Closing Time: Red Sox return favor to John Lackey with back-to-back homers in walkoff win

DJ Bean
June 18, 2014 - 12:12 pm
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John Lackey was masterful in a three-hit, complete game showing Wednesday at Fenway Park, and the Red Sox finally returned the favor in the 10th inning with back-to-back homers from David Ortiz and Mike Napoli for a 2-1 walkoff win. The victory completed a three-game sweep of the Twins. With Lackey'€™s day done and the Sox with just one hit themselves, Koji Uehara allowed a home run to Chris Parmelee in the top of the 10th inning to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead. The home run was just out of the reach of Brock Holt, who made a play for it but ultimately saw it land in the Boston bullpen. The Sox, who had been blanked by starter Kyle Gibson and the rest of the Twins to that point, answered back when Ortiz crushed a ball to deep right in the bottom of the 10th and Napoli drilled a shot off Casey Fien to center for the win. Thanks to the work of Lackey, the Sox were able to survive a dominant performance from Gibson, who held Boston to just one hit over his seven innings of work. Gibson walked nobody and struck out eight, though two Sox did reach on errors. Daniel Nava broke up Gibson's no-hit bid in the fifth inning with a ground rule double to right with two out, but Gibson escaped the frame by getting A.J. Pierzynski to ground out to second. Lackey was extremely efficient in his outing, needing just 105 pitches to get through nine innings. He had nine strikeouts and didn't walk a batter until the ninth inning, though no further damage was done. The Sox will next head west for a seven-game road trip that will begin with a four-game series in Oakland. WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX -- Lackey has pitched at least 6 1/3 innings in his last six starts and has given up a total of eight runs in that span. On Wednesday, the Twins didn't have a runner advance past first base until Parmelee -- who was the only batter to reach base for Minnesota to that point with a pair of singles -- went to second on a wild pitch from Lackey in the fifth inning. -- Nava gunned out Eduardo Escobar in the top of the eighth inning when the Minnesota third baseman hit a ball down the third base line and tried to stretch the play into a double. Nava gathered it cleanly and fired to second base, with the ball arriving in Dustin Pedroia'€™s glove well ahead of Escobar. WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX -- It was an extremely light series for the Sox offensively, as they scored one run in Monday'€™s shutout win and two runs in Tuesday's 2-1 victory. Of course, any team should consider itself fortunate to score five runs in a series and end up with a sweep. Then again, offensive struggles are nothing new for the Sox, who entered Wednesday 20th in the league with a .246 batting average. -- Parmelee's homer marked the first time in Uehara's last 22 appearances that he allowed a run. -- When teams aren't hitting, they'll gladly settle for reaching on an error, and Holt did so in the bottom of the sixth inning. Brian Dozier bobbled a ground ball from Holt with two out, allowing Holt to reach first base safely just ahead of Dozier'€™s throw, though the opportunity was squandered. Ortiz also reached on an error when Joe Mauer couldn't handle his grounder with one out in the bottom of the seventh. The Sox squandered the opportunity, however, as Napoli grounded into an inning-ending double play. -- After that inning ended, Ortiz was angry, but not about the blown opportunity. Instead he was looking up at the official scorer, gesturing and yelling over the decision to call his play an error rather than giving him a hit. Ortiz obviously has a reputation for such things, but maybe don'€™t do that in the middle of a scoreless game.
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