The Red Sox outfielder lined one off the bottom of Fenway Park's left-field Wall to drive in the winning run on Tuesday night and Boston beat Cincinnati 4-3 in 12 innings -- the longest game between the teams since Fisk's historic homer in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.
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Grady Sizemore's walk-off hit against the Reds was a big step toward showing he belongs with the Red Sox, Gordon Edes writes. Blog
"It will never get old to walk off," said Sizemore, who had three hits in the game. "I was just glad I could come through."
An All-Star with the Cleveland Indians, Sizemore missed all of the last two seasons while recovering from back surgery. The Red Sox brought him in as an extra outfielder, knowing the low risk would pay off big if he returned to the form that earned him MVP votes from 2005-08.
"I've got to believe that tonight gives him even further feeling like he's contributing here rather than being someone coming back from an injury," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "Nights like tonight go a long way and continue to rebuild Grady."
Sizemore singled in a run in the third and had another base hit in the eighth, then came up with nobody out in the 12th after David Ortiz and Mike Napoli had already singled off Logan Ondrusek (0-2). He hit the first pitch to left-center, and the outfielders didn't even bother picking it up as Ortiz scored easily.
Craig Breslow (1-0) pitched one inning of scoreless relief for the victory. Boston beat Cincinnati for the sixth time in seven games since the Reds rebounded from the Fisk homer to win Game 7 of the '75 Series to take the title. The teams also met for interleague series in 2005 and `08.
Dustin Pedroia had three hits, including two doubles, as the Red Sox won for the third time in four games. Napoli drove in a pair of runs as the Red Sox opened a 3-1 lead only to see Junichi Tazawa give it up in the eighth.
"We finally got something going a little late," Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick said. "Any time you lose a game, you think about missed opportunities."
Red Sox starter Felix Doubront allowed one run on five hits, but he walked two batters in the sixth before leaving with one out and a 3-1 lead. Burke Badenhop threw one pitch to Skip Schumaker to get an inning-ending play.
It was still 3-1 in the eighth when Joey Votto drew a one-out walk and Brandon Phillips doubled to put runners on second and third. Todd Frazier singled in one run, and Ryan Ludwick tied it 3-all with a sacrifice fly.
Reds starter Homer Bailey gave up three runs on five hits and five walks, striking out five in six innings. ... The Reds placed RF Jay Bruce on the 15-day disabled list with a torn meniscus in his left knee and selected the contract of OF Roger Bernadina from Triple-A Louisville. Bruce had arthroscopic surgery on Monday and is expected to miss about a month. ... The game marked the 99th anniversary of Babe Ruth's first of 714 career homers, on May 6, 1915. The Red Sox LHP also pitched 12 1/3 innings and took the loss in a complete game against the Yankees at the Polo Grounds. ... The Reds announced that their April 28 rainout against the Cubs will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on July 8. ... Red Sox DH David Ortiz played in his 2,000th career game.
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BOSTON, MA - MAY 06: Homer Bailey #34 of the Cincinatti Reds pitches against the Boston Red Sox in the first...
36,004 (97.1% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
61 degrees, partly cloudy
Home Plate - Bill Welke, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Jim Wolf, Third Base - David Rackley
Red Sox get their first walk-off win against the Reds since Game 6 of the 1975 World Series (Carlton Fisk HR, also 12th inning)
Dustin Pedroia has hit .382 since the start of last season in at-bats to end in a curveball, the third-highest rate among qualifiers in that time. Homer Bailey has a .271 average against in at-bats to end in his curveball since the start of last season, well above the league average of .214.