Note: Thanks to Jo514 class and the shadow program, I was able to get access to the Boston Red Sox home game vs the Toronto Blue Jays on September 30th, 2016. As a writer, it felt like I had to write something about the game somewhere, so here it is.
It was only fitting that a night celebrating David Ortiz would see the legendary Boston Red Sox designated hitter slam a game winning home run at Fenway Park. In a weekend dedicated to honoring the retiring slugger, Ortiz came through in the seventh inning with a two run bomb to give the Red Sox the lead, and they never looked back.
“On a night that begins a weekend celebration, I don’t think you could write a script any better for what David did here tonight offensively,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell in his post game press conference.
The win gave the Red Sox their first victory in four games after they were swept on the road by the New York Yankees, despite clinching the AL East title on Wednesday night.
The scoring started in the first inning when, following a lengthy at bat, Ortiz lined a single into left field to score Brock Holt from second base, who had walked earlier in the inning.
Holt shone after manager John Farrell announced in his pre game press conference that Holt was likely to remain the third baseman against right handed pitching into the playoffs. Holt made a terrific play to his right to throw out Devon Travis at first base in the third inning.
Jose Bautista crushed his 22nd home run of the year to give Toronto a 3-1 lead, finally costing Porcello after he had labored for much of the first few innings.
Once again Boston was plagued by the inability to hit with runners in scoring position. Jackie Bradley Jr and Sandy Leon struck out consecutively to strand Xander Bogaerts in the sixth inning, wasting a one out triple.
The Boston bats awoke in the seventh inning as Andrew Benintendi snapped an 0-10 streak with a leadoff double. He scored on a Dustin Pedroia dribbler in front of the plate when Toronto catcher Russell Martin threw the ball away. Mookie Betts then singled up the middle for his 113th RBI of the season to tie the game 3-3.
That’s when Ortiz hit his 38th home run of the season.
“Nights like tonight, it almost leaves you speechless,” said Farrell “Given the career he’s had and the number of home runs hit from the seventh inning on in games in big moments, tonight was right there with them.”
The Red Sox look to close out the remainder of the regular season with the Blue Jays this weekend before preparing to face the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS.