BOSTON Carlton Fisk cleared the Green Monster to beat the Cincinnati Reds.
All Grady Sizemore had to do was hit it.
The Red Sox outfielder lined one off the bottom of Fenway Park’s left-field Wall to drive in the winning run on Tuesday night and Boston beat Cincinnati 4-3 in 12 innings – the longest game between the teams since Fisk’s historic homer in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.
“It will never get old to walk off,” said Sizemore, who had three hits in the game. “I was just glad I could come through.”
An All-Star with the Cleveland Indians, Sizemore missed all of the last two seasons while recovering from back surgery. The Red Sox brought him in as an extra outfielder, knowing the low risk would pay off big if he returned to the form that earned him MVP votes from 2005-08.
“I’ve got to believe that tonight gives him even further feeling like he’s contributing here rather than being someone coming back from an injury,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Nights like tonight go a long way and continue to rebuild Grady.”
Sizemore singled in a run in the third and had another base hit in the eighth, then came up with nobody out in the 12th after David Ortiz and Mike Napoli had already singled off Logan Ondrusek (0-2). He hit the first pitch to left-center, and the outfielders didn’t even bother picking it up as Ortiz scored easily.
Craig Breslow (1-0) pitched one inning of scoreless relief for the victory. Boston beat Cincinnati for the sixth time in seven games since the Reds rebounded from the Fisk homer to win Game 7 of the ’75 Series to take the title. The teams also met for interleague series in 2005 and `08.
Dustin Pedroia had three hits, including two doubles, as the Red Sox won for the third time in four games. Napoli drove in a pair of runs as the Red Sox opened a 3-1 lead only to see Junichi Tazawa give it up in the eighth.
“We finally got something going a little late,” Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick said. “Any time you lose a game, you think about missed opportunities.”
Red Sox starter Felix Doubront allowed one run on five hits, but he walked two batters in the sixth before leaving with one out and a 3-1 lead. Burke Badenhop threw one pitch to Skip Schumaker to get an inning-ending play.
It was still 3-1 in the eighth when Joey Votto drew a one-out walk and Brandon Phillips doubled to put runners on second and third. Todd Frazier singled in one run, and Ryan Ludwick tied it 3-all with a sacrifice fly.