Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Red Sox rally, tie Tigers at 1 in ALCS

RECOMMENDED READING


BOSTON — David Ortiz revived the Red Sox with a tying grand slam in the eighth inning, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a winning single in the ninth as Boston stunned the Tigers 6-5 Sunday to even the American League Championship Series at one game each.

Detroit was cruising to its second straight win at Fenway Park, with Max Scherzer taking a no-hitter and a 5-0 lead into the sixth inning.

But with one swing, Big Papi flipped everything. Ortiz hit a two-out shot that sent rightfielder Torii Hunter jack-knifing into the Boston bullpen in a futile attempt to catch the ball, making it 5-5.

Saltalamacchia's single, which drove in former Ray Jonny Gomes, came after a series of Tigers misplays in the ninth. A wild throw, a wild pitch and a missed catch by first baseman Prince Fielder on a foul ball set up the game-ending hit.

The teams head to Detroit for Game 3 on Tuesday. Justin Verlander is scheduled to face Boston's John Lackey.

Boston's big comeback followed a dramatic Patriots victory right down the road in which Tom Brady threw the winning touchdown pass with 5 seconds left to beat the Saints. The score was greeted with cheers by Red Sox fans waiting for the baseball game to start.

A day after Anibal Sanchez and the Detroit staff combined on a one-hitter for a 1-0 win, Scherzer excelled. He struck out 13 while allowing two hits in seven innings and was pulled after 108 pitches.

"It's playoff baseball," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Looked like we had one in hand, and we let one get away, there's no question about that. But there have been two great games."

Miguel Cabrera and Alex Avila homered off Clay Buchholz in Detroit's four-run sixth inning.

Boston scored once in the sixth, then loaded the bases against three relievers in the eighth before closer and former Ray Joaquin Benoit went in to face Ortiz.

On his first pitch, Ortiz hit a line drive into the glove of the Red Sox bullpen catcher, with Hunter flipping headfirst over the chest-high wall in pursuit.

The fans waited until the trainers verified that Hunter was okay to start chanting, "Papi!" and call the Red Sox slugger out of the dugout for a curtain call.

It was the first career postseason grand slam for Ortiz, a star of the 2004 playoff run that ended in Boston's first World Series title in 86 years.

"When you consider (we were) down four runs, not a very likely scenario that you come back from that many runs that late in the game," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

Gomes led off the ninth against Rick Porcello with a ground ball to the left of shortstop Jose Iglesias, a defensive replacement. The former Red Sox prospect fielded it but rushed the throw, and the ball bounced past Fielder and into the Boston dugout as Gomes slid headfirst into the bag with an infield hit.

With Gomes on second because of the error, Saltalamacchia hit a high popup near the rolled-up tarp that bounced off Fielder's glove.

A fan reached up trying to catch the foul. Fielder looked as if he wanted an interference call, but replays showed he simply let the ball glance off his glove.

Gomes took third on Porcello's wild pitch. Then Saltalamacchia hit a sharp grounder through the left side of the drawn-in infield.

Comments
Rays INF Matt Duffy has to say big goodbye to 27-pound cat Skeeter

Rays INF Matt Duffy has to say big goodbye to 27-pound cat Skeeter

When the Rays acquired INF Matt Duffy from the Giants during the 2016 season, we also heard about the giant and somewhat famous cat he had, an up-to-27-pounder named Skeeter.Duffy announced over the weekend on Instagram that the family had to have Sk...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

ST. PETERSBURG — That the Rays went right up to Monday’s 8 p.m. deadline in deciding to add seven players to the 40-man roster, and that a couple they left off seem to be potential Rule 5 draft losses, was apparently a good thing."There’s always some...
Updated: 12 hours ago
UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE, 8:11: RHP Jose Mujica was an additional addition to the roster, beyond the six previously reported. Mujica, 21, was 14-8, 3.04 ERA in 27 starts between Class-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery.So among those left unprotected and potentially ...
Published: 11/20/17
Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Aubrey Huff isn't going to make the Baseball Hall of Fame.But at least the former Devil Rays standout has the satisfaction of making the cut to get onto the ballot, one of 19 first-timers up for election this year.Other newcomers with Rays ties are O...
Published: 11/20/17
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Published: 11/18/17
Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

The Rays completed the reorganization of their coaching staff by giving Rocco Baldelli the title of major league field coordinator.In being promoted from first-base coach, Baldelli will implement ideas and information from the staff, while assisting ...
Published: 11/17/17
Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays were banking on pitcher Alex Cobb declining their one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer based on the lure of a longer-term and more lucrative deal elsewhere as a free agent.With that decision official Thursday, now the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

LAKE BUENA VISTA — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred didn’t want to talk Thursday about what might happen if the current effort to build the Rays a new stadium at the Ybor City site falls through."I’m more focused on working with the community to figure o...
Published: 11/16/17
A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

Here is a message from RHP Alex Cobb after he officially left the Rays Thursday in declining their one-year, $17.4-milllion qualifying offer to seek a bigger and longer pact elsewhere:"Getting to this point in my career is truly bittersweet."Twelve y...
Published: 11/16/17
UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE, 5:01: Cobb did not accept the offer by the deadline, as expected.DEVELOPING: Sometime before today's 5 p.m. deadline, the Rays will get official word that their $17.4-million slight gamble on Alex Cobb paid off.The Rays made the free-agent ri...
Published: 11/16/17