Four Real? Red Sox vs Giants 8-20-13

Newly acquired Brayan Villarreal walked in the winning run in a
bases-loaded, bottom-of-the-ninth situation Monday night in San Francisco,
giving the Giants a 3-2 win over the Red Sox. (US Presswire photo) 

Jan-Christian Sorensen
Contributing Writer

Faces both old and new graced the Red Sox dugout Tuesday night at AT&T Park in San Francisco as the Sox squared off against the Giants in Game Two of the three-game interleague matchup.

Pawtucket shortstop call-up Xander Bogaerts made his first start for the big-league club, while newly acquired hurler Jake Peavy made his fourth start for the Sox and catcher David Ross returned to the fold after spending more than two months on the disabled list with concussion symptoms.

Oh yeah. We can’t forget Brayan Villarreal, the minor chess piece also acquired from the Detroit Tigers in the Peavy-for-Iglesias trade, who made his Sox debut and ended up walking in the winning run for the Giants in the bottom of the ninth inning with two out and the bases loaded. He (cough, cough) came into the game with an 0-2 record and 20.77 ERA in seven games, with opponents batting a robust .444 against.

That sort of tainted the whole affair. Suddenly, it wasn’t a celebration as much as it was a welcome-back commiseration.

Peavy pitched 5.2 strong innings, giving up only one run on five hits and striking out four, settling for the no-decision, while Franklin Morales took the loss after Villarreal came on in the ninth to walk in inherited runner in Roger Kieschnick and give the Giants a 3-2 win.

Kieschnick and Brandon Belt shared the big-night spotlight at the plate for the Giants, as both went 3 for 4, while former Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro, catcher Buster Posey and third baseman Joaquin Arias recorded the three RBI for San Francisco. Shane Victorino and Mike Carp accounted for Boston’s two runs. 

With the loss, Boston falls into a tie atop the American League East Division standings with the Tampa Bay Rays, who topped the Baltimore Orioles 7-4 earlier in the day.

Here are the four at-bats that changed the game:

1) Burst In The First: The Sox got off to a great start in the first, as Jacoby Ellsbury singled to left and then stole second for his MLB-leading 45th swipe of the year, Shane Victorino was hit by a pitch and Dustin Pedroia singled to load the bases, setting the stage for Carp, who hit a deep sacrifice fly to left to cash in Ellsbury for the first run of the game and a 1-0 Boston lead.

2) Senor Macho Solo: In the third, Victorino ripped a Vogelsong fastball to deep left on a 3-2 count for a solo homer — his eighth of the year — and a 2-0 lead for the Red Sox.

3) Busted: In the eighth with the Sox holding on to a 2-1 edge, Posey lifted a sacrifice fly to Victorino in foul ground in left with one out, allowing Scutaro to score from third to tie up the game.

4) Villarreally?: Bottom of the ninth and new Sox acquisition Villarreal walked Scutaro to force home Kleschnick from third with the winning run as the Giants punch their ticket by a final of 3-2.

Tomorrow, lefty Felix Doubront (8-6, 3.95 ERA) tries to come back from a less-than-stellar outing against Kansas City Aug. 16 — where he took the loss, giving up six runs on eight hits in only four innings of work — and is set to face Barry Zito (4-8, 5.34 ERA) in the rubber match of the three-game series. First pitch is set for 3:45 p.m. EST.

Twitter: @jan_doh