J.D. Martinez made up for his mistake.
After the Red Sox designated hitter made a baffling baserunning error that almost cost them the game, he came through in extra innings. Trailing 5-4 in the 12th inning of a long night at Fenway Park, Martinez smacked a two-run double to right to give the Red Sox a walk-off 6-5 victory over the Rays, as they overcame three deficits to improve to 2-3 this season.
Here’s how it happened:
Red Sox stage comeback: Alex Verdugo and Martinez opened the eighth with back-to-back doubles to make it a one-run game, and the Red Sox seemed to have something cooking before Martinez made a costly blunder.
With one out after Xander Bogaerts struck out, Rafael Devers lined out to center. But Martinez, who was at second, apparently lost track of how many outs there were and kept on running to home plate, and he was easily doubled off second to end the inning to kill the rally.
But the Red Sox didn’t quit. Christian Vazquez led off the ninth with his first home run of the season, a blast that cleared everything in left and ultimately sent the game to extra innings.
After a scoreless 10th, the Red Sox and Rays exchanged runs with the benefit of the new extra-innings rule that puts a runner on second to start the inning. Tanner Houck came on in relief and gave up a leadoff double to Willy Adames, and Devers replied in the bottom half with an RBI single to tie it and send it to the 12th.
In the 12th, Phillips Valdez replaced Houck and threw a one-out wild pitch that allowed Mike Zunino to advance to third. Randy Arozarena then grounded out to score and give the Rays a brief lead.
The Red Sox came back in the 12th thanks to some mistakes from Rays reliever Ryan Thompson. With two outs, he plunked Verdugo before a passed ball allowed runners to advance to second and third. Martinez took full advantage, belting a pitch to the opposite field in right over Arozarena’s head to give the Sox a dramatic win.
Perez was good enough: The veteran left-hander gave the Red Sox what they’re hoping for from him as the No. 5 starter this season: Enough innings and a chance to win.
Perez pitched five innings and saw one batter in the sixth when he was pulled after giving up a leadoff walk. But he was otherwise effective, striking out six while giving up two runs on five hits. The two runs came with the bases loaded in the third when Manuel Margot hit a weakly hit two-out single that chopped through the infield to give the Rays the lead. Perez put himself in another bases-loaded jam, but escaped with a punchout of Willy Adames.
Through one turn in the rotation, Red Sox starters have performed well with the exception of Garrett Richards, who lasted just two innings on Sunday. Nathan Eovaldi, Tanner Houck, Nick Pivetta and Perez have each thrown solid five-inning outings. And with the return of Eduardo Rodriguez coming Thursday, the Red Sox should feel mostly good about their starting rotation right now.
Cordero impresses: He may have had a hiccup to start spring training, but early returns on Franchy Cordero to begin his Red Sox career have been positive.
After going hitless over opening weekend, the new Red Sox left fielder now has two doubles in as many games, and he had the defensive highlight of the night on Tuesday. With one out and two runners in the seventh, Cordero leaped at the Green Monster for a terrific catch on a fly ball from Margot, then doubled up Randy Arozarena at second to end the inning. It looked as though the ball may have bounced off the wall, but after a review, the catch was confirmed. It was a huge play as the Red Sox tried to mount a late comeback.