With just six outs to go Sunday, the Boston Red Sox were facing a Herculean task. In order to beat the Rays, they would need to find a way to erase their six-run deficit.
While a single from Hanley Ramirez seemed to offer some hope, the next two Red Sox hitters made outs, dropping the team’s win probability to just 1.5 percent.
Those numbers didn’t intimidate the Red Sox. With two outs, the team exploded for six runs, taking the lead and securing an improbable 8-7 victory.
The win pushed the team to a franchise-best 8-1 to start the season. In the 100+ years the Red Sox have been around, they’ve never started a season this strong.
The @RedSox have existed since 1901.
They have never started a season 8-1 until now. pic.twitter.com/lsIzFd1Q8H
— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) April 8, 2018
After Ramirez moved to second on a wild pitch, Mitch Moreland doubled to bring him home. That cut the Rays’ lead to four runs. Eduardo Nunez then singled to put runners on first and third.
Third baseman Rafael Devers doubled off Matt Andriese, bringing home two more runs. After that hit, manager Kevin Cash had seen enough. He turned to closer Alex Colomé for the four-out save. The Rays were still up 7-5 when Colomé entered the game.
That didn’t last long. Colomé gave up a single to Christian Vazquez to cut the lead to one. After a wild pitch moved Vazquez to second, Mookie Betts singled him home to tie the game. The next hitter, Andrew Benintendi, hit a double to center to bring Betts home. Just like that, the Red Sox took the lead.
The Red Sox picked a good time to start pick up their eighth-straight win. The New York Yankees dropped a tough game in extras Sunday, which saw slugger Giancarlo Stanton go 0-for-7 with five strikeouts. The loss pushed New York to 5-5 to open the season.
That should make Sunday’s win all the more sweeter for Boston. The Red Sox are firing on all cylinders while the Yankees are still finding their footing.
With the American League East expected to be tight, every gain in the standings is significant. If the Red Sox do wind up taking the AL East crown, this is one of the big wins everyone is going to remember.
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