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SAN FRANCISCO — Brayan Villarreal was called up from Triple A Pawtucket on Monday to join the Red Sox. Few noticed because the Sox also promoted hot prospect Xander Bogaerts that day.
Villarreal was given his first chance in the ninth inning on Tuesday night, coming in with the bases loaded and two outs of a tie game against the San Francisco Giants.
Four wayward pitches later, the game was over as he walked Marco Scutaro to force in the winning run.
With Tampa Bay beating Baltimore, 7-4, the Sox have fallen into second place for the first time since July 30. They are percentage points behind the Rays.
The Sox have lost five of their last seven games and eight of the last 11. They have not won consecutive games since Aug. 6-7 at Houston.