The Red Sox were one out away from playing in their first extra-inning game this season against the Blue Jays.
Instead, Mitch Moreland had other ideas in mind, as he took a first-pitch 86 mph slider from Toronto reliever Thomas Hatch and tattooed it 394 feet over everything in left field for his second home run of the day, with this one being good for two runs and a walk-off, 5-3 victory.
Going into that at-bat, the 34-year-old had an incentive to walk it off for his side thanks to this season’s rules for extra-inning games. That being, each team will begin each extra inning with a runner on second base.
With that in mind, had Moreland made the last out of the ninth inning, he would have hat to been that runner at second base to begin things in the bottom half of the tenth.
Fortunately for Moreland, who has a history of leg issues, and the Red Sox, that scenario never played out in real time, but the first baseman still joked about it during his postgame media availability on Sunday.
“I got a good pep talk from (Roenicke) right before I went up there,” said Moreland. “He said if I made the last out that I had to be the base runner the next inning at second. I knew I needed to make something happen.”
Indeed, the 2018 American League All-Star made something happen, as he launched his team-leading sixth home run in a crucial moment to close out the weekend and give the Red Sox their sixth win of the 2020 season.