Pedroia’s 11th-inning single delivers 6-5 win for Red Sox
BOSTON — It is hard to believe.
Until Monday night, Dustin Pedroia, a former American League MVP and Rookie of the Year, a guy with 1,737 hits and 685 RBIs, had produced exactly one walk-off hit in a major league career that began in 2006.
Now, it’s two.
“It feels good. I guess I hit most of my homers on the road,” Pedroia said after his 11th-inning single scored pinch runner Deven Marrero from second base and gave the Boston Red Sox, twice behind in the game, a 6-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
It was way back on June 19, 2010, against the Los Angeles Dodgers, when Pedroia delivered a walk-off hit, that one also a single.
“Very surprising, considering the number of games he’s played here, how good a hitter he is,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after his team came back from 4-0 and 5-4 deficits to hand the last-place Phillies their sixth straight loss. “I wouldn’t have known that, given his career here in Boston.”
Pedroia, who had two hits and two RBIs, almost ended things in the ninth when he ripped a vicious line drive off the top of the Green Monster — for a single.
“Sometimes the wall gives you some hits and takes away a home run,” he said. “That’s a part of it. It’s happened before.”
Pablo Sandoval, who didn’t start the game, led off the 11th with a single off Casey Fien (0-1), and Marrero ran for him. Sandy Leon sacrificed Marrero to second, and Mookie Betts (four hits, two great defensive plays) was walked intentionally, setting up the winning hit.
The Boston win came in the first of four straight interleague games between the teams in two cities.
Matt Barnes (5-2) struck out five in two scoreless innings to get the win for Boston (35-28). Fien worked 2 1/3 innings.
Boston’s Hanley Ramirez tied the score with a two-out solo home run off Joaquin Benoit in the eighth inning, taking the struggling Rick Porcello off the hook and denying Jerad Eickhoff his first win since Sept. 21.
“It was tough,” said Eickhoff, who has seven losses this season. He allowed four runs, three earned, in six innings. “These guys did a really good job of getting us out to a good lead, and I was just trying to keep us in the game the best I could.”
Porcello, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, is 3-8 with a 4.67 ERA. Last year on the same date, he was 7-2 with a 3.81 ERA.
Porcello has allowed a major-league-high 114 hits (compared with 72 at this point last season). He gave up four runs in the first inning and another in the sixth. He yielded 10 hits and a walk with four strikeouts in six innings.
“He’s not all the way there yet, obviously with the number of hits he surrendered here tonight,” said Farrell. “But while he’s working at it to get back to being a little bit more refined, we picked him up offensively here tonight.”
Andrew Benintendi hit a solo homer and stroked an RBI single his first two times up for the Red Sox. He finished 3-for-5.
Philadelphia’s Howie Kendrick had three hits, went 3-for-4 on stolen-base attempts and committed two errors. Former Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava also had three hits, and Tommy Joseph had a two-run single for the last-place Phillies (21-41). Nava also made a nifty play, turning a foul fly into a double play to kill a threat in the 10th.
“You can’t say enough about how we played these guys in Boston,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “We played them tough, had chances to win, came out swinging early, couldn’t add on.”
Said Farrell: “Tonight’s a big team win. So many guys chipping in, from a big night from Mookie at the top of the order, two critical and crucial innings by Matt Barnes after he’s been worked fairly heavy of late; Panda (Sandoval) with a key base hit to lead off the final inning; Mitch (Moreland, two hits) once again with some big hits, Benny (Benintendi) jumps back in after a day off, swung the bat very well — you could check the box on a number of guys so this is very much a team win here tonight.”
NOTES: Red Sox first base coach Ruben Amaro Jr., a former Philadelphia GM, greeted each player he knew as the team stretched before the game, receiving hugs from several of them. He also met with the Phillies media. ... Red Sox TV analyst Jerry Remy revealed he is battling cancer for the fifth time. He met with the media before the game. ... The Phillies came to town having gone 1-11-2 in their last 14 series against the Red Sox. ... Red Sox LHP David Price pitches at home for the first time since last week’s obscenity-laced tirade aimed at the media in New York when he faces rookie RH Ben Lively in Game 2 of the four straight games between the teams Tuesday night. Both pitchers are 1-1 in two major league starts this season.