Dustin Pedroia gave the Boston Red Sox the tie breaker they needed to beat the Colorado Rockies in extra innings Thursday. The second baseman stepped up to the plate in the top of the 10th inning to give the Red Sox a 13-11 win.
Finishing the night 5-5 from the plate, Pedrioa was hitting the ball all over the park, but mostly in the stands. He belted three homers off Rockies pitchers. The homerun barrage started in the fourth inning off of starter Jason Hammel, continued in the eighth off reliever Rafael Betancourt, and ended with his two-run shot off of closer Houston Street.
“That was a crazy game,” said Pedroia, who tied his career high RBIs in a game with five. “It was mentally draining. I’m just happy we won.”
It was the first three homerun game for Pedrioa at any level of competition in his career. After the game he reflected on his game-winning hit.
“In the thin air, I was hoping it would get in the first or second row,” said Pedroia. “I didn’t see where it went. I just saw the left fielder put his head down. I’m like, ‘That’s awesome.”
Hammel came into the month of June with a 0.31 ERA. That number has been elevated by a little more than a run since, moving to 1.35 after Thursday’s loss. He had a 28 1/3 innings scoreless inning streak going into the fourth inning, but a four-run rally put that to an end.
The Rockies had stifled Pedroia in the first two games of the series, which they won 2-1, 8-6. After the game, Hammel lamented letting Pedrioa get the best of him.
“We did a good job of actually keeping Pedroia off the board — until tonight,” Hammel said. “He went off.”
The rematch of the 2007 World Series saw some familiar faces suffer poor efforts. Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon gave up the lead for the second straight night, but his team was able to bail him out on this occasion. Though he blew the save, Papelbon stayed on to earn the win.
The Rockies almost got a walk-off homerun of their own when Seth Smith came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth. He hit a drive to the deepest part of Coors Field where Darnell McDonald tracked it into his glove with his back against the wall. After the game, Rockies manager Jim Tracy talked about Smith’s near winner.
“A shoulder width’s length to the right off the bat of Seth Smith and we win the game,” Tracy said.
MLB sportsbooks have set the Red Sox as the underdog in their next game against the San Francisco Giants at +110 behind starter Tim Wakefield. The Rockies will meet the Los Angeles Angels in their next game and are also set as underdogs at +140.