Game on the line, Xander delivers

AL's top vote-getter at shortstop hits two-run single

Game on the line, Xander delivers

SAN FRANCISCO -- Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts came to the plate in the 10th inning and the bases loaded. Instead of looking for a pitch he could drive from Giants closer Santiago Casilla, Bogaerts was looking to dump the ball into the outfield.

Taking advantage of a drawn-in infield and an outfield playing deep, Bogaerts did exactly that, driving in a pair of runs to lead the Red Sox to a 5-3 victory over the Giants on Tuesday night.

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Bogaerts deliberately tried not to hit the ball hard, another example of situational hitting that has the Boston shortstop as the American League's top vote-getter at the position.

"It's tough. The fans were going pretty nuts there at the end," Bogaerts said. "He threw me sinkers and I was trying to see the ball up. I thought I missed a few good pitches. He pitched me tough, but I think he hung one a little bit, left it up a little."

Bogaerts also singled in a run in the third to extend his road hitting streak to 14 games.

As he strolled up the batter's box, Bogaerts took a quick survey of the defensive alignment and hit upon his approach.

"[Seeing the infielders on the edge of the grass] helped me a lot," said Bogaerts. "I saw the outfielders playing deep, so I was trying to bloop one in. I tried to shorten my swing."

Bogaerts has hit safely in 40 of his last 44 games and now has 35 hits in his past 25 Interleague games, and is hitting .350 with 10 extra-base hits and 24 RBIs over that span.

Rick Eymer is a contributor to and covered the Red Sox on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.