For eight innings, the Red Sox had barely stirred at the plate. Until the ninth, in fact, the box score read like this: Mookie Betts 2-for-3; Everybody else in the Red Sox lineup: 0-for-22.
The wonder was that the Red Sox were still very much in the game, trailing the Minnesota Twins 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth. The Twins had just two hits, but took advantage of some wildness on the part of first, Nathan Eovaldi and later, Andrew Cashner, to push across two runs.
But the Sox had the top of their lineup due up, offering some hope. After Betts was retired on a soft liner to first, Xander Bogaerts flicked a slider from Sergio Romo into left field and the Sox had the potential tying run at the plate.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli went to lefty reliever Taylor Rogers, who got Devers to hit into a fielder's choice, with Bogaerts forced out at second.
That sent J.D. Martinez to the plate, who began the night with a .407 average and a 1.392 OPS against lefties. Sure enough Martinez drove a pitch to left. For a minute it seemed like Martinez had gotten enough of the ball to hit over the Wall, but instead it banged high off the wall.
That was perhaps the first sign that this was not going to be the Red Sox' night.