Boston, Massachusetts, USA — The Boston Red Sox pulled off one of the most dramatic late-inning rallies in Major League Baseball history last night, winning Game 2 of the American League Championship Series over the Detroit Tigers 6-5 to tie the series 1-1.
For the second straight game, Detroit’s starting pitching was phenomenal, with Max Scherzer no-hitting the Red Sox for over 5 innings, and taking a 5-0 lead into the 6th inning.
In Game 1, Anibal Sanchez and the Tiger bullpen gave up only 1 hit in a 1-0 Detroit win. Boston was baseball’s highest scoring team and number one offense this year, making the Detroit pitching performance even more impressive. The Tiger pitchers set an all-time postseason record for strikeouts in the two games.
But with Boston still down 5-1 with two outs in the bottom of the 8th inning, Red Sox legend David Ortiz came to the plate with the bases loaded. On the first pitch from Detroit closer Joaquin Benoit, Ortiz hit a grand slam over the right-field wall into the Red Sox bullpen just out of reach of Tiger right-fielder Torii Hunter, who fell over the wall attempting to catch the ball as the Fenway Park crowd erupted into a scene of bedlam.
The home run suddenly tied the game at 5-5, when just a few moments earlier it appeared hopeless for the Red Sox. Boston went on to win the game in the bottom of the 9th inning on a walk-off single by Jarrod Saltalamacchia that scored Jonny Gomes from third base. Gomes reached on an infield single and went to second on an errant throw by Tiger shortstop Jose Iglesias. Gomes later advanced to third on a wild pitch.
But the iconic image that will be remembered is Ortiz’s blast, with Hunter tumbling over the wall and Boston bullpen police officer Steve Horgan raising both arms in celebration of the home run. The image has gone viral on the internet.
“I couldn’t even hear myself it was so loud,” Steve Horgan, a 27-year veteran of the Boston police force, told ESPNBoston.com. “I can’t believe it. I don’t know what to think. I can’t believe it. It was an awesome feeling.”
The Red Sox’s miraculous Game 2 win seems sure to set up more drama in the rest of this series, with Game 3 set to be played in Detroit on Tuesday night.
Watch video of David Ortiz’s grand slam in 8th inning that tied the game.
Watch video of Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s walk-off single in 9th inning to win the game.