The Red Sox racked up 17 runs while scoring in each of the first seven innings against the Rangers at Fenway on Tuesday and only to had to add one more against position player David Murphy in the eighth to become the 14th team in major league history to score in every inning of a game.
Yet they couldn’t quite do it.
After Daniel Nava’s leadoff double in the eighth, Mike Carp struck out, Pedro Ciriaco lined out to left and David Ortiz hit a towering flyout to right, allowing Murphy to escape the inning unscathed.
It was Murphy’s first pitching appearance since high school. The left-hander, a former first-round pick of the Red Sox, was working in the high-70s in his inning. His lone strikeout led to Carp’s first career ejection, as Boston’s outfield disagreed with the called strike three.
Jackie Bradley Jr., Stephen Drew, Carp and Jarrod Saltalamacchia all homered for the Red Sox tonight. Bradley’s two-run shot was his first as a major leaguer. Drew finished with four hits. Nava scored four times.
Rangers starter Justin Grimm was torched for eight runs in 1 2/3 innings before being pulled. Joseph Ortiz later gave up six runs — three earned — in relief.
Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.
The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.
For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.