Gomes turns two in unique style to save Red Sox
Left fielder's unassisted double play in 15th preserves tie before walk-off win
BOSTON -- No one in the Red Sox clubhouse could recall a play quite like the one Jonny Gomes made Wednesday night.
It will go in the scorebook as an unassisted double play by the left fielder, and even Gomes, who considers himself a student of the game, was still a little bit in awe of the feat after the game.
"To tell you the truth, I've been waiting years to do that," he said, a mischievous smile spread across his face.
In the top of the 15th inning against the Mariners, Michael Saunders belted a sinking line drive off pitcher Drake Britton into left field.
With Raul Ibanez breaking from second base on the play, Gomes took a gamble.
"It was a do-or-die situation," he said.
He charged the ball, dove forward and nabbed it just before it hit the grass for the second out of the inning.
Seeing that Ibanez had already rounded third, Gomes popped up and trotted to second base before continuing on to the dugout. The Red Sox went on to win the game, 5-4, in the bottom of the inning.
Gomes easily could have flipped the ball to Dustin Pedroia for the second out. But Gomes, who has developed a flair for the dramatic this season, decided it would be a little sweeter to take it himself.
"It definitely was on purpose," he said. "I've never had one and I've never seen one. So that's why I'm glad I've got it on my resume'."
Ibanez looked stunned after the play, kicking the dirt and shaking his head in disbelief.
"I just checked the outfielders after every pitch and I saw where they were playing," Ibanez said. "And based off the trajectory of Saunders' ball and the little fade I knew would be on it, I thought -- I didn't think, I was certain -- that it was going to bounce. Obviously it didn't. He made a great play."
Nobody was happier than Britton. Had Gomes let the ball drop or if his dive was unsuccessful, Ibanez had an easy path to the go-ahead run. Instead, Stephen Drew's walk-off single in the bottom of the inning gave him his first Major League win.
"For some reason the first thing that popped in my mind was he's going to catch this ball," said Britton. "It was awesome."
Michael Periatt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.