York on Sunday. Boston lost to Toronto 4-3 on Monday night - albeit in just nine innings.

"There's a lot of toll and it's not just the number of innings pitched. It's the hours on the feet by every guy that's manning his position," Farrell said. "They've done an outstanding job to go through this stretch of four days we've just come through."

A few hundred fans stayed until the end, including a solid contingent of Blue Jays' supporters. Sometime around the second seventh-inning stretch in the middle of the 14th, the opposing sides joined together in an anti-Yankees chant.

"It's fun to be part of games like that. Extra innings isn't the fun part, but the way the game played out where both teams could have scored and both teams had their chances, that made the game fun," said Mookie Betts, who hit an RBI single with two outs in the 11th to keep the game going.

Hector Velazquez (2-1), Boston's fifth pitcher, got the win. Mike Bolsinger (0-3) pitched three shutout innings before Ramirez hit his only pitch of the 15th out for his 15th homer of the season.

"It's better that we got the W. It's worth it," Ramirez said. "We came from behind a couple of times. That's a good win."

Dustin Pedroia hit a solo homer in the sixth for Boston and a tying double in the seventh. Chris Young also homered for Boston.

Justin Smoak, Kendrys Morales and Troy Tulowitzki drove in one run apiece with consecutive hits during Toronto's three-run fifth inning, which gave the Blue Jays a 3-1 lead. Ryan Goins put Toronto ahead 4-3 with a sacrifice fly in the 11th.

"Tough one to lose, but they battled," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "We had a couple of opportunities. We couldn't capitalize, especially early in the game."

Boston rookie Brian Johnson, called up earlier Tuesday from Triple-A Pawtucket, remained unbeaten thanks to the late rally. Johnson allowed three runs, all earned, and eight hits over six innings with three walks and four strikeouts.

J.A. Happ pitched five-plus innings for Toronto, allowing two runs and eight hits before getting pulled in the sixth.

PEDEY POWER

Pedroia followed up his clutch hits with one of the defensive plays of the game in the eighth. After Toronto opened the inning with back-to-back singles, the Red Sox star second baseman scooped up a grounder, ran down Steve Pearce to tag him and made a quick throw to first to convert the double play.

Ramirez, who played first base for just the third time this season, was happy to share some of the credit in the locker room.

"Pedey can do it all. That's why he is who he is," Ramirez said. "It's unbelievable, but the biggest thing is heart. He's a great, great teammate, a great person, a great guy."

BLUE BULLPEN

Gibbons said the Blue Jays' bullpen was a little beat up after it was all over, but credited Bolsinger for pitching three strong innings when Toronto needed someone to stay out there.

Bolsinger said other than the curveball Ramirez seemed to be expecting in the 15th, he was pleased with his performance.

"I understand my role is to save the bullpen," Bolsinger said. "I enjoy it."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Francisco Liriano (neck stiffness/pain) threw on the field and could start the series finale Thursday afternoon, depending on how he feels. He left in the third inning Saturday because his neck was bothering him.

Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts was a late scratch from the starting lineup and had an MRI on his right hand, which has been bothering him since getting hit by a pitch July 6 against Tampa Bay. Bogaerts came off the bench as a pinch-runner in the 11th.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (1-2, 3.94) has won his last four starts against the Red Sox.

Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (9-4, 3.75) has won three of his last four starts, getting a no-decision his last time out Friday against the New York Yankees.

 

BASEBALL SHOW PODCAST: What are biggest concerns about Red Sox?

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BASEBALL SHOW PODCAST: What are biggest concerns about Red Sox?

1:00 - Shaughnesy, Drellich and Merloni give their leading off impressions regarding the Red Sox

4:00 - Dan Shaughnessy explains why he is still skeptical about the Red Sox team, and why he will not be able to feel confident until he sees them play in the postseason

9:00 - Does our Baseball Show crew have a problem with the Red Sox letting Chris Sale pitch the 8th inning so he could get his 300th strikeout?

