Red Sox's late charges fall short vs. Giants

Red Sox's late charges fall short vs. Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- It was a Friday night full of tantalizing opportunities for the Red Sox, so, fittingly, there was one final shot.

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It was top of the ninth, with the bases loaded and two outs, and Darnell McDonald was Boston's last hope. But on a 1-2 slider from Giants closer Brian Wilson, all McDonald could muster was a grounder to short to end the game -- a thoroughly frustrating 5-4 loss to the Giants.

The Sox left 13 men on base and had the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the last four innings.

"I just battled," said McDonald. "That's one of the best closers. I just went up there and tried to get a good pitch to hit. It obviously wasn't a good day for me when you leave a whole basketball team on base. Once again, this team, we keep battling back. The game wasn't over. We put ourselves in position to win. We just didn't get that big hit when we needed it."

Instead, the Red Sox might have taken a big hit in terms of a significant injury. Star second baseman Dustin Pedroia fouled a ball squarely off the instep of his left foot in the top of the third and had to leave the game.

While no break could be found in the initial X-rays, Pedroia was on crutches and had a walking boot on his left foot by the time the game ended. There will be more tests Saturday morning. At the very least, it's doubtful he will play for the rest of the weekend.

"I'm sore," said Pedroia. "I'll get checked out tomorrow and make sure we get to the bottom of everything. But I'm pretty disappointed."

On a night the bullpen was short, Tim Wakefield gave the Red Sox a gutty performance, allowing 11 hits and four runs (three earned) over seven innings. The knuckleballer walked two and struck out three.

"I knew that going in. I was prepared to go as many as I needed to," said Wakefield. "I told [manager Terry Francona] and [pitching coach] John [Farrell] that regardless of the results, I was going to stay out there as long as possible, and there in the eighth with a runner on, we're down a run, he had to pinch-hit for me."

The only significant offense the Sox got all night came from cleanup man Kevin Youkilis, who smashed a three-run blast to left in the first and a rally-starting triple in the ninth.

"We started out [well]," said Francona. "The guy's [Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez] got really good stuff. He's got good finish on his fastball, good changeup. Youk took a great swing. He wasn't commanding real well. We got his pitch count up, and then [Santiago] Casilla was having a tough time."

Staked to that early 3-0 lead, Wakefield (2-6, 5.21 ERA) had some problems in the second. Buster Posey put the Giants on the board with an RBI single up the middle. With the bases loaded and one out, Sanchez bunted one down the line that Wakefield chased down but scooped wildly to first, allowing two runs to score on the play. It was ruled a hit and an RBI, plus a throwing error on Wakefield, and it tied the game.

"I just got caught up in the moment, tried to be aggressive, and I threw the ball away and allowed them to score another run, which was obviously the difference in the game tonight," said Wakefield.

The bunt surprised him a bit.

"I kind of was," said Wakefield. "Bases loaded, one out, I thought he might be swinging. That's kind of why I threw him a fastball down and away, tried to get ahead in the count. You can't hear anything out there. It's just instinct. I was trying to cover the third-base side respecting the bunt over there and not to first, and I kind of got caught going the wrong way. I should have just put it in my pocket and tried to get the next two guys."

The Giants took their first lead in the bottom of the third, as Juan Uribe belted a solo homer to left.

The Red Sox finally got back on the scoreboard in the ninth when Victor Martinez followed Youkilis' two-out triple with an RBI single, but that run was negated by Freddy Sanchez's sacrifice fly a half-inning earlier off Ramon Ramirez.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.