ST. LOUIS, MO (MyFoxBoston.com) -- For Jonny Gomes, playing Major League Baseball has been all about fighting for opportunities.
The Red Sox outfielder seized a major opportunity Sunday, due in-part to Shane Victorino's aching back. Gomes hit a three-run homer off reliever Seth Maness in the sixth inning to lead Boston to a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 of the World Series.
During a post-game press conference, Gomes said he was inserted into the lineup about halfway through batting practice.
The 32-year-old told reporters after Sunday's win that he is stepping up whenever his number is called.
"The one thing I always wanted out of this game was the opportunity," said Gomes. "Whether that was a uniform, whether that was a pinch hit, whether that was get a start. I got the opportunity tonight and I was fortunate enough right there to put a good swing on a good pitch."
When asked about the emotions he felt after hitting a game winning home run in the World Series, Gomes was at a loss for words. He was quick, however, to share his success with those people and mentors who helped him throughout his career. Gomes said he is grateful for the work others have put into his career and that they deserve praise.
Gomes also helped get Boston started in the fifth inning Sunday, when he followed David Ortiz's leadoff double with a 10-pitch walk that tired starter Lance Lynn, who had faced the minimum 12 batters through the first four innings.
When asked about an in-game pep talk given by Ortiz, Gomes said the exact words would be kept in-house. However, the inspiration Ortiz instilled was evident through what Gomes said next.
"Anytime this guy steps in the box there's a presence. Anytime this guy puts a uniform on there's a presence, and if this guy wants to rally us together for a pep talk, it was like 24 kindergartners looking up at their teacher. I mean, he got everyone's attention and we looked him right in the eyes and that message was pretty powerful," Gomes explained.
The outfielder added that a moment held before the sixth inning had an emotional impact on him. Prior to the inning, the teams gathered on the field for Stand Up to Cancer. Gomes said there must have been some angels above the stadium.
Game five of the World Series begins at 8:07 p.m. Monday on FOX 25. Pre-game coverage begins during the FOX 25 News at 5 p.m.