Big League Stew

The Juice: Dustin Pedroia’s defense helps Red Sox beat Rays in 14-inning grudge match

David Brown
Big League Stew

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Comebacks, meltdowns, bench-clearing shenanigans, unreal defense. This one had it all in a 10-8 victory in 14 innings for the Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay that lasted 5 hours, 24 minutes Monday night. Daniel Nava's single put Boston ahead finally, and the Red Sox did not allow the Rays to come back for a third time.

Pedey's D: The Red Sox wouldn't have been in position to put the Rays away if Dustin Pedroia hadn't made two great defensive plays — one in the eighth inning on a pop-up everyone else on Boston's infield lost in the Tropicana roof, and another by contorting himself on a drag bunt in the 10th. Both plays came with two outs and, both times, a Rays runner came perilously close to scoring.

Pedroia also started a 4-6-3 double play that ended the game. Boston had blown a six-run lead in the first and a two-run lead in the 10th and lived to talk about it. The screen cap below by @RaysIndex leaves little doubt that the Rays would have scored the go-ahead run in the eighth had Pedroia failed to come up with the pop-up:

Baseball fight! Of course, the detail people were talking about afterward seemed to be John Lackey hitting Matt Joyce in the shoulder with a pitch in the sixth. Benches cleared, but no punches (or even shoves of any consequence) were thrown. You know, a typical baseball fight. This was no Gerald Williams vs. Pedro Martinez in 2000, or James Shields vs. Coco Crisp back in '08.

HBP, take your base: These two teams don't like each other! It's easy to see how the Rays would think was throwing intentionally at Joyce. Lackey, who claimed innocence, doesn't always do the right thing out there. But the HBP also brought the tying run to the plate, so I wonder if Joyce should have just kept walking to first base without jawing. Just take the base, if the guy was giving it to you.

MORE SCORES

Diamondbacks 5, Dodgers 4: Never mind the blown save by Brandon League, or the great defense by Gerardo Parra. How did Yasiel Puig do at cleanup? He went 3 for 4 with a strikeout and a baserunning TOOTBLAN, thanks to Parra's arm in right field.

White Sox 10, Blue Jays 6: Slugger Adam Dunn went deep twice for the Sox, and Jose Bautista did the same for the Jays. We think, anyway. Hard to tell with all of the fog covering U.S. Cellular Field.

Reds 6, Cubs 2: Fog happened uptown at Wrigley Field, too, but Brandon Phillips cares not: He drove in all six runs, including four on a grand slam you can barely make out visually.

Padres 7, Braves 6: Two home runs for Jason Heyward, and Logan Forsythe went deep in his first plate appearance of the season for San Diego. The ninth was a little dicey without Huston Street but, no problem, Dale Thayer's got this.

Royals 3, Tigers 2: That's six in a row for K.C., though there was some tension with Miguel Cabrera batting against Aaron Crow in the seventh.

Orioles 4, Angels 3: Instead of fog like in Chicago, there was rain at Camden Yards. Lots and lots of rain, causing a 2 hour, 23 minute delay immediately after Baltimore had taken a two-run lead in the sixth. They only played 2 hours, 14 minutes of actual baseball.

Brewers 6, Marlins 1: If Ryan Braun misses a game because of a bum thumb, this would be the game, especially with Yovani Gallardo getting back on the schneid. Also: Giancarlo Stanton went 1 for 4 with a strikeout.

Rangers 6, Indians 3: The Tribe has lost eight straight. Quite streaky.

Mariners 3, Astros 2: The man with the second-lowest ERA in the AL: Hisashi Iwakuma.

''Work hard and grind because there isn't a magic potion. There might be, but you can go to jail. We're going to find out a lot about ourselves right now.''

— Terry Francona, Indians manager

• The Brewers pounded a season-high 16 hits with Braun sitting out.

• The Royals are 7-2 with a 1.44 ERA in June.

• The Indians have lost 12 straight road games.

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Related coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
Taking stock of the MLB free-agent class
Dodger rookie wins NL Player of the Week seven days into career
Dustin Pedroia helps Red Sox beat Rays in 14-inning grudge match

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