MLB

Red Sox’s Travis Shaw hits walk-off grand slam to give Boston much-needed win over Rangers

USATSI

The Boston Red Sox kept pace in the tight American League wild card race on Monday with an 11-inning win at home over the Texas Rangers in the rubber match of their three-game set (BOS 8, TEX 4).

The killing blow came courtesy of Travis Shaw, who hit a walk-off grand slam off Dennis Santana. The action footage:

That’s a 103.5 mph off the bat and 423 feet to right field. As Stathead notes, that’s just the second walk-off grand slam hit by a Red Sox player in the last 20 years.  

The 31-year-old Shaw, who was originally a BoSox draftee back in 2008 and spent the first two seasons of his big-league career in Boston, recently made his way back to the organization after being cut loose by the Brewers. Monday’s tilt was just his third since re-joining the Sox. It remains to be seen how much Shaw is capable of contributing to a contending team across a larger sample, but right now his return to Boston can be said to be going swimmingly. 

Earlier in this one, the Sox rode a strong start by Nathan Eovaldi, who allowed one run in seven innings while striking out seven and walking none. Boston squandered a 3-1 lead in the ninth, which is fully in keeping with their recent bullpen struggles: 

The Rangers took a 4-3 lead in the top of the 10th, but with two outs in the home half Rafael Devers kept the Sox alive with a clutch, game-tying double with two outs and an 0-2 count: 

All of that enabled Shaw’s heroics in the bottom of the 11th. 

Needless to say, dropping a series at home to the post-deadline Rangers — i.e., one of the worst teams in baseball — would be a discouraging turn of events for the Sox. Eovaldi, Devers, Shaw, and others, however, didn’t let that happen. That key win keeps the Sox within range of the Yankees for the top AL wild card spot and for the moment pushes them past the A’s by a half-game and into sole possession of the second and final wild card berth. 



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