Pedroia strikes out in pinch-hit opportunity

Pedroia strikes out in pinch-hit opportunity

BOSTON -- What started out as a night of rest for Dustin Pedroia turned into an opportunity for the second baseman to be a walk-off hero. But it didn't pan out for Pedroia and the Red Sox in a frustrating 3-1 loss to the White Sox in 10 innings.

Boston had opened the bottom of the ninth with three straight walks, and Chicago manager Robin Ventura brought on lefty reliever Zach Duke to try to get out of the sticky situation.

At that point, manager John Farrell's eyes lit up, because he thought he had the perfect matchup with Pedroia, who could have ended the game with a hit, a slowly-hit grounder, a sacrifice fly or numerous other solutions.

Pedroia worked a seven-pitch at-bat, only to strike out on a 92-mph fastball.

"Obviously, when you're not starting, you do all your homework on the guys you can face," said Pedroia. "I was very prepared. Obviously the situation, I'm trying to drive the ball to the middle of the field. All the pitches he threw me were just dropping down. The last one came up and just sunk under my barrel. He just made one better pitch, and I didn't hit it."

The rally fizzled out from there. Christian Vazquez hit a grounder into a five-man infield, and the possible winning run was thrown out at the plate. Ryan LaMarre struck out to end the once-promising threat.

Pedroia is now 5-for-12 in his career as a pinch-hitter.

"You still try to have your same at-bat," Pedroia said. "The balls I got in, I couldn't get inside them enough. The last one, he sunk it just enough to get it under my bat."

Farrell had hoped not to use Pedroia at all on Monday, but this chance was too good to pass up.

"One, we're trying to give Pedey a day off," Farrell said. "I think it was something he needed. But then in a bases-loaded situation against a left-hander, which obviously is a better matchup for him, that was the choice there."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.