Hernandez plays the hero: When Alex Cora sent Marco Hernandez to the plate in the ninth inning, with the bases empty and one out in a tie game, it seemed an act of desperation. In having Hernandez hit for catcher Sandy Leon, the Sox were forfeiting their DH spot, since Christian Vazquez, who served as the DH, would have to switch to behind the plate in the bottom of the ninth -- and beyond if the game went extra innings. But a few pitches later, the move looked like a stroke of genius when Hernandez swung at a fastball low and away from Toronto closer KenGiles and drove it just over the fence in left, giving the Red Sox a one-run lead that went on to protect. For Hernandez, it was his third pinch-hit appearance this season -- in those three at-bats, he has two doubles and a homer. And Thursday night marked his second ninth-inning homer in a big spot for the Sox. Last month, he hit a game-tying homer in the top of the ninth to tie a game in Baltimore and force extra innings. The Sox went on to win that one, too. "I'm not playing very much right now,'' said Hernandez, "but I try to stay positive and try to stay ready the whole game.''