BOSTON -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; There was simply nothing else Jered Weaver could do. Slider,changeup, fastball, cutter; he just couldnt get anything by Dustin Pedroia inthe bottom of the fifth inning on Monday night at Fenway Park.
It was the type of at-bat that signified everything thefeisty second baseman is all about. Pedroia was downright ruthless.
With runners on second and third and two outs in a gamewhich the Red Sox were trailing the Los Angeles Angels, 2-1, Pedroia and Weaver battled for nearly 10 minutes in a 13-pitch at-bat that ended when the Sox second baseman ripped a fastball up themiddle, scoring Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury and giving the Red Sox a 3-2 lead.
Needless to say, it was a game-changer.
He has a way of doing that, said manager TerryFrancona of Pedroia after Bostons 9-5 win over Los Angeles on Monday night. He fights,he doesnt give in. Not just at the plate. On the bases, in the field.
He plays the game. Hes a ballplayer.
Pedroia ran up the first-base line wearing his emotions onhis sleeve. Not just because he won a hard-fought battle, but because it came against one of the best pitchers in the league. Weaver entered the game with a 6-0 record and an ERA of 0.99.
To be honest with you, man, I was just trying to put theball in play, said Pedroia. Immean, Jereds tough, man. I faced him a lot in college and my first few yearsin the big leagues, and it doesnt get any better than him.
I havent won too many of those, but it was nice to drivein a couple, and kind of get everything going.
Pedroia started the fifth inning with some clutch glove workas well, after the Angels had loaded the bases with one out.
With the game tied at 1-1, Bobby Abreu hit a ball up themiddle that changed directions as it glanced off pitcher Clay Buchholz and then off the side of the mound.Pedroia, who was racing to his right, had to stop his momentum and make an awkward cross-body stab at the ball, which was now on his left.
Pedroia somehow wasable to snare the ball and make the flip to second base for thesecond out.
The Angels scored their second run of the game on the play, taking a 2-1 lead. But if Pedroia didnt make that play, the ball would have gone into short right field, two runs would have scored, and there would have beenrunners on the corners with only one out.
The Red Sox got out of theinning trailing by one, 2-1.
I was just trying to keep it in the infield, and it hitBuchholz glove, and I was just trying to knock it down and get an out, saidPedroia after the game.
He got the out, and then carried it over to his offense inthe bottom of the fifth, changing the momentum on Monday night.
It was a phenomenal at-bat, said Red Sox catcher JasonVaritek. It gave us the lead. Hes up there battling, doing what he does, andbattling. And thats what this team is built on.
With a guy like Weaver, were all battling, saidPedroia. Its not like you look at the lineup, and see hes pitching, andeveryones lining up at the bat-rack. We know its going to be a grind. We hadsome good at-bats. He still pitched his butt off, and we were a few runsbetter.
Danny Picard is onTwitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.