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David Ortiz puts the Red Sox back in the game with a game-tying grand slam

Oct 13, 2013, 11:31 PM EDT

ALCS - Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox - Game Two Getty Images

The narrative of the ALCS through nine innings of Game 1 and seven innings of Game 2 was all about the Tigers’ pitching dominance and the Red Sox offensive futility. That came to a screeching halt in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Sox mounted a potentially series-altering rally against the Tiger bullpen.

Jose Veras started the bottom of the eighth in relief of starter Max Scherzer, staked to a 5-1 lead. He got Stephen Drew to ground out for the first out of the inning, but then allowed a double down the left field line to Will Middlebrooks. Tigers manager Jim Leyland opted to play matchmaker, pulling Veras for lefty Drew Smyly as Jacoby Ellsbury came to the plate. Smyly couldn’t do his job, walking Ellsbury after getting ahead in the count 1-2. Leyland again came out to the mound, this time bringing in right-hander Al Alburquerque.

Alburquerque got Shane Victorino to strike out for the second out of the inning. Dustin Pedroia kept the rally going with a grounder to right field. Middlebrooks took a wide turn around third base, but he was held up, leaving the bases loaded for David Ortiz. Leyland yanked Alburquerque for closer Joaquin Benoit, looking for a four-out save.

Benoit’s first pitch to Ortiz was a 74 MPH change-up, and Ortiz was ready for it. He launched it into the air to right-center towards the Red Sox bullpen. Right fielder Torii Hunter paced back after it, then leaped in an attempt to rob the home run, but could not come up with it. He careened over the fence, landing hard on the other side as a crowd of Red Sox relievers huddled around him following the game-tying grand slam.

Hunter was shaken up, but not seriously injured. He returned to his position and Benoit struck out Mike Napoli to end the inning, sending the game to the top of the ninth knotted at 5-5.

  1. chill1184 - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    Big Papi doing Big Papi like things

    • ilovegspot - Oct 14, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      and he is still doing them on drugs.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    Nice pitching, Benoit….balls.

  3. Minoring In Baseball - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    This is all on Leyland. He’s made poor choices tonight, and has never been able to manage the bullpen. I give credit to Ortiz for the hit, but the wrong guy was on the mound in this situation. He should have gone with Porcello.

  4. peterjohnjoseph - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Help. I’m 27 years old. I just watched a Patriots game, and now the Red Sox just tied the game. I feel like my heart might explode. Is this normal?

    • peterjohnjoseph - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:36 PM

      I’m obviously joking. If my fragile heart survived ’04, I think I’ll be fine. This is twice in one night I’ve done a victory dance across my kitchen table.

    • midjerseyfatcat - Oct 14, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      This is the best of the best time of year. What the Red Sox did tonight as a team is worth the entire year of watching boring baseball. Those few mins. of his at bats might have saved the entire Red Sox season and might be the being of the “turning point” of the series. This is why he is paid the big money and he delivered. So peterjohnjoseph live it up as you are a young guy. You are in your prime and the Red Sox are out of their 100 year drought. The next three games are in Detroit so the Sox have to win one to get back home. I hope they can do it and win it all @ Fenway.

  5. xjokerz - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:35 PM


    • jwbiii - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:59 PM

      So you’re saying that you found the game really, really enjoyable, joker?

  6. emdash01 - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    Every GM in the game is watching this and wondering what they can get from Detroit for a solid bullpen arm. Aside from the defense, it’s their only Achilles heel.

    • Minoring In Baseball - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:43 PM

      I think Leyland was the Achilles heel tonight. If Ricky was brought in in the 8th, he’d be closing the game right now.

      • frank433 - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:53 PM

        Porcello isn’t the right choice to bring in with the bases loaded.

      • Minoring In Baseball - Oct 14, 2013 at 12:00 AM

        He’s a low ball pitcher, and they needed a gound-ball out. Force at any bag. Obviously Benny wasn’t the right choice. Leaving AlAl in there would have been better.

      • frank433 - Oct 14, 2013 at 12:08 AM

        The needed any type of out. Benoit is the right choice to bring in for that situation if a pitching change happens. Porcello is a starter, why bring him in with the bases loaded? He isn’t familiar with that role. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, but Benoit is the right choice.

      • Minoring In Baseball - Oct 14, 2013 at 1:07 AM

        Yep, they needed out, and Benoit has been having trouble getting them. Just my opinion, but even leaving in AlAl would have been a better option.

  7. disgracedfury - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    Ortiz and Peralta PED hero’s.Even though I hate AROD it is a witch hunt the majors are doing.

    • ilovegspot - Oct 14, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      grow a brain dipshit

  8. drelms - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Glad I came back to the game to see Salty getting it done.

    Thank God !!!!!!!!!!!

  9. bornintoitiniowa - Oct 14, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    That grand slam was epic: tied the game, sent Hunter tumbling into the bullpen (I like Hunter and am glad he’s okay), bullpen catcher caught the ball, and the Boston bullpen cop’s reaction. Priceless.

    I also loved the players chasing Salty around the bases when he hit the game-winning single in the 9th. Such a great game.

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