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Red Sox 7, Rangers 5 (11 inn.)

Pedroia went on a tear, and the Rangers wanted no part of it

Dustin Pedroia’s second-inning single drove in two runs.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

ARLINGTON, Texas — Dustin Pedroia already had driven in four runs and made a series of excellent defensive plays, one that may have been the best of his career.

So when Pedroia arrived at the plate with runners on second and third and one out in the 11th inning Monday night, Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister ordered him intentionally walked.

That put the pressure on rookie Andrew Benintendi and he delivered.

His soft single over shortstop drove in two runs and the Sox extended their win streak to five games with a 7-5 victory against the Rangers.

Benintendi had the big hit, Heath Hembree retired all six batters he faced to earn the win, and Mookie Betts was on base three times and scored twice. But it was Pedroia who fueled one of the most satisfying victories of what is turning into a compelling season.


“He’s a lot of great seasons here, a lot of great games. Tonight might be one of the better games he’s ever played in this uniform,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He was the right man at the right spot at the plate. He was everywhere defensively.”

Pedroia had a two-run single in the second inning and another in the sixth to help the Sox build a 5-2 lead.

Rick Porcello to that point had allowed only two runs on two hits but had thrown 103 pitches. With the bullpen well rested, it seemed like an opportune time to get him out of the game on a positive note. But Porcello stayed in the game and Carlos Gomez homered to center field with one out.

Video: Benintendi hit in 11th inning

Matt Barnes came in and ended the inning. With lefthanded-hitting Shin-Soo Choo leading off the eighth, lefthander Robby Scott was next out of the bullpen.


Scott got ahead of Choo 1 and 2 but could not finish him off. A two-seam fastball stayed up and Choo went the other way for a double.

It was Choo’s second extra-base hit in 57 at-bats against a lefthander this season.

Joe Kelly was next. Choo went to third on a fly ball to right field by Elvis Andrus. Nomar Mazara’s RBI single got Texas within a run. Kelly was able to end the inning and turn over a one-run lead to Craig Kimbrel.

He lost it on one pitch. Mike Napoli blasted a 98-mile-per-hour fastball out to left field for his 17th home run.

It was the second blown save all season for Kimbrel and the second home run allowed this season. Righthanded hitters had been 2 for 67 against him.

Pedroia then made a remarkable play to keep the inning from getting further away.

When Gomez grounded slowly to third, Deven Marrero made a wild throw on the run and the ball deflected off the wall behind first base. Pedroia played the carom with his bare hand and threw back to first base while falling down. Gomez, who had turned toward second, tried to go back and was tagged out by an alert Mitch Moreland.

Video: Pedroia’s defensive gem

Moreland, who played seven years for Texas, could not remember a ball coming off the wall like that. Then, to his amazement, Pedroia was in position to grab it.

“I couldn’t believe he had the ball. The fact he was there shows how good Pedey is, always staying in the moment,” Moreland said. “He threw it laying down. Unbelievable play.”


Pedroia was less impressed.

“I was just backing up the base. I mean, I do it every time,” he said. “I think our infielders, we take pride in backing up bases and making sure if there is an overthrow, you’re there for your guy. So it just worked out for us.

“It just kicked off in the right spot and I was able to get to it and Mitch was able to get back to the base. So it was a big play, especially after they just tied the game.”

Kimbrel, watching from the mound, was stunned.

“Two pitches and a lot was going on in that inning. Pedey saved me there,” he said. “[Gomez] could have been on second.”

Kimbrel got out of the inning. In the 10th, Pedroia made a diving play to take a hit away from Andrus and caught a pop up with his back to the plate to record an out on Delino DeShields.

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, with his back to the plate, runs down a Delino DeShields pop in the 10th inning Monday.Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

“We were going nuts,” Barnes said. “That gave us so much momentum.”

Said Farrell: “His defense was an energy-driver in many different ways.”

Facing Ernesto Frieri in the 11th rookie Tzu-Wei Lin walked with one out and went to third on a double to left by Betts that nearly cleared the fence. After Pedroia was walked, Benintendi had just enough to get the ball into shallow left field.


“This was a very good team win,” Farrell said.

In all, Pedroia reached base four times and had a hand in six of the seven runs. How many runs he saved can be debated, but certainly he changed the game with his glove.

At 33, he is hitting .303 with a .388 on-base percentage and playing Gold Glove-caliber defense.

“Show up to the yard to compete and try to win a game,” Pedroia said. “We try to do it every night. Sometimes you play well and sometimes you don’t. But that’s a great win for us.”

Box score: Red Sox 7, Rangers 5

Red Sox relief pitcher Heath Hembree threw two perfect innings to close out the Texas Rangers on Monday night. Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.