"Necessary, very necessary," Bogaerts sighed.
The degree of difficulty in the victory turned out to be much greater than expected. The Red Sox were thrown to starter Germán Márquez for an early lead of five runs. Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez connected hits to open the first road to a 2-0 lead.
The same trio again threw back-to-back-to-back hits in a third of three races, with Benintendi hitting a triple to the center, Betts moved a single RBI to the right and Martinez crushed a bullpen in the bullpen by two . runs a homer that put the Red Sox ahead, 5-0. Martinez now has five homers in his last seven games and nine round trips in the year.
"He's getting pitches in his area, and he does not miss them," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "It's amazing what he does every night, I bet when you come here, you do not want that guy to beat you, but at the same time you still have to throw him, and when he gets his pitches, he's not losing them lately."
That early outburst seemed to be full with Eduardo Rodriguez, increasingly stable, carving the strike zone with fast four-and-two-seam balls, a strenuous change, a slider that baffled left-handers and an unpleasant cutter. Throughout six innings, he had allowed only two runs and seven hits (without home runs) and one base on balls while striking out 10.
However, with the number of left-footed shots in 99 and the Sox still leading, 5-2, Cora chose Rodriguez to return for the seventh. The decision quickly failed when three straight left-handers arrived: Ryan McMahon with a single, Tony Wolters with a double, and Charlie Blackmon being caught by a fastball, to load the bases.
Firefighter Matt Barnes was called in to try to preserve the increasingly unstable 5-2 lead. Instead, the right allowed the three inherited runners to score, delivering a two-run single to Trevor Story and, after a punch by Nolan Arenado, an RBI joined to hit batter Daniel Murphy.
Although Marcus Walden came in to attack Raimel Tapia and finish the inning, the Rockies, for the second night in a row, came back to erase what seemed like an insuperable initial deficit. Barnes was charged with his third flying save of the year, which made him one of seven pitchers who abandoned that many potential customers this season.
Meanwhile, in spite of his dominance during most of the night, Rodriguez had to carry with a little impressive, though deceptive, a line of five runs allowed in more than six innings on nine hits.
"You look at the line and it looks ugly, but he released a lot better than that," Cora said.
Still, Rodriguez left with a decision not only because of the last allowed runs, but also because Marquez was established after allowing Martinez's home run. The right-wing bomber withdrew 11 of the next 12 batters he faced and finally worked in the seventh.
His recovery, in turn, left the contest in the hands of the bullpens. While the Rockies mingled and combined their way throughout the rest of the game, the Red Sox turned to Walden, who was remarkably reliable, who delivered 2⅓
Perfect entries while striking out four. The appearance was his eighth in at least two innings, with the biggest draw in relief of that length in baseball this year.
His impressive arsenal (fast four ball and two mid 90's seams, low cutter of the 90's and sharp slider) has helped the rookie produce a brilliant 1.46 ERA while keeping opponents at a .140 average.
"His things are playing very well at this level right now," Cora said. "He gave us more than enough to have the chance to win."
Walden led the game to extra innings, where Heath Hembree (double, walk, two outs) and Brandon Workman (David Dahl's punch) delivered a scoreless tenth to position the Sox for their second walkoff of the year, with Chavis delivering the hit final .
"I turned around, I was approached by Mookie, I gave him a hug, that was great, honestly, I'm a great hugger," Chavis said. "That's what all children dream, honestly."
For all the Red Sox, dreams are likely to be a little sweeter as they enter the day of rest, given a victory that offered some relief.
"We have a happy holiday," said Cora. "Yesterday was disappointing and today it tasted the same for a while. But we ended up winning and now we enjoy the day in the morning and [will] get ready for Friday. "