What an absurd game. The Red Sox came into Thursday’s game to avoid sweeping and made it wild. This game included, but was not limited to, multiple game-changing home runs, an infield midfield rule, a double play where no one knew what was going on, a Christian Arroyo bat flip and so much more. I really do not know what to say. It was one of the craziest games I’ve ever seen.
This was a pretty wild baseball game, so let’s start right from the start and go from there. The two sides went back and forth pretty much all night, but that did not include a first inning that only included a turn between the two sides. Once this inning was cleared, the fireworks began. At the top of the second, Eduardo Rodriguez could not repeat his first, even though it was Fenway who betrayed him. Yuli Gurriel hit a weak pop up to the right field, but because it̵
The good news is, Boston wants an answer. Rafael Devers and Hunter Renfroe got things started with back-to-back singles singles to put runners on the corners. Christian Vázuqez then came through with his own basic hit, and like it was all tied up. Things did not stop, however, where Bobby Dalbec loaded the bases on a two-out single before Kiké Hernández was able to finish a good butcher with a turn, bring a run home and make it a 2-1 game.
Thursday night, the theme responded back, and that was exactly what Houston did. Rodriguez had some momentum from his team and really did not hit badly in the first two innings, but things started to be because one hit as the night went on. The top of the order made a number on southpaw a second time through, though Jose Altuve made an attempt to stretch a Wall Ball single to a double, and was eventually cut down on a throw from Alex Verdugo. But after that, all with two outs, Houston took a turn, slammed a single and then brought two home on a Yordan Alvarez double. Suddenly they were right in front.
But Boston would not be far behind. After a race, they did not waste time tying it up again. JD Martinez led through the inning and he finished a bit of a home run lower. The slugger had not gone deep since mid-May, but he got a pitch to hit here and smashed it to immediately center field and snuck it over the deep wall for a solo shot. The Red Sox also kept in good touch with Xander Bogaerts, who followed up the homer with a double. After a couple of quick outs, Vázquez made sure not to waste the chance, sticking a big single into the center field to bring a new race home and give the Red Sox another lead.
Things slowed down in the fourth, with neither side adding their totals, but the fifth turned it up a few notches. This was when Rodriguez really started fighting in this game, starting with a leadoff single to number nine hitter. He was able to get two outs after that towards the top of the order, but the third out avoided him. Alex Bregman kept the inning alive with a base hit, and then Rodriguez lost a match with Alvarez, ending in a walk to load the bases.
That would end the night for the Red Sox starter, with Matt Andriese looking for the last one out to keep his team up. Instead, he sent out a turn to tie the game before Kyle Tucker – who cares destroyed Red Sox pitching in these two recent series – cleared the bases on a double. Momentum had quite shifted to the greatest degree yet, with Houston taking a three-run lead.
But again, this game was bananas, and the bottom of the fifth continued to screw up the spice. Devers got things started with a base hit, and then with two outs Vázquez kept the inning alive with his third hit of the night. That brought Christian Arroyo to the record, and he got a slider that hung just above the heart of the record. He was all over the place and hit an undoubted shot out to the left center field. With a bat to match, he tied this game right up again.
Now it was clear that back and forth was on and this game would be crazy until the end. And certainly it remained crazy in the sixth. In the top half, it was Altuve who repeated what he was doing in Houston. There he threw one into the Crawford Boxes. Here he went down and got a bullet at the ankles, and somehow threw it up in the first row of Monster Seats for a solo shot. Houston was already back on top.
But the bottom of the inning just got crazier. Hernández started inning with a double and then moved over to third base on a ground ball. From there, Martinez hit a pop up to the right that seemed to be the limit of whether it was deep enough to score the race. It turned out it didn’t matter because Tucker dropped a routine pop up to allow the Red Sox to tie the game.
And then, after Bogaerts had made a turn, Devers hit a pop up to low midfield. This is hell broke loose and this game went from wild to just stupid. Carlos Correa went out and came under the ball from shortstop, however he it also fell. But ump had apparently called an infield fly – by the letter of the law I guess there’s a case that it’s an okay call, but it looked silly how far out it was – so Devers was out. Bogaerts thought he was out in second place and turned out a second, but he was not out.
There were still runners on the first and second with one out, and a turn would then load the bases. That brought Vázquez to the record, and after a fan ran out onto the pitch, for why he was not grazed by a pitch. Just like that, Boston was back out with the bases still loaded. And they would get one more turn after that to make it a 10-8 ball game. Throw a two-run double from Bobby Dalbec and they finished inning with a four-run cushion.
That brought Adam Ottavino out to the seventh and he got a little bit of trouble when Alvarez expelled one from the monster with one out. However, Alex Verdugo made a spectacular save. Yuli Gurriel hit a taper in front of the plate that initially seemed to hit him. The referee correctly said that it was actually in play and Vázquez got the ball over to first for one out. Meanwhile, Alvarez thought it was foul, so he ran back to first, and before he knew it, he was tagged out to finish the inning. Dusty Baker ended up being pushed out. I do not know. This game was absurd.
With the score still 12-8 heading into the eighth, Josh Taylor came through a perfect inning for the Red Sox, and that was mostly normal! He got help from a fantastic diving catch from Hernández.
Finally, it was just up to Matt Barnes to shut it out in the ninth. He was able to get it done without too much drama so that just one infield single could end the victory. The 12-8 victory pushed Boston’s record to 38-25.
The Red Sox will now look to carry that momentum into their next series against the Blue Jays. They get Garrett Richards on the mound to take on Ross Stripling. First pitch is set to 19:10 ET.