Christian Vazquez hit a two-run homer with one out in the bottom of the 13th inning as the Boston Red Sox walked off with a 6-4 win over the visiting Tampa Bay Rays in Game 3 of their American League Division Series on Sunday.
Vazquez sent the first pitch he saw from Rays reliever Luis Patino (0-1) into seats above the Green Monster in left field after Hunter Renfroe drew a one-out walk. Red Sox pitcher Nick Pivetta (1-0) earned the win after striking out seven over four scoreless innings of relief.
“I just gave it my all,” Pivetta said. “My energy shows what this means and what this means to our team.”
Boston took a 2-1 lead in the series and can close out the best-of-five set in Game 4 on Monday night at Fenway Park. The game coincides with the twice-postponed 125th edition of the Boston Marathon. The Red Sox traditionally host a late-morning game on the day of the marathon.
Tampa Bay nearly took the lead in the top of the 13th after Kevin Kiermaier hit a double that bounced over the wall after it ricocheted off Renfroe in right field. After a review, Kiermaier was awarded a ground-rule double — holding Yandy Diaz at third base. Diaz would have scored had the ball stayed in play.
Renfroe said he “was actually going for the catch, happened to look up, the wall was right there. … Thankfully it bounced over the fence.”
Kiermaier called the play “a heartbreaker.”
“I’m still, I’m just in awe right now,” he said right after the game. “You know, that’s the ruling. The umpires explained it to me, so I can’t go against that. The rules are what they are. But man, that’s a heartbreaker. I can’t believe that happened or we don’t get the chance to score right there.”
Boston’s Enrique Hernandez went 3-for-6 with a single in the first inning, a game-tying single in the third and a solo homer in the fifth, giving him a franchise-record seven hits in as many plate appearances. Hernandez went 5-for-6 with a solo homer and three RBIs in the Red Sox’s 14-6 win Friday in Game 2 at Tampa Bay. He is the first player to record eight hits over a two-game span during a single postseason.
Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi allowed two runs over five innings, giving up three hits and a walk while striking out eight to match the playoff career high set in the AL wild-card win over the New York Yankees on Oct. 5.
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Source: The Japan Times