BOSTON (CBS) – It looked as though the Red Sox were on their way to losing two of three to the lowly Houston Astros.
But Stephen Drew had other plans.
With one out and two men on in the ninth inning, Drew stepped to the plate with Boston trailing 5-4. The Red Sox had been leaving runners on all night, stranding 11 overall, but Drew was determined not to leave pinch-runner Drake Britton and Jonny Gomes waiting on the basepaths.
Houston’s Josh Fields, on for his second save of the series, started the inning by surrendering a single to David Ortiz. After getting Mike Carp to line out, he walked Jonny Gomes as Drew watched from the on-deck circle.
Fields got Drew swinging to end Monday night’s 2-0 Red Sox loss, so the Boston shortstop wanted to make up sure he made the most of the at-bat. He had an idea of what was coming, and connected on a 0-1 curveball that landed in the right field stands, propelling Boston to a 7-5 victory.
“Having watched Jonny’s at-bat and having faced him [Monday], I figured if I could get something up in the zone and put a good swing on it. I got a curveball up. He left it out over, I had a good swing, and it worked out good for us,” Drew said.
“This team has done it all year,” he said. “Everybody has fun, but everybody knows their role. Everybody has been clutch in late innings. This is what good teams do.”
“Hopefully we can keep it going,” Drew added.
Drew has been on a hot streak for some time now. In 17 games since the All Star break, he is batting .302 with four homers and 13 RBIs. He has a hit in each of the eight games since Boston dealt infielder Jose Iglesias the day before the trade deadline, going 13-for-28 for a .464 average with a double, home run and seven RBIs. His average has climbed nearly 20 points during the streak, and is now up to .249 on the season.
“To have that kind of bat at shortstop in the bottom third of the order, not only does it lengthen things out but he’s swinging with a lot of confidence right now against both lefties and righties,” said manager John Farrell.