|Dustin Pedroia was down after fouling a pitch off his foot, and out moments later. (Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)|
Pedroia hurt in Sox’ loss
He leaves in third with foot injury
SAN FRANCISCO -- As Dustin Pedroia spoke, a somber note crept into his voice. It was not the usual bravado and hyperbole from the second baseman, who just 24 hours earlier had been boasting of all of the home runs he hit in Little League, cracking jokes about the three he hit against the Rockies Thursday night. The scene was far different last night, as Pedroia stood in the visitors' clubhouse at AT&T park with his left foot sheathed in a black boot, and crutches under his arms.
His plan for the rest of the night spoke to his concerns, and the concerns of a team that needs him: "Ice, elevate it, and pray," he said.
He was injured in his second at-bat as he led off the third inning. Pedroia fouled a ball off his left instep, sending him to the dirt. Sox trainer Mike Reinold and manager Terry Francona attended to him, and remained at the plate long enough to work a walk. He didn't last much longer.
He limped to first base and was soon removed from the game, replaced by Mike Cameron, which moved Bill Hall to second. In the eighth inning, a Sox spokesperson said doctors were reviewing X-rays on Pedroia's foot and more tests will be taken today.
"They didn't see any break or anything, but we're obviously going to get him examined a lot more tomorrow," Francona said after a 5-4 loss to the Giants. "He's having a tough time putting weight on everything. He's really sore. You can tell, when he comes out of a game. So we'll get him examined more. That's all we can do right now."
The potential loss of their second baseman and one of their hottest hitters was far more crucial to the Sox than losing to the Giants, a game in which the Sox left the bases loaded in the sixth, seventh, and ninth innings, and 13 overall. They lost for the third time in four games as they tour the National League West.
If Pedroia is out for any significant amount of time, it would be devastating to the Sox, the injury underscoring the Sox lack of a true backup middle infielder. With the Sox hobbled in the outfield (Cameron, J.D. Drew), Hall has been required more there than in the infield. The Sox were working last night to get another infielder to San Francisco before tonight's game.
"I'm sore," Pedroia said, adding that there is swelling in the foot area. "I'll get checked out, make sure we get to the bottom of everything. But I'm pretty disappointed. I've never really hit a ball there before, but I'll be all right."
Asked if he thought it might be serious, Pedroia said, "I don't know."
Pedroia rarely comes out of a game, rarely misses a game, so the injury was problematic as soon as he hobbled off the field, having trouble with the steps in the dugout. And he was having just as much trouble after the game, as he was driven out of the park on a cart, the crutches grasped tightly in his hands.
"I hit it on the barrel," Pedroia said. "I wish I got jammed or something, but I kind of squared it up."
And with their lineup limping a bit, the Sox missed chance after chance to take the lead back from the Giants. Boston loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth and seventh innings with just a single infield hit. In the sixth, it was Cameron's single, followed by a fielder's choice and two walks. In the seventh, it was Wakefield's walk - his first since 1998 - followed by a fielder's choice and two walks.
Both innings, though, ended with swinging strikeouts, Darnell McDonald in the sixth and Victor Martinez in the seventh. They were missed chances, especially with Wakefield keeping the Giants off the board (and saving a weakened bullpen) after San Francisco's fourth run came home in the fourth inning.
The Sox left the bases loaded in the ninth after scoring a run to cut their deficit to 5-4, as Kevin Youkilis hit a two-out triple and scored on a single by Martinez. Then Adrian Beltre singles and Hall walked. But McDonald couldn't come through, grounding to the short to end the game. The Sox did not pinch hit J.D. Drew (hamstring) because he was tight because of the misty, cold weather, and could not play the outfield. The Sox are hoping Drew can play tonight.
"We just couldn't squeeze across a big run at that point," Francona said.
The Sox had already taken an early lead - and lost it. Marco Scutaro singled to lead off the game, then Daniel Nava walked. After Pedroia struck out, Youkilis hit a three-run homer to left. Those RBIs gave Youkilis 21 for June.
But the Giants came back with three runs in the second, beginning with Pablo Sandoval's one-out single, which was followed by a wild pitch. A single from Buster Posey brought in the first run. Tim Wakefield (2-6) then walked Aaron Rowand and Eli Whiteside singled, loading the bases.
Opposing starter Jonathan Sanchez tried to bunt, and Wakefield couldn't get to it in time, then threw it away for an error, scoring tow runs. Wakefield managed to get out of the inning without any more damage, making a nice shovel pass to Martinez to record a fielder's choice at home for the second out, then getting a ground out by Freddy Sanchez.
"The biggest blow was I threw the ball away to Youk," Wakefield said. "I got caught up in the moment, tried to be aggressive, and threw the ball away, allowed them to score another run, which obviously was the difference in the game."
The score was tied, 3-3. The Giants, however, weren't done. Juan Uribe got all of a knuckleball and blasted it out for a solo home run. The Giants scored a key insurance run in the eighth inning, working a pair of wild pitches into a run off Ramon Ramirez, which turned into the eventual winning run.
At the end of the night, though, the focus wasn't on the loss. It was on Pedroia.
"Obviously he's red-hot right now," said Wakefield, who allowed 11 hits and four runs. "So his bat out of the lineup - if he's injured - would be a devastating blow.
"We have out fingers crossed, that's for sure."