Alex Verdugo singled with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning to lift the Boston Red Sox over the visiting Cleveland Indians 4-3 Saturday in the second game of a three-game series.
It was the second walk-off hit this season for Verdugo (2-for-4 Saturday), who sent a pitch from Indians reliever Alex Young just out of the grasp of right fielder Daniel Johnson.
Pinch-hitter Travis Shaw opened the home ninth with an infield single before Taylor Motter entered as pinch-runner and moved to second on Jonathan Arauz’s sacrifice bunt. Kyle Schwarber flied out, and both Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez walked to load the bases for Verdugo.
Devers launched a three-run blast for his team-leading 33rd home run in the seventh to give Boston a 3-0 lead. Christian Vazquez had two of Boston’s seven hits to help the Red Sox secure their fourth straight victory.
Boston (79-59) moved four games ahead of Oakland for the second American League wild card spot following the A’s 10-8 loss in Toronto.
Bobby Bradley put the Indians on the board with an RBI double in the ninth before Franmil Reyes crushed a two-out, two-run homer off reliever Adam Ottavino to tie it at 3-3 with Cleveland down to its final strike.
Reyes’ homer extended the Indians’ streak of 18 consecutive games with a home run.
Cleveland (67-66) has dropped back-to-back games including an 8-5 loss in the series opener Friday and fell 9 1/2 games behind in the wild-card race.
Ottavino (5-3) earned the win despite giving up three runs in the ninth. Red Sox starter Tanner Houck fell short of his first win of the season despite throwing five scoreless, three-hit innings, with seven strikeouts.
Indians starter Eli Morgan pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up three hits while walking four and striking out seven.
–Field Level Media