Dustin Pedroia did it all Monday night for the Boston Red Sox, and if you ask his manager, it might have been one of the second baseman’s best games in a Red Sox uniform.
Pedroia went 3-for-5 with four RBI in the Boston’s 7-5 extra-inning win over the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park, while making multiple key defensive plays behind the Red Sox’s pitching staff.
He got his night started with a two-run single in the second inning to give Boston its first lead. Then in the sixth inning, Pedroia came to plate with the game tied and bases loaded with two outs against Rangers reliever Tony Barnette. After a wild pitch scored a run to give Boston the lead, Pedroia shot a two-run single into right-center field to extend the Sox’s lead to three.
While the four RBIs might lead the conversation, Pedroia saved the game in the ninth inning with a once-in-a-lifetime defensive play.
After closer Craig Kimbrel gave up a game-tying home run to Mike Napoli, Carlos Gomez hit a dribbler to Deven Marrero. The third baseman gathered the ball with his bare hand but fired it wide of first baseman Mitch Moreland. Gomez turned to head for second as the ball appeared to be headed down the right field line. The ball caromed off the brick wall toward Pedroia, however, and that’s when the second baseman did the improbable.
Pedroia laid out to grab the ball with his bare hand and threw a strike to Moreland, who tagged out Gomez, who was trying to scamper back to first base.
Take a look at the unbelievable play by Pedroia:
The second baseman two other fantastic plays in the 10th inning to keep the Rangers off the basepaths and set the stage for Andrew Benintendi’s game-winning two-run single in the 11th.
“Pedey had such a tremendous night,” Boston manager John Farrell said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “He’s had a lot of great seasons here, a lot of great games, but tonight might be one of the better games he’s played in a Red Sox uniform. He was the right man in the right spot at the plate, he was everywhere defensively.”
As for the spectacular defensive play, it was just business as usual for Pedroia.
“That’s kind of my job to back up the throw, I’ve been doing it for 11 years,” Pedroia told NESN’s Guerin Austin after the game. “And probably three times I’ve had to make a play on a ball. It’s just something us as infielders take pride in is backing up bases, picking each other up. It’s all of our jobs to be in the right position to make a play, and luckily the ball bounced right to me and I was able to get the ball to Mitch.”
Here are more notes from Red Sox vs. Rangers:
— Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will make a rehab start Tuesday for Triple-A Pawtucket. Barring any setbacks, he’ll rejoin the team in Tampa Bay, where the Red Sox will finish out the first half of the season with a four-game series against the Rays. Farrell told the media the Red Sox will either give Rodriguez another rehab start or activate him and let him pitch out of the bullpen over the weekend against the Rays.
— The Red Sox signed 16-year old Venezuelan shortstop Danny Diaz to a $1.6 million contract Monday.
— Star prospect Rafael Devers launched his 18th home run of the year Monday, and it went a really long way.
Thumbnail photo via Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports Images