Justin Masterson was inconsistent in the Red Sox' come-from-behind win over  the Nationals. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Closing Time: Late Red Sox rally leads to wild come-from-behind win over Nationals

Ryan Hannable
April 14, 2015 - 5:33 pm
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Five hit batters, four errors, and four lead changes made for a crazy night at Fenway Park. In the end, the Red Sox were able to come away with a 8-7, come-from-behind win over the Nationals. They've now won both games in the series. The win did come with a cost, as already without Xander Bogaerts (knee), the Red Sox lost Pablo Sandoval in the game after being hit by a pitch on his foot (left foot contusion). Trailing 7-5 in the seventh inning, the Red Sox were able to load the bases against Nationals relievers. No. 8 hitter Ryan Hanigan hit a slow roller in front of the mound and Nationals pitcher Blake Treinen misplayed it trying to get the out at home. Then, making matters worse he threw the ball into the stands allowing another run to score and the Red Sox to tie the game at seven. He was charged with two errors on the play. The next batter, Brock Holt recorded an RBI groundout to short, scoring pinch-hitter Allen Craig for the eventual game-winning run. "Well we got some extra outs," manager John Farrell said. "We talked about this yesterday. When you give a Major League team an extra out or two, it may end up leading to multiple runs inside of an inning. I thought offensively we did a very good job from start to finish tonight. We didn'€™t give in. Took advantage of some miscues in that seventh inning. Koji [Uehara] comes out and done what he'€™s done so many times for us. Just a good team win here tonight. Clearly, coming back multiple times, it was a sea-saw game, hard-fought, but I like the way our guys responded to challenges." Leading 5-1 going into the fifth inning, Red Sox starter Justin Masterson fell apart allowing six runs in the inning, as the Nationals sent 10 batters to the plate. Clint Robinson and Ian Desmond each had two RBI singles, while Wilson Ramos added an RBI ground out and Michael A. Taylor ripped a two-RBI triple. Masterson was pulled in the inning in favor of reliever Alexi Ogando.

"Didn'€™t have his best stuff overall," Farrell said. "I thought he threw enough strikes early on to keep away from a big inning and then it seemed like the stuff kind of ran out of gas a little bit with a couple of walks in that fifth inning where multiple base runners and a pitch up on the plate where they'€™re able to start chipping away. Desmond rifles a ball just inside the bag, the two-strike base hit that obviously spelled the night for Justin. Still, the action to two pitches, the fastball-slider is there. Just the walks in to the base hits created some issues here tonight."
The fifth inning spoiled an impressive first few innings for Red Sox hitters against Washington starter Stephen Strasburg. Through the first two times through the order, eight of the nine Red Sox starters recorded a hit -- a pretty impressive feat against a pitcher of Strasburg's caliber. But, as good pitchers do, Strasburg battled and despite throwing 41 pitches in the first two innings, grinded out 5 1/3 innings, allowing the five runs, while not walking a batter and striking out five. Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox win: SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Dustin Pedroia. The second baseman seems to have found his stroke again. He lined a solo home run into the Monster seats in the fourth inning -- his third homer of the year after hitting two on Opening Day. He finished 3-for-4 in the game, and now has three multi-hit games through the first eight of the season. WHAT WENT RIGHT -- Mookie Betts continued where he left off in Monday's home opener, as he ripped a two-run double down the left field line in the second inning to give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead at the time. He now has a five-game hit streak and also had a nice running catch in the first inning and stole a base in the sixth. -- Daniel Nava had an RBI single in the third inning. He went 1-for-3 in the game and is now 5-for-12 against right-handers this year -- his only five hits of the season. He was pinch-hit for by Craig in the seventh inning when he would have gone against a left-hander. -- In limited action, Holt has made the most of his opportunities. The utility man went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the game, and is now 7-for-11 (.636) on the year. -- The Red Sox got another impressive performance from their relievers as they went 4 1/3 innings without allowing a run. Ugando went 1 1/3 innings, Edward Mujica (win) 1 1/3 innings, Junichi Tazawa 2/3 inning and Uehara one inning (save).
"Well, he had adrenaline," said Farrell of Uehara. "It was clear, I thought the energy in his delivery, the finish to his fastball was better than we saw in spring training. He threw some splits that had some really good depth. Didn'€™t give in to Harper with the fifth consecutive one he threw him. Much like we'€™ve seen a lot from Koji. Three up, three down."
WHAT WENT WRONG -- Masterson was inconsistent in his 4 2/3 innings of work, as he allowed seven runs on eight hits, while walking three, striking out four and hitting two batters. He allowed a run in the second, but things really came apart in the fifth when he allowed six runs and the Nationals to take a 7-5 lead. Prior to the fifth inning he had retired eight straight batters after throwing a combined 47 pitches over the first two innings. In the fifth he walked two batters and hit another leading to the six runs. -- The adventure of Hanley Ramirez in left field continued, as in the second inning he ducked for cover on a Desmond double off the wall. He had no chance to catch the ball, but he misplayed it by running into the wall and then putting his hands on his head so it wouldn't hit him. Desmond was thrown out trying to steal third during the next batter, but the Nationals would go on to score a run in the inning. -- Sandoval left the game in the top of the sixth inning after being hit by a pitch in his foot in the third inning. He remained in the game afterwards, but appeared to be in some discomfort until being removed prior to the sixth. With the Red Sox playing short-handed without Bogaerts, Ramirez moved to third base.
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