Dustin Pedroia hit three home runs, including a tiebreaking shot off Huston Street in the 10th inning, and went 5 for 5 with five RBIs to lift the Boston Red Sox over the Colorado Rockies 13-11 in a wild game Thursday night that lasted nearly five hours.
Boston averted a three-game sweep in a rematch of the 2007 World Series and bailed out closer Jonathan Papelbon after he squandered a late lead at Coors Field for the second straight night.
“That was a crazy game,” Pedroia said. “It was mentally draining. I’m just happy we won.”
Marco Scutaro singled with one out in the 10th and Pedroia sent a shot into the left-field bleachers off Street (0-1), who just recently was activated after spending 2 1/2 months on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation and a strained left groin.
“I knew he got it good. It sounded good,” Street said.
Pedroia wasn’t so sure he got enough of Street’s hanging slider.
“I got it on the barrel and backspun it. In the thin air, I was hoping it would get in the first or second row,” said Pedroia, the 2008 AL MVP. “I didn’t see where it went. I just saw the left fielder put his head down. I’m like, ‘That’s awesome.'”
As the diminutive Pedroia made his way to the dugout afterward, David Ortiz greeted him with a big bear hug.
A well-earned one at that since this was Pedroia’s first three-homer game, including Little League, high school – anywhere.
“I’ve been feeling good at the plate lately, been seeing the ball good, hitting the ball all over the place,” Pedroia said. “When you feel good, the only thing is you’ve got to get a good pitch to hit. Tonight, I got good pitches to hit and I didn’t miss them.”
Despite blowing a save opportunity for the second consecutive game, Papelbon (3-4) picked up the win by pitching the final two innings.
Brad Hawpe tied it in the ninth with a two-run single off Papelbon, one night after the All-Star closer gave up a game-winning homer to pinch-hitter Jason Giambi.
Seth Smith nearly ended this one soon after, driving the ball to the deepest part of the park, where center fielder Darnell McDonald tracked it down with his back against the wall.
The teams combined to use 14 pitchers in a back-and-forth marathon that lasted 4 hours, 48 minutes and capped a dramatic series.
Giambi came through with a two-run shot Wednesday, his fifth career game-ending homer. On Tuesday, Rockies shortstop Clint Barmes made a diving stop on Mike Lowell’s hard-hit grounder deep in the hole, rolling over and firing to first to beat a hobbling Lowell for the final out of a 2-1 win.
Then there was this game, which featured 33 hits, including a season-high 18 by the Rockies.
Pedroia, who scored four times, had the first three-homer game of his career. He had a pair of two-run shots, a solo homer, a double, a single and a walk.
Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer and later added an RBI single in the seventh as Boston avoided a sweep at Coors Field, where the Red Sox celebrated their sweep of the 2007 World Series.
Leading 6-2 after a solid five-inning effort from starter Daisuke Matsuzaka in his return to the mound, Boston put the game in the hands of the bullpen.
Only the relievers couldn’t make it hold up as the Rockies rallied for six runs in the sixth to reclaim an 8-6 lead. Ian Stewart and Todd Helton each had a two-run single in an inning in which the Rockies sent 11 batters to the plate, including pinch-hitter Ryan Spilborghs twice.
Colorado’s bullpen didn’t fare much better, giving the lead right back. Jason Varitek had the big blow as he doubled to deep right off Manny Corpas, bringing in Ortiz and Beltre.
In the eighth, Daniel Nava reached base when a third strike bounded away from catcher Miguel Olivo after hitting the dirt. Pedroia followed with his second homer of the game.
The Rockies added a run in the bottom half when Giambi laced an RBI single to left-center. But with two on, Daniel Bard struck out pinch-hitter Melvin Mora to end the threat.
Matsuzaka was reinstated from the disabled list before the game after missing more than two weeks with a strained forearm.
After a shaky beginning, the right-hander settled in, giving up five hits and two runs. He also came through at the plate, driving in his first career run with a single in the fourth.
Matsuzaka was pulled after the fifth inning with his pitch count already at 105 and the Red Sox up by four.
The Red Sox roughed up Jason Hammel, who entered with a 0.31 ERA this month. That figure was quickly elevated to 1.35 with the help of Boston’s four-run rally in the fourth.
Hammel left a 92 mph fastball up in the zone to Pedroia and he crushed the pitch into the bleachers in left. The homer also snapped Hammel’s scoreless streak at 28 1-3 innings.
NOTES: It was the sixth three-homer game in the majors this season and first since Albert Pujols accomplished the feat May 30 at Chicago. … To make room for Matsuzaka on the roster, Boston placed Lowell on the DL with a right hip injury. … Rockies LHP Jorge De La Rosa (finger tendon) pitched four pain-free innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Colorado Springs on Wednesday. He threw between 65 and 70 pitches, mixing in sliders and curves to test the finger.