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Dustin Pedroia's defense saves Red Sox, sends game to extras

Plenty of Monday's game was ugly, but Dustin Pedroia's defense shined.

Al Messerschmidt

Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox second baseman and high-quality defender, had two fine plays in the field in Monday night's game against the Rays. The first was just a heads-up sliding catch on a pop-up that none of the other infielders could get to:


The second, though... the Rays had tied the game in the ninth, 8-8, as Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey was not anywhere close to his best. Rays' outfielder Sam Fuld came in to pinch-hit after Evan Longoria hit into a double play for the first two outs of the inning. On the first pitch from Bailey, Fuld dropped a surprise bunt down the first base line in an attempt to drive in the winning run with a bunt single. Pedroia, surprised or not, pounced on the ball to end the inning and push the game into extras:


The Sox would end up winning after 14, and never would have had the chance if not for this play by Pedroia. Winning after 14 innings is ugly considering the Red Sox blew the lead twice, but that W is in the win column, any potential sweep by the Rays has been averted, and it puts one more game of distance between Tampa Bay and Boston.