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Red Sox score six in ninth to beat Mariners 8-7

Aug 2, 2013, 12:50 AM EDT

Jonny Gomes Getty Images

The Red Sox sent 10 men to the plate in a six-run ninth to overcome a terrific effort from Felix Hernandez and defeat the Mariners 8-7 on Thursday, completing a three-game sweep at Fenway Park.

According to the win expectancy data at Fangraphs, the Red Sox entered the ninth with exactly a one percent chance of winning. It would have been even less than that if not for Shane Victorino‘s solo homer off Charlie Furbush in the eighth, making it a 7-2 game.

The ninth was fueled by walks, three of them in all. Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen, who lost his job earlier this season because of control problems, issued two of them and allowed two hits without ever retiring a batter. He was pulled from a 7-3 game.

The plan then was to go to Yoervis Medina with Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia due up. However, the umpiring crew said that Mariners acting manager Robby Thompson, who is filling in while Eric Wedge recovers from a mild stroke, signaled with his left hand instead of his right, calling Oliver Perez into the game. Perez has been plenty good against right-handers this season anyway, so it wasn’t necessarily a huge problem. However, he gave up back-to-back hits before striking out David Ortiz for the first out of the frame.

Medina was finally called into what was a 7-6 game at that point. He appeared to have Jonny Gomes struck out on a 2-2 pitch, but David Rackley, who had a terribly inconsistent strike zone all night, called the pitch on the corner a ball. Gomes went on to single in the tying run. After Stephen Drew walked, Daniel Nava hit a ball to the wall in center, ending the game and giving the Red Sox their second walkoff win in about 21 hours.

For Hernandez, it was the fifth time this season in which he’s allowed just one run and ended up with a no-decision. It also happened last time out when he pitched nine innings and struck out 11 against the Twins.

The Red Sox improved to 66-44 with the sweep. Their .600 winning percentage is better by only the Pirates’ .602 mark.

  1. sabatimus - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    Eat that, Nintendo.

  2. aceshigh11 - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    What an awesome victory. This team is a lot of fun to watch…such a 180 from last year’s debacle.

    On top of that, they’ve got real grit and no quit in them…they have 11 walk-off wins this year, which leads the majors.

  3. km9000 - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    So if the manager accidentally gestures with his wrong hand, he’s stuck? Seems kinda tacky. It’s not like he’s gonna try and fake out the other team to see if they immediately react with a counter-move.

    • dan1111 - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:58 AM

      I, too, am outraged that managers are expected to know left from right!

      • dan1111 - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:05 AM

        Actually, after finding the whole story, I retract this comment. Thompson did not get confused; the bullpen correctly interpreted his signals and sent out the righty, but the umpires insisted on their own interpretation of his arm motions and made Medina return and Perez come out. 100% umpire silliness:

        “After calling timeout, and heading from the dugout to the mound, Thompson thought he signaled for right-hander Yoervis Medina, who was warming in the bullpen along with lefty Oliver Perez. Thompson said he pointed to the bullpen with his left arm and then tapped his right arm with the left hand – his signal he wanted the right-hander.

        “Normally, when I go to whoever I want, I tap,” Thompson said simulating the motion.

        However, home plate umpire David Rackley saw Thompson pointing with the left-hand as a signal for Perez. Medina, who was jogging in, was sent back to the bullpen and Perez was forced to come in the game.

        Crew chief Gary Darling stepped in and squashed Thompson’s protests.

        “Gary said you made a motion with your left hand, but I said I wanted to go to my right arm,” Thompson said. “They didn’t see it that way. We wanted to go to Medina there. And then Ollie was the next guy.”

      • quintjs - Aug 2, 2013 at 6:23 AM

        dan – i just went on and watch the reply and Thompson is not telling the truth.

        He walked out, extended his left arm fully, quickly retracted it, extended his right arm fully, then retracted that. He then gives a shocked look on his face as he realises his mistake. He then re-extends his right arm and taps it with his left over and over again.

        The umpires did not misintrept his signals – they got it correct, his first signal was for the left armer.

