Red Sox’ Mitch Moreland Received Extra Motivation From Ron Roenicke Prior to Walking off Blue Jays on Sunday

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.

β€œI got a good pep talk from (Roenicke) right before I went up there,” said Moreland. β€œHe 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.

On This Day in Red Sox History: Bobby Doerr Walks It off in First Televised Game at Fenway Park

On this day in 1948, the Red Sox played their first televised game at Fenway Park.

According to author Ed Walton, WBZ-TV, which was affiliated with NBC at the time, “tried out [experimental] cameras for the first time at Fenway” on that day with “few homes equipped yet with the expensive [television] sets.

There were two cameras used at Fenway, per TSN, and each was worth around $10,000. One camera was pointed towards the infield from behind home plate, while the other was pointed in the same direction from along the first base line.

The Red Sox, entering that Wednesday with a record of 8-11 on the young season, were playing host to the even worse-off White Sox in front of slightly over 8,200 spectators at America’s Most Beloved Ballpark. I’m not sure how many were watching from home, but based off what Walton stated above, I’d say not many.

Nine full innings was not enough to decide this particular contest, as both sides headed to extras knotted up at three runs a piece.

That stalemate would not last long though, with Chicago jumping out to a 5-3 advantage on a two-out, two-run double off the bat of Bob Kennedy before Sox right-hander Cot Deal relieved Denny Galehouse and escaped the top half of the 10th without giving anything else up.

Down to their final three outs and at risk of falling to 8-12 on the year, Ted Williams got things started in his side’s half of the 10th by drawing a leadoff walk off White Sox reliever Earl Harrist.

The Splendid Splinter advanced all the way to third on a one-out single courtesy of Wally Moses, and just like that, the winning run came to the plate in the form of franchise legend Bobby Doerr.

Coming into that at-bat, Doerr was a lifetime .250 hitter (1-for-4) against Harrist, with that one hit being a triple.

This time around though, Doerr made sure to touch all the bases, as he took the White Sox right-hander deep to left for a three-run home run, plating Williams, Moses, and himself on his third home run of the season.

The walkoff blast improved the Sox’ record on the year to 9-11, and they would go on to have an exceptional season.

Although it’s not clear how well this game went in terms of television ratings or anything, WBZ-TV (Channel 4) and WNAC-TV (Channel 7) did begin regularly broadcasting both Boston Braves and Red Sox games beginning that June.