Even Stephen: this is how we DREW it

photo Matthew West/Boston Herald

Jan-Christian Sorensen
Contributing Writer

Stephen Drew silenced his detractors Monday night — even if for a brief spell.

The much-maligned brother of former Red Sox right fielder and love-him-or-leave-him poster boy J.D. took a roller-coaster ride at Fenway last night and ended the game on a high, stroking a two-out hit off the base of the Green Monster to drive in Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the bottom of the 11th inning for a 6-5 win over the visiting Minnesota Twins.

Drew started the night much the same as he's done of late — with a strikeout in the bottom of the third. No big surprise for Sox fans; Drew whiffed three times in four at-bat on Sunday night in Texas.

However, from then on, things changed. It was a whole Drew story.

The impassive shortstop ripped a single to centre off Minnesota starter Vance Worley in the fifth inning to drive in Daniel Nava. When Jacoby Ellsbury doubled to centre and Drew raced home, he was robbed blind at the plate when umpire Cory Blaser erroneously called him out. Instant replays clearly showed Drew sliding well ahead of Mauer’s attempt to tag, but Blaser had the wrong angle.

As Sox fans have come to expect of the deadpan Drew, he showed nary an emotion. Didn’t get irate. Didn’t kick dirt. When Blaser called him out on strikes in the third, he calmly asked the ump if the pitch broke late, nodded, and walked calmly back to the dugout. No yelling. No barking.

Just like J.D. before him — Calm. Cool. Collected.

However, as Pete Hamill famously wrote in his essay Keith, baseball is a sport “Where the most exciting action seems to explode out of the greatest calm.”

In the bottom of the seventh, Drew parked a Casey Fien fastball in the right field stands to give Boston a two-run lead. In the bottom of the ninth, Drew singled with one out but was the front end of a double play when Ellsbury grounded out one batter later.

In the bottom of the 11th after Saltalamacchia and Will Middlebrooks both singled with two out, Drew laced a Jared Burton fastball off the monster to walk off with the win and snap a three-game mini-skid for the Sox.

In the past seven days, Drew’s numbers have looked like a David Ortiz line: 9-for-23 with two home runs and six RBI while hitting .391.

When he was mobbed by his teammates at second base after his big hit in extra innings, Drew broke character: He hugged. He high-fived. He… grinned.

"I knew I hit it good," Drew said. "You never know here sometimes. I've hit balls good to right and they've been held up. It was just a good night. Everybody battled."

Welcome to the Nation, Stephen. Smile. Enjoy the ride.

Twitter: jan_doh