Brewers relinquish lead, eke out win in 11 innings
Schafer's double plates Davis (4-for-6) with go-ahead run on cold night
BOSTON -- Brewers left fielder Khris Davis set a career high with four hits at frigid Fenway Park on Saturday, including an 11th-inning double that sparked the winning rally in a 7-6 victory over the Red Sox that spanned four hours and 23 minutes, and he would love to tell you about it if he could just get his joints to thaw.
"My body is mad at me right now," Davis said in the warm, cramped clubhouse. "It's long games like that that you really have to stick with your teammates. We battled out there, pitch to pitch, and things just worked out for us."
They worked out on a weird night for the hitters, who went 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position through the first three innings before going 1-for-12 in the clutch from the start of the fourth inning through the end of the 10th. They worked out despite a series of miscues on the left side of the infield that contributed to five Red Sox runs.
Those mistakes were forgotten after Logan Schafer delivered a go-ahead double off former Brewer Burke Badenhop in the decisive 11th inning , and Francisco Rodriguez struck out the side for his second save. It sealed the Brewers' first series wn over the Red Sox since 1997, when the teams were both in the American League.
"Frankie won the game with nasty stuff, but it felt really good to put us up," Schafer said. "It was a battle of a game and it was really, really fun. I was freezing the whole game. We were all cold so we were like, 'Hey, let's hurry up and score and get out of here.'"
Scoring was easy in the early innings against Boston starter Clay Buchholz, who did not allow a single home run in 63 1/3 innings at Fenway Park last season, and had never allowed more than 12 hits in any of his 121 career starts. On Saturday, the Brewers hit two home runs in the second inning alone -- Mark Reynolds' laser beam to the Green Monster seats, and Carlos Gomez's towering fly off the light pole -- and tallied 13 hits in Buchholz's 4 2/3 innings while building a 6-2 lead.
Just as quickly, Milwaukee's bats went cold, and so did the defense.
Shortstop Jean Segura's tough night began in the second when he bobbled Jonathan Herrera's RBI infield hit with two outs, but things really went bad for the Brewers in the third. Usually steady third baseman Aramis Ramirez let a bad-hop grounder sneak under his glove for an error that extended the inning for Mike Napoli's two-out, three-run home run off Brewers starter Wily Peralta.
After Peralta's exit, more poor defense allowed Boston to tie the game in the sixth. Jim Henderson took over, allowed a double and a walk and was promptly replaced by left-hander Zach Duke. He induced a double play that left a runner at third for Herrera, who hit a grounder toward short. Segura charged the baseball but bobbled it again, allowing the tying run to score.
"I'm not going to make excuses for these guys, but it's tough when it's cold and it's windy and you're out there a while," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "You don't react the same. … Certainly, it can get worse than this. It's not like this was the worst conditions we've ever played in, but it was tough."
At about the same time, the Brewers' offense was falling into a slumber. They put runners at first and third with one out in the fifth, but Scooter Gennett flied out to shallow left field and Martin Maldonado struck out. In the seventh, the Brewers put runners at the corners again, this time with no outs, but relievers Chris Capuano and Brandon Workman combined to strike out Schafer, Reynolds and Gennett in order to preserve the tie.
In the eighth, Jonathan Lucroy stranded a runner at third with an inning-ending lineout to first base. In the 10th inning, Lucroy flied out to deep right field to strand the bases loaded. Before Badenhop took the mound, four Red Sox relievers had combined to pitch 5 2/3 scoreless innings.
"The bullpen pitched great and gave us a chance to win, and unfortunately we didn't get any runs," Boston catcher A.J. Pierzynski said.
Pierzynski helped save a run in the fourth, when Brewers speedster Gomez tried in vain to score all the way from second base on a flyout to center field. He was waved him by third-base coach Ed Sedar when Grady Sizemore's throw bounced its way to Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. With Gomez charging home, Pedroia made an accurate throw and Gomez was out in a close call by umpire crew chief Tim Welke. Roenicke did not challenge the call.
"We wouldn't have challenged it, because it has to be conclusive," Roenicke said. "Most of the angles showed that [Pierzynski] blocked the plate; we have one angle that showed [Gomez] got in. We thought he was safe, but it was one of those plays that if it's not clear-cut, they're not going to overturn it. …
"I need to go out there anyway. I should have been out there. It looks like Pierzynski's got the ball, he blocks the plate, it looks like [Gomez] is out. That's where I'm looking to the player for a reaction. If Gomez is like, 'I'm safe,' then I go out. But I just hate going out every single close play, but I should have. I should have been out there."
Peralta settled for a tough no-decision after allowing five runs (two earned) on five hits in five innings. He threw 97 pitches.
"I threw the ball fine," Peralta said. "It was tough weather, and I know those guys have been playing unbelievable defense behind me and today it didn't work that way, but I know they battle a lot. Nobody wants to make errors. I know [Segura] feels bad, and I feel bad for him because I know he always plays hard, just like Aramis.
"We'll just forget about it. I'm glad we got a win today."