ON THIS DATE (April 20, 2010) ...
Darnell McDonald, who began the day not on the team's 40-man roster
and the game on the bench, did what the Red Sox have failed to do so
often this season. With Jason Varitek having doubled his way ahead of
McDonald, the pinch hitter slammed a 2-2 pitch into the seats above
the Green Monster, pulling the Red Sox even with the Rangers at 6,
inciting that crowd, and helping erase the memory of the nine stolen
bases the Sox had given up earlier in the game.
certainly knew his name by the time he came to bat in the ninth, with the bases
loaded and two outs. They stood for him then, hoping and praying he could halt
Boston's five-game losing streak, and six-game skid at home. He did. McDonald's
high drive scraped the wall, sending Kevin Youkilis home for a much-needed 7-6
the one that left him in the middle of joyous, ecstatic, destructive chaos, left
McDonald nearly bloodied. He was tackled in front of second base, the crowd of
happy players moving all the way to short left field before ending in a pile on
the ground. They were, in a word, thrilled. It was an essential win that left
the clubhouse emotional afterward. They knew exactly how important this was.
He was a
most unexpected hero, becoming the first player to homer in his first Sox at-bat
since Orlando Cabrera Aug. 1, 2004, and the first player to homer in his first
Sox at-bat as a pinch hitter since Curtis Pride Sept. 19, 1997.