Only one man could rescue the Boston Red Sox in a game where the opponent stole nine bases.
No, that man wasn't a catcher or a pitcher who could hold runners close. He was a 31-year-old journeyman outfielder who has spent most of his professional career in the minor leagues.
Darnell McDonald(notes) hit a tying pinch home run in the eighth and lined a game-ending single an inning later, powering the Red Sox to a streak-busting victory they needed — would you say "desperately," Red Sox manager Terry Francona?
"I don't care how we did it. We desperately needed to win a game," said Francona, whose team had dropped five straight.
Kind of amazing, considering the liberties taken on the basepaths by the freewheelin' Rangers. Nine times.
• Five of the steals came in the third inning alone — and somehow the Rangers scored only one run.
• The Rangers' old club record was eight steals, coming against the Red Sox in 2009.
• Texas went 18-for-18 stealing against the Red Sox last season.
All of that running couldn't win them a ballgame.
McDonald, who has accumulated 5,700 plate appearances in the minors after being considered a solid prospect, made much of his big-league return.
"I couldn't write a script any better than this," said McDonald, who hit his third major-league homer in 158 plate appearances. "A lot happened. A dream come true. That’s why I signed over here to be able to play in this type of atmosphere."
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They Also Played
Rockies 10, Nationals 4: It's a credit to the Rox they were able to play and come away with a victory after learning of Keli McGregor's death. They were obviously close to him. The team president was just 48 years old.
Reds 11, Dodgers 9: Hey, I thought Pete Rose was banned from baseball! What's Charlie Hustle doing at Great American Ball Park? Bud Selig, eject this man! Ha, I kid. It's a good thing Pete's given up gambling, with the Reds blowing a six-run lead like that. There would have been a time ... well, let's just say he would have turned into actor Tom Sizemore and gotten a little panicky.
Twins 5, Indians 1: In the third inning, the Tribe replaced their synonymous drum beat with Benny Hill's theme. Asdrubal Cabrera(notes) could not have caused more damage if he literally had opened a floodgate somewhere and emptied the Ohio into Cleveland and drowned LeBron James.
Yankees 7, Athletics 3: Well, Javier Vazquez's(notes) ERA dropped from the 9.00s to the 8.00s. Eventually, it will get wherever it's going. One question for Bob Geren: Why would you let left-hander Craig Breslow(notes) pitch to A-Rod? Didn't he hit a game-ending homer against Breslow last year? (The answer? Yes.)
I'm not saying I told Ruben Amaro so, but I told him about the back end of the Phillies' bullpen. He should have done reconstructive surgery. Wasted a perfectly good performance by Kyle Kendrick(notes), too. Boy's so depressed, he wants to move to Japan.
Astros 7, Marlins 5: Look at the Big Puma run!
D-backs 9, Cardinals 7: Dan Haren(notes) didn't pitch particularly well, but he did hang around long enough to go 4-for-4 at the plate. He actually hit .247 with 10 RBIs last season, so the dude is no chump with a bat.
Angels 6, Tigers 5: No matter his save percentage, I've never liked Fernando Rodney's(notes) game. Until this year. He looks great. Magglio Ordonez(notes) says he's added a sinker. Maybe that's the difference.
Padres 1, Giants 0: I like how the Padres are going green, winning games with just one hit. Do you know how many chlorofluorocarbons are released in a 10-hit game? Let's put it this way: It's what's killing all of Sarah Palin's pet polar bears.