15:00 - Jared Carrabis joins the Baseball Show crew to discuss what matches he likes for the Red Sox in the playoffs. 

17:00 - Jared Carrabis on how would the Red Sox match up against the Yankees in the playoffs

20:00 - How does Jared Carrabis think about the use of David Price as a relief pitcher?

Red Sox beat Reds 5-4, reduce A.L. East magic number to three

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Red Sox beat Reds 5-4, reduce A.L. East magic number to three

CINCINNATI -- Mookie Betts wasn't about to stop. Neither are the Red Sox, who are heading home with a chance to win another division title.

Betts doubled with the bases loaded to tie it in the eighth inning and dashed home from second base on an infield single, rallying the Red Sox to a 5-4 victory Sunday that moved them closer to an AL East championship.

By winning 14 of its last 17 games, Boston has left virtually no opening for the second-place New York Yankees to catch up. The Red Sox, already assured a playoff spot, completed an 8-1 road trip that put them in excellent position to win a second consecutive division crown, something they've never done.

Coupled with New York's 9-5 loss in Toronto, the Red Sox reduced their magic number to three. They lead the Yankees by five games with seven to play.

That means Fenway Park can start preparing for a potential celebration. Boston finishes the regular season at home with three games against Toronto and four vs. Houston.

"We're learning a lot about ourselves," said Doug Fister, who pitched into the sixth. "We can put ourselves in a corner early and fight back. If we need a touchdown, the boys can put up a touchdown."

Boston inched closer with more late-game flair. The Red Sox lead the majors with 11 wins when trailing after the seventh inning.

They loaded the bases against Raisel Iglesias (3-3), who had blown only one save chance all season. Betts had fouled a ball off his foot on Friday night and missed one game. His double tied it 5-all, and he sprinted home on the still-sore foot - diving headfirst into the plate - on Rafael Devers' infield single.

"I felt he had a chance to beat it, and with me running it was going to be a tough play at the plate," Betts said.

Robby Scott (2-1) got the win, and Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 35th save in 39 chances. He hasn't allowed a run in his last 11 appearances.

Billy Hamilton helped the Reds go up 4-1. He tripled home a run and brought the crowd to its feet by scoring after getting caught in a rundown between first and second. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia made a wild throw, and Hamilton kept going when nobody covered home.

"In my whole career, that's one of the best ones, especially since I was in a rundown and just trying to get to second base and then I end up scoring," Hamilton said.

GOT THEIR BACKS

Red Sox and Reds players stood for the national anthem. Boston manager John Farrell said if any of his players decide to follow the example of other athletes and make a statement during the anthem, he'll support them. "We strive to create an environment that's inclusive," Farrell said. "We would have their back as an organization if that's the expression they chose. It's their constitutional right."

INTERLEAGUE

The Red Sox are 12-1 against the Reds all-time in the regular season and have won nine straight, their longest winning streak against any NL team since interleague play started in 1997. The Reds beat the Red Sox in seven games for the 1975 World Series championship. Overall, Boston is 16-4 in interleague play this season. The Reds are 5-15.

90 LOSSES AGAIN

The Reds reached the 90-loss mark for the third straight year. They lost 98 games in 2015 and 94 last year. It's the first time they've had three straight 90-loss seasons since 1930-34.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: INF Eduardo Nunez ran the bases before the game, his next step in recovering from a sprained knee.

Reds: Hamilton was back in the lineup after getting a day off. He's played twice since returning from a broken left thumb.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (16-5) faces Blue Jays LHP Brett Anderson (1-2) on Monday night. Pomeranz is 7-1 with a 2.62 ERA in 13 starts since the All-Star break.

Reds: After a day off, they finish with three games in Milwaukee and three at the Chicago Cubs. Deck McGuire (0-0) makes his first major league start Tuesday night against Zach Davies (17-9).

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