        It is however an amazingly pointless rule, that just signaling the bullpen is considered the move. You would think the player has to at least enter the game. If the 3rd base umpire hears the manager say to a player he is going to pinch hit him next – is that an offical move?

        So in conclusion – stupid rule, stupid scenario, but Thompson absolutely signalled for Perez, the look on his face is all you need to know it. So he only has himself to blame and instead of admitting the truth he is lying like there is no tomrrow. That is however not why the M’s lost, the kept walking everyone – that is why they lost.

      • quintjs - Aug 2, 2013 at 6:25 AM

        my god – how many letters did I leave out of ‘misinterpret’

      • dan1111 - Aug 2, 2013 at 6:33 AM

        @quintjs, thanks for the clarification. I hereby retract my retraction. And I will stand by this comment to the death!

    • joestemme - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:41 AM

      I don’t get it, either. Not a Mariners fan. It just strikes me as petty that a simple mistake like that can’t be reversed. Umpires change their calls on occasion themselves.

      IF they had brought the pitcher in, OR, they had made an official announcement OR the Red Sox had changed batters – then fine, too late. (and none of those 3 things could even have been accomplished in the few seconds anyway). So, what’s the big deal about a split second mistake?

      • deep64blue - Aug 2, 2013 at 6:17 AM

        This is b******t, Mariners should have protested the game.

      • umpire - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:12 PM

        You have to pitch to one batter…. Its right in the rules

      • moogro - Aug 2, 2013 at 6:41 PM

        Pitcher has to step on the mound otherwise you can still switch them.

  4. theskinsman - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    Seems kind of stupid for a professional not to know his left from his right. What was tacky was the pitching and coaching in the 9th inning by the Mariners. Nice sweep by Boston.

  5. yankeepunk3000 - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    I umped for a couple of years and I’m usually pretty biased towards Umps. Im always one to defend them and give the bennifet of the doubt. even defended old cowboy Joe west a few times but I gotta say the umps really f***ed this one up. So if you’re left handed your screwed with this crew? It just seemed so botched or “fixed” may I say for the umps to make such a bold statment with so little to back it up. Gotta say blue…you dropped the ball on this one.

  6. onbucky96 - Aug 2, 2013 at 4:22 AM

    Now how do you like dem apples!

  7. baseballisboring - Aug 2, 2013 at 5:13 AM

    Wish I wasn’t working and got to see this. Oh and by the way…kill the win!

  8. baglini3 - Aug 2, 2013 at 7:04 AM

    Felix Hernandez would be a 20 win pitcher every season if he was on a real team

  9. tfbuckfutter - Aug 2, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    Couldn’t believe it when I checked the score and they had tied it up.

    Figured Dumpster had blown it by more than enough.

  10. pisano - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    The Rays will win the East, and the O’s will be second, so enjoy this while you can Boston fans, remember “good pitching will always beat good hitting” and the Rays are loaded with good pitching. Personally I don’t care who wins the east, I’m just hoping the Yankees stay out of the cellar.

    • umpire - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:11 PM

      Can i borrow your crystal ball

  11. thesportsjudge - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    Is the “acting manager” a righty or lefty?

  12. r8rnuck - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    hey, its almost the 12 year anniversary of the mariners blowing a huge lead to the indians!!

  13. umpire - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Once a player comes out he now has to pitch to that person like it or not. You can’t change your mind when they got it wrong. Any umpire would know that.

    • moogro - Aug 2, 2013 at 6:42 PM

      Wrong. The pitcher has to step on the mound.

      • moogro - Aug 2, 2013 at 6:43 PM

        Any umpire should know that, umpire.

  14. bigmeechy74 - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    The Mariners only have themselves to blame. But is anyone going to acknowledge the pathetic, gutless umpire that didn’t have the guts to call strike 3 on a pitch that Gomes took right down the middle? Then the next pitch he gets a hit. It really is embarrassing that the umpires get caught up in the moment especially in boston and New York. I don’t know why the Yankees ever even bothered swinging in the late 90’s Post seasons. The umpires sure as hell weren’t going to call strike 3 on them. Last night was a perfect example of that. The umpires want to be cheered. Not booed.

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