2-2 pitch to Papi pivotal in 11th

May 14th, 2016

BOSTON -- The decision whether to intentionally walk Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has left many managers with sleepless nights, as Astros manager A.J. Hinch might be able to attest.

With first base open following a wild pitch and two outs in the 11th inning of a tied game and with a 2-2 count, the Astros opted to pitch to Ortiz, who clubbed a walk-off double to center field to give the Red Sox a 6-5 win on Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park.

"It's tough when it ends that way," Hinch said. "I'll think about it the rest of the night."

Hinch said the decision was made to attack Ortiz, even with first base open, because pitcher Michael Feliz already had two strikes on Big Papi, but the execution of the pitch wasn't there. Feliz threw him a belt-high changeup over the out half of the plate that Ortiz drove deep to the outfield.

"Yeah, I think it's easy now [to second guess]," Hinch said. "You walk a guy with two strikes and the odds are still in your favor, the percentages are still in your favor that things are going to go fine. If you'd like to replay it [given the result], I'd happily walk him, sure."

Feliz said he tried to approach the dangerous Ortiz like any hitter.

"It's no different," Feliz said through a translator. "I try to face every guy the same way. It's just a batter out there that I'm trying to get out. It's no different up there with Papi up there or anyone else up there."

Ortiz, who hit a solo homer in the third inning off starter Collin McHugh, tied the game in the ninth with a two-out triple to center past a diving Jake Marisnick. Xander Bogaerts was on first and raced around to score the tying run against closer Luke Gregerson, who has blown saves in two of his last three appearances.

"Just a little frustrated right now," Gregerson said. "I've given up a few runs lately, and they've all been on pitches that I've executed. Sometimes you look back and you didn't make a pitch or you put it in the wrong spot and you got beat that day because you just didn't execute. And lately I feel like I'm putting the pitches pretty much exactly where I want them and I'm still getting beat.

"So it's been just one of those times where I'm trying not to get mad because I'm doing what I want to do and the results just weren't there. The pitch to Ortiz, a good sinker, down, out of the strike zone, down and away, and he somehow hit a line drive to center that tailed all the way to left center and Jake ran out of room. You tip your cap, I guess, and just move on."