Jonny Gomes' defense -- no, really -- helps improbable Red Sox win

Jim Rogash

You don't think of defense when Jonny Gomes is mentioned, but he came up huge in the field on Thursday, twice.

Jonny Gomes is not known for his defense. And, given the way Thursday's Red Sox - Mariners game ended, with Boston scoring six runs in the bottom of the ninth to walk-off against Seattle for the second time in one day, the defensive contributions he was able to make can be easily forgotten amid the chaos.

So, here we are to remind you -- or let you know the first time, since there was little reason to watch the game until the bottom-half of the inning if you aren't a fan of these clubs -- that Gomes' glove played a vital role in Boston's eventual, improbable win over the M's.

First, a line drive single off of the wall in left in the top of the ninth gave Gomes an opportunity to nail the lead runner, Kendrys Morales, at a time the Mariners were already up by five:

Gomes-throw

It wasn't even close for Morales, since Gomes snatched the ball out of the air barehanded, and made a strong and accurate throw to third base. This first out would become even more important a couple of batters later, when the ball once again was lifted to Gomes in left:

Gomes-monster-smash

NESN announcer Don Orsillo exclaimed that Gomes, "shook up the standings" with that catch, and that turned out to be prescient: Gomes' two plays allowed the Red Sox to keep the lead at just five, and then they scored six in the bottom half of the frame, extending their lead over the second-place Rays to a full game, instead of the half-game that Gomes collided with.

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