BOSTON -- Takeaways from the Fens, where after being ranked somewhere between God and Derek Jeter by Mariano Rivera in the former Yankee closer’s new book, you just knew Dustin Pedroia would have a good night.
But it was a better one for Grady Sizemore, whose 12th-inning single off the base of the left-center field wall was his first walk-off hit since Aug. 11, 2006.
The result: The Red Sox beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 in 12 innings, keeping the Reds winless here since Game 7 of the 1975 World Series. The Sox swept three from the Reds in their previous visit, in 2005, and have not trailed the Reds here since Joe Morgan’s two-strike single off Jim Burton in Game 7.
Peerless Pedroia: Pedroia drew a four-pitch walk and scored Boston’s first run in the first inning, doubled to set up the team’s second run and scored the third in the third inning, and started a double play with a sprawling stop and scoop throw with his glove to end a Reds threat in the sixth. He also lined an 0-and-2 pitch to right for an opposite-field single in the ninth. But before the storyline became too cloying, he was erased attempting to steal by Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart.
With another chance in the 11th, Pedroia delivered again, lining a double into the right-field corner off reliever Logan Ondrusek with two out. But Shane Victorino hit a comebacker to the mound, sending the game to the 12th. At that point, the Sox were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Close was in the cards: The Reds came into the game having lost nine games by one run, most in the majors. The Sox had lost eight, tied with the Pirates. Overall, the Reds were 5-9 in one-run games, the Sox 3-8 entering Tuesday night’s game.
Doubront was ... OK: The Sox left-hander started strong, striking out the first two hitters, pitched out of a jam in the second with the help of a nice play by third baseman Will Middlebrooks, left a couple on by striking out Neftali Soto with a full-count changeup in the fourth, then left with one out in the sixth after walking two sandwiched around a fly ball. By then, he’d thrown 97 pitches, but despite a yield of five hits and three walks, was charged with just one run. He struck out three and left with a two-run lead, but it was only intermittently comfortable.
The Badenhop boogie: Burke Badenhop replaced Doubront and with one pitch extracted him from his two-on jam, inducing a ground ball from Skip Schumaker that was snatched up by Pedroia and converted into an inning-ending double play. With Middlebrooks making a terrific backhanded stop and throw on the run to nail Zack Cozart for the first out of the seventh, Badenhop breezed through a 1-2-3 inning and now has pitched 11 consecutive scoreless innings.
Reds-ma-Taz: The Reds tied the score in the eighth against Junichi Tazawa, who walked Joey Votto with one out in the eighth, gave up a double to Brandon Phillips, an RBI single to Todd Frazier and a sacrifice fly by Ryan Ludwick.
Close call for Koji: Sox closer Koji Uehara, who had given up two home runs in the past 11 days, one to Jose Bautista a week ago Saturday and another to Yunel Escobar on Thursday, looked for a moment like he’d been nailed again when Barnhart launched a towering drive to right. But the ball died a couple of feet short of the seats, Victorino making the catch a foot or two in front of the wall, and Uehara induced Votto to pop out with two on to end the ninth.
Triple Bogie: Tough night for rookie Xander Bogaerts, who struck out three times while going 0-for-5, leaving six men on base. The last four hitters in the Sox order -- Bogaerts, A.J. Pierzynski, Middlebrooks and Jackie Bradley Jr. -- combined to go 1-for-19, with JBJ’s single and base on balls the only times any of the four reached safely.