|Gomes watches his walk-off Tuesday night (Jared Wickerham photo)|
Jan-Christian Sorensen Contributing Writer
Going, going, GOMES!
After reputed closer Andrew Bailey squelched a stellar start by Felix Doubront by giving up a game-tying run in the top of the ninth, Jonny Gomes all but hoisted Bailey on his back and carried him around the bases when he launched a shot in the bottom of the ninth to give the Sox a 3-1 win and both ends of a day-night doubleheader over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Gomes, who stuck out twice and flied out before coming to the plate after Daniel Nava drew a walk, picked the perfect time to — with apologies to Ebby Calvin LaLoosh — announce his presence with authority.
Gomes took the first pitch he saw from Joel Peralta and slammed it off the AAA Auto Insurance sign atop the Monster for his fifth home run of the year and the dramatic, walk-off win:
After rounding third, Gomes took off his helmet and emphatically punted it toward home before being swarmed by his teammates at the plate.
It was Gomes’ third walk-off homer and first since 2010.
“I guess bottom nine, no one out, leadoff walk, possible bunt situation, he picked over maybe seeing if I would square around… so I thought bunt was in their mind,” said Gomes.
The game-ender was Gomes’ third go-ahead home run off Peralta, the most against any pitcher he’s faced in his career.
“Fastball up,” said Peralta. “Not supposed to be there, but it went there.”
While he’s logged a sluggish start to the season, Gomes has been catching fire of late. In his last six games he’s gone eight-for-21 for a .381 average in that span.
After the game, Bailey was understandably appreciative of Gomes scrubbing out his blunder with the walk-off and awarding him a surprise win to boot.
“I thought his punt was awesome. That put a smile on my face, obviously," said Bailey, who has surrendered five runs in his last four appearances. "You don’t want to go out there and give up runs, but there’s a lot of positives about today. The way Doubront threw the baseball, eight strong, and obviously Nava’s at-bat and Jonny’s homer. There’s a lot of good things about this team, and we just (have) to keep it on a roll.”
Hey, Jonny — belly up to the bar. First round’s on Bailey.
Twitter: @jan_doh Jan-Christian Sorensen 6/19/2013 03:24:00 AM Tweet