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When Daniel Nava walked to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning for the Boston Red Sox, his team trailing the Seattle Mariners 7-2, he certainly wasn't thinking he would be up again with a chance to win the game.
Yet there he was, bases loaded, one out, in a 7-7 game. His Red Sox had clawed back into the game and now Nava had a chance to finish what he started. So he blasted a fly ball to the centerfield wall that would have plated two, maybe three, runs. But all Boston needed was one to complete a magical six-run ninth inning comeback and win the game 8-7.
For a team that's managed to continually exceed expectations, this was just another example of doing the improbable. And it came a night after the Red Sox won in 15 innings on a walk-off.
''We don't quit. Ever,'' Red Sox manager John Farrell said. ''We truly believe we have a chance to do something special on a given night or given year. And that happens to be this year.''
The Red Sox comeback nullified a strong outing from Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, who pitched seven innings, giving up one run on six hits. The ninth-inning rally came against former M's closer Tom Wilhelmsen. Brock Holt, Shane Victorino, Dustin Pedroia and Johnny Gomes all had RBIs in the ninth.
Norris was traded from the Astros to the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday in one of the trading deadline's top deals. On Thursday he made his first Orioles start. Against the Astros.
Norris was solid, striking out eight and giving up only four hits in six innings. Chris Davis homered for the O's and became the first player in baseball to reach 100 RBIs this season. After the game, which the Orioles won 6-3, Norris got his first ever shaving cream pie to the face as a Welcome to the Orioles present.
''I hadn't had one before, it was the first one of my career,'' Norris said with a grin. ''You see it all the time on the highlight reel and I had a feeling it might come. I'm pretty excited to take it. It was exhilarating.''
Cardinals 13, Pirates 0: A win for the Pirates would have been a five-game sweep of the Cardinals. Instead, the Cards score nearly twice as many runs as they did in the four previous games (seven).
Dodgers 6, Cubs 4: Yasiel Puig gets two hits, two RBIs and jacks a homer.
Angels 8, Blue Jays 2: Josh Johnson: 2.1 innings, 10 hits, seven runs. I see what you did there, Marlins.
Giants 2, Phillies 1: The Giants found some of that late-inning magic they were so good about digging up last year, scoring two in the ninth off Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon.
Marlins 3, Mets 0: Tom Koehler and the Marlins beat Matt Harvey. It is not April 1.
Indians 6, White Sox 1: Ryan Raburn hits two homers and drives in four runs as Indians complete sweep of White Sox.
''We had kept the cat in the bag for four games. Tonight, we let it out.''
— Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle, after his team was trounced by the Cardinals 13-0 after winning four straight against them.
Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar drank some of Willy Wonka's Fizzy Lifting Drink. Obviously.
• Justin Upton hit two home runs on Thursday, which is twice as many as he hit in all of July.
• Injured Angel Albert Pujols says he won't have surgery on his injured foot and wants to play again this season.
• With his performance Thursday, Yu Darvish now has three games this season with 14 strikeouts and no walks. Since 1900, only two other pitchers have done that, Randy Johnson in 2000 and Roger Clemens in 1997. (via ESPN Stats & Info)
• Report: Alex Rodriguez plans to fight ban
• MLB Power Rankings: Pirates bucking trend
• Rival: Lifetime ban for A-Rod would give Yankees unfair advantage
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