OAKLAND -- In another game, under different circumstances, Dustin Pedroia probably wouldn't have tried to score from third base the way he did Saturday.
Pedroia was on third with Mike Napoli at the plate, when, on a 3-and-2 pitch, Oakland A's reliever Luke Gregerson bounced a pitch in the dirt. Catcher John Jaso kept the ball in front of him, but when it rolled to the lip of the infield grass, about seven or eight feet in front of the plate, Pedroia decided to go for it.
The Sox hadn't scored a run in the first seven innings, had scored only five runs in the first two games and hadn't scored more than three runs in any of the previous seven games.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
So off Pedroia went, racing for the plate as Jaso went to retrieve the ball, then come back to the plate to attempt to tag the on-rushing Pedroia.
But Pedroia slid to the third base side of the plate, narrowing avoiding Jaso's swipe tag, and the Red Sox had their first run of the game.
"We're just trying to score a run,'' recounted Pedroia after the Sox went on to lose, 2-1, in 10 innings. "Obviously, he's got a pretty good slider and I was just trying to read the ball in the dirt. I got a good jump and went for it.''
Pedroia acknowledged he took a risk he might not have tried if the Red Sox were scoring with any more frequency.
"It's definitely a little gamble,'' he said. "It all depends on the situation. Righties are hitting like .150 off (Gregerson), so obviously, it's a tough at-bat, so you've got to try to make things happen.''
Pedroia came out of the slide with enthusiasm, screaming in celebration in an effort to get his teammates fired up and put some momentum on the Sox' side.
It didn't work, ultimately.
"You've got to keep grinding,'' said Pedroia. "I think we're trying too hard. Sometimes, you've got to let the game come to you. You've got at-bats in big situations. Sometimes, they make pitches on you. But sometimes when you get pitches to hit, you're looking for their best location instead of just relaxing and putting a good at-bat together.''