ON THIS DATE (April 11, 2019) ...
Mitch Moreland took his role as Mr. Clutch to another level,
smashing a game-tying homer in the seventh and an equalizing double
in the ninth. The double set up Rafael Devers for a bouncy, walk-off
single through a drawn-in Blue Jays infield that gave the Red Sox a
badly-needed 7 to 6 victory.
The Sox were just two outs from defeat in a game that would have
dropped them to 3-10 on the season. But Moreland simply wouldn’t allow it to
happen. Instead, he helped the team escape an early 5-0 deficit and got it off
the mat when it fell behind again, 6-5.
Give the Sox credit for this: They chipped away with three in the
third, another run in the fifth and then had Moreland at the plate in the
seventh ready to do his thing. The left-handed hitter worked Joe Biagani for an
eight-pitch at-bat and launched one into Boston’s bullpen in right-center field,
sending such a loud jolt of energy through Fenway that it suddenly felt like
When Freddy Galvis took Ryan Brasier deep in the eighth to put
Toronto back in front, it felt like the early-season 2019 Red Sox again. But
when Mookie Betts drew a one-out walk in the ninth, Moreland was coming up.
This time, Moreland worked a seven-pitch at-bat against closer
Ken Giles, which he finished with a laser-beam of a double (106.8-mph exit
velocity). The pitch from Giles purred in at 97. Betts roared around from first
to tie it.
There was still the matter of winning the game. Eduardo Nunez
helped make that possible when he ran for Moreland and stole third. After a walk
to Xander Bogaerts, Devers stepped up with the bases loaded and one out, but no
RBIs yet on the season.
That changed when his non-descript grounder found some outfield
grass and Nunez touched home to win it.