The Red Sox are no strangers to postseason drama. In honor of David Ortiz’s eighth-inning grand slam and Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s walk-off hit, we present this list of some of the more memorable comebacks in Sox playoff history (listed in chronological order). It will come as no surprise that Ortiz is a big part of five of them:
• Game 6 of 1975 World Series vs. Reds -- Oct. 21, 1975: Bernie Carbo gets pinch hit 2-out, 3-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie Game 6 at 6-6. Carlton Fisk led off the bottom of the 12th inning with his memorable walk-off home run.
• Game 5 of 1986 ALCS at Angels -- Oct. 12, 1986: Trailing 5-2 in the top of the ninth inning and facing elimination, Don Baylor hit a 2-run homer with 1 out to draw the Red Sox to within 1 run. With 2 outs, Dave Henderson hits a 2-2 pitch for a go-ahead 2-run homer. The Angels scored in the bottom of the ninth, and Henderson hit a sac fly in the 11th inning to give the Red Sox the win.
• Game 5 of 1999 ALDS at Indians -- Oct. 11, 1999: In a game remembered for Pedro Martinez’s 6 innings of no-hit relief, the Red Sox trailed 5-2 after 2 innings but Troy O’Leary hit a grand slam in the third inning and tied the game 7-7. The Indians took the lead right back in the bottom of the third. After the game was tied in the fourth inning, O’Leary hit a 3-run homer in the seventh inning that would prove to be the series-clinching hit.
• Game 4 of 2003 ALDS vs. Athletics -- Oct. 5, 2003: Facing elimination at home in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Red Sox were down 4-3. Nomar Garciaparra had a 1-out double and after a Todd Walker flyout, Manny Ramirez singled to make it first and third with 2 outs. David Ortiz followed with a 2-run double off Keith Foulke to give the Red Sox a 5-4 lead, and that would be the eventual final score.
• Game 4 of 2004 ALCS vs. Yankees -- Oct. 17, 2004: Trailing 3-0 in the series against the Yankees and 4-3 entering the bottom of the ninth, Dave Roberts famously steals second base and is driven in by Bill Mueller to tie the game. The game carries to the 12th inning, when Ortiz hits a 2-run walk-off homer to stave off elimination.
• Game 5 of 2004 ALCS vs. Yankees -- Oct. 18, 2004: Less than 24 hours later, the Red Sox faced elimination again, trailing 4-2 in the eighth inning. Ortiz led off the inning with a homer, and Jason Varitek hit a sac fly to the game. The game would go to the 14th inning, when Ortiz once again played hero, getting a walk-off single with 2 outs.
• Game 5 of 2008 ALCS vs. Rays -- Oct. 16, 2008: Facing elimination and trailing 7-0 entering the seventh-inning stretch, the Red Sox mounted a rally against the Rays. Ortiz hit a 3-run homer in the seventh to cut the lead to 7-4. After hitting an eighth-inning homer to draw the Red Sox to within 1 run, J.D. Drew had the walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth for the 8-7 win.
• Game 2 of 2013 ALCS vs. Tigers -- Oct. 13, 2013: After trailing 5-0, the Red Sox scored in the sixth but still trailed by 4 when David Ortiz hit a 2-out grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the game. Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in the winning run with a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning -- the first postseason walk-off hit by a Red Sox catcher since Carlton Fisk’s homer in 1975.