Jonny Gomes punts helmet after rounding third during walk-off homer trot (video)
A marathon of a day at the ballpark for a doubleheader that was lengthened by a nearly three-hour rain delay during the first game finished in dramatic fashion in the second game as Boston Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes wrapped up a day-night doubleheader sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays with a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth in a thrilling 3-1 win.
Winning 5-1 in the day-half side of the doubleheader, Gomes put an exclamation point on the day during his walk-off home run trot by booting his batting helmet into the air after rounding third base before he was mobbed by teammates at home plate.
Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey set the stage for the dramatics by allowing a game-tying homer to Kelly Johnson in the ninth. Then, with no out and one on courtesy of Daniel Nava drawing a walk to open up the bottom-half of the inning, Gomes uncorked on a pitch, sending the ball down the left field line and depositing it over the Green Monster (video via MLB.com):
Said Gomes following his walk-off-winning bomb, Boston’s sixth walk-off win of the season: “I guess bottom nine, no one out, leadoff walk, possible bunt situation, he picked over maybe seeing if I would square around to bunt, so I thought bunt was in their mind.”
And on his improvisational boot of his batting helmet, Gomes said: “Just kind of witty there at the end,” adding, “Walk-off home runs, I think anything can come in play.”