ANAHEIM, Calif — J.D. Drew walked and took third on Dustin Pedroia’s single in the top of the 11th inning tonight. As Adrian Gonzalez came to the plate, the Red Sox were 7 of 42 with a runner on third and less than two outs this season.
The first pitch Gonzalez saw was a cutter inside. He roped into right field for a double and the Red Sox were on their way to a 4-2 victory.
“We’ll take anything,” Terry Francona said. “We had a few opportunities. We’ve not been doing very well with a runner on third with less than two outs. That’s an understatement.”
The Sox were 2 for 18 with runners in scoring position overall tonight and are 32 of 168 (.190) this season. Francona feels that the hitters are collectively chasing some bad pitches and not going deep into at-bats.
“I do think think they even out and I can’t wait,” he said. “We get opportunities and we’ll cash in.”
Said Gonzalez: “I’ll take 15 runners stranded with a W.”
A few other comments from the clubhouse:
Francona on Josh Beckett: “Again, he was tremendous.”
Francona on Beckett throwing 125 pitches: “I thought he was still throwing the ball pretty well. I didn’t really see a reason to take him out.” Beckett also will get an extra day of rest with the day off coming up on Monday.
Beckett on his performance (8 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR): “I felt like I made pitches when I needed to except for one. The one pitch Torii (Hunter) hit wasn’t the worst that inning.”
Beckett on throwing 125 pitches: “I don’t that’s ever usual. But, you know what, I felt good. He believed in me. That’s all I can ask for.”
Beckett on the Sox getting Erick Aybar at third in the 8th inning: “That’s an exciting play. They always talk about how exciting a triple is. It’s pretty exciting to see somebody thrown out at third as well.”
Pedroia on making that throw from shallow right field to get Aybar: “That’s why in spring training I don’t screw around with that. I always try and get my legs underneath me. I don’t ever go 50 percent in those drills. It’s going to come down to three or four games a year where we make a good throw, we win. Tonight it was one of those games. Practice pays off.”
Jason Varitek on being 1 for 23 at the plate: “Oh, I’m freaking locked in. … Fortunately I can us win in other ways right now. It can’t get much worse. I don’t mean that in a funny way. It can’t. I’ve never hit this bad. I need to use my eyes a little better.”
Notes: X-rays on Kevin Youkilis’ left shin were negative. He is sore and will be evaluated tomorrow. In case you’re wondering, Mike Cameron is the emergency infielder. He can play third base, he said. … Pedroia was 3 or 4 with a run scored, two walks and a terrific throw to get Aybar. That all despite jamming his surgically repaired left foot when he stole second base in the third inning. Pedroia said his leg felt numb for a few minutes but the feeling went away. … Jed Lowrie fouled off four straight two-strike pitches before his sacrifice fly in the 11th inning that made it 4-2. Jed Williams was 1 for 5 tonight with one RBI. That’s 12 RBIs for him this season, the most on the team.