After 2-week wait, Red Sox win in 12 minutes

August 22nd, 2019

BOSTON -- That didn’t take long. But it sure was fun while it lasted.

In a Fenway day unlike any other that preceded it, got the Red Sox a walk-off single to left on Thursday to complete a 5-4 victory over the Royals in 10 innings in the resumption of a game that was suspended due to rain on Aug. 7.

Holt ended the festivities 12 minutes after play resumed with a solid smash against lefty Richard Lovelady.

“Yeah, I mean, we were trying to end it as quick as we could,” said Holt. “Losing an off-day to be here to finish this game, we’ve got a long flight to San Diego, we wanted to end it as quick as possible. It was probably the best outcome that we could have had today, I think, a [12]-minute game, so we’ll take it.”

The day was sun-splashed fun for the thousands of kids who took the Red Sox up on their offer for free entry. Adults got in for $5, with all proceeds going to the Jimmy Fund. The general seating area was mostly full -- the Red Sox scanned 16,441 tickets, including more than 15,000 tickets sold Thursday -- and the crowd was enthusiastic. Boston sold more than 11,000 hot dogs at $1 a pop, and nearly 4,000 kids ran the bases after the game.

“To me, it was the best crowd we had the whole year,” said third-base coach Carlos Febles, who gleefully waved pinch-runner Chris Owings around to score the winning run. “They were into the game. They were loud. That’s what you need. That’s one of the reasons the guys said, ‘Let’s do this and get out of here.’ To me, I say thanks to the fans. A day like this, they show up, it’s awesome for the players. The players were excited to have so many kids in the stands.”

Before the game, fans got to walk the warning track. After it was over, the kids ran the bases.

“First things first: The job the organization did to get all these people here today, that was pretty cool,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. “I mean, you saw how quick it was, but all the kids around, and the music and everything that went on today, that was awesome. Now kids are running the bases. That’s what it’s all about. It’s a game and we’ve got to do everything possible to get the young fans involved in this beautiful game. That was fun.”

With so many kids around, the Red Sox acted quite youthful themselves once the game ended.

As Holt’s teammates tried to mob him near second base, he spontaneously sprinted away from them and slid into home plate.

“I don’t know what got into me whenever I did that,” said Holt. “I was trying to dodge the guys coming in and I saw home plate there and just went for it.”

Christian Vazquez started the winning rally when he smashed a double to left-center with one out.

“I was trying to get to second base and get out of here quick,” said Vazquez. “Like I said, we have a flight for six hours to San Diego. Tough to play a two-hour game and fly there and play tomorrow so we needed to be quick. It was going to be quick or going to be long, one or the other. Thank god we got it quick.”

The day wasn’t so fun for the Royals, who came to Fenway during what was supposed to be an off-day between Baltimore and Cleveland. They chose to stay in Boston on Thursday night, and they will fly to Cleveland on the day of the game on Friday. If nothing else, the Royals should get a good dinner out of it in Boston.

“I don’t think there really was another solution,” said Royals manager Ned Yost. “The only other solution for me was to play it after the season ended, and that would make more sense to me rather than have to disrupt them flying cross-country and us flying, and not having off-days.”

It is the first time the Red Sox had a game suspended but not continued on the next day since June 13, 1968, against the Angels. Perhaps the novelty – not to mention the win – is what made it so special for the Red Sox, who improved to 68-61.

“That was probably the most fun I think probably all of us have had playing baseball,” said Holt. “It was kind of a do-or-die, it felt like. If we got three outs, all we needed was a run and that’s kind of a cool feeling knowing you can end it in one inning.”

The game resumed with the teams locked in a 4-4 tie in the top of the 10th. Josh Taylor, the pitcher of record when the action was halted two weeks ago, came back out for the continuation on Thursday, and got a liner to first on the first pitch he threw to pinch-hitter Nick Dini. The lefty retired the side on just 10 pitches – not including the three he threw back on Aug. 7.

In a sense, Taylor was the opener and the closer on Thursday.

“It was awesome,” Taylor said. “That’s what you do it for, the fans, the kids. The kids enjoy it. It was just cool to see all of them, even early when we were warming up, it was cool to see the kids on the field enjoying the experience.”