Giants hold on to take opener from Red Sox
SAN FRANCISCO – Juan Uribe homered, Jonathan Sanchez won his second straight decision, and the San Francisco Giants rallied from an early three-run deficit before holding on through closer Brian Wilson’s struggles to beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Friday night.
Sanchez (6-5) appeared in for a long night after he allowed Kevin Youkilis’ three-run homer in the first inning, but he contributed an RBI infield single as San Francisco got three runs back in the second. Buster Posey had an RBI single that inning among his three hits.
The Red Sox lost Dustin Pedroia in the third after he fouled a ball off his left foot. The second baseman was examined by a trainer, but finished the plate appearance to draw a walk from Sanchez. Pedroia was then replaced by pinch-runner Mike Cameron.
A chilly, misty summer night still brought out a sellout crowd of 41,182 for a rare Red Sox visit.
Losing Pedroia was an especially tough blow considering he was on a roll after going 5 for 5 with a career-high three home runs Thursday night against Colorado, including a go-ahead two-run drive in the 10th.
Tim Wakefield (2-6) was solid but didn’t get enough support from his weary teammates. The Red Sox arrived in the Bay Area at 4 a.m. following a 13-11, 10-inning win at Colorado.
Boston had the bases loaded in the seventh but came up empty-handed. Santiago Casilla struck out Victor Martinez to escape the jam, then recorded two outs in the eighth before Wilson came in to finish it for his 21st save in 23 chances – but he made things interesting as usual.
After allowing a two-out single to Darnell McDonald, David Ortiz stepped in to pinch-hit – with Big Papi drawing a mixture of boos and cheers. He drew a five-pitch walk then Wilson got Marco Scutaro on a called third strike.
In the ninth, Wilson gave up a two-out triple to Youkilis and an RBI single to Martinez. Adrian Beltre singled before Bill Hall walked to load the bases. McDonald grounded out to end it on Wilson’s 42nd pitch.
Uribe hit a solo shot in the third and the Giants scored what wound up a key insurance run on Freddy Sanchez’s sacrifice fly in the eighth.
The teams met for the first time since Boston swept a three-game series at Fenway Park in 2007, and this is the Red Sox second trip to the Giants’ 11-year-old ballpark. San Francisco took two of three in that 2004 matchup.
Winning the opener this time provides a boost for the Giants on the heels of their 2-4 road trip to Toronto and Houston. They are four games into a stretch of 20 straight without a day off leading up to the All-Star break.
Jonathan Sanchez labored through 5 1-3 innings with six strikeouts and five walks, but the lefty bounced back from his shortest outing of the year, 2 2-3 innings last Sunday at Toronto. Sanchez is 5-2 in eight starts at AT&T Park, allowing three or fewer runs in each of those games.
Wakefield has one victory in his last six starts and is winless in three straight.
He allowed an RBI bunt single to Sanchez that drove in a run. Wakefield cost himself another run on the play when he fielded the bunt and wildly flicked it past Youkilis at first for an error that brought Aaron Rowand home for a 3-3 game.
Notes: The Giants improved to 7-0 while wearing their “Orange Friday” home jerseys. … San Francisco will retire the No. 20 worn by Hall of Famer Monte Irvin during a pregame ceremony Saturday. Irvin became the first black player in Giants history when he signed with the club on July 8, 1949. … Top Giants pitching prospect Madison Bumgarner was scratched from his outing for Triple-A Fresno at Portland so he could be available to pitch Saturday in San Francisco if scheduled starter Joe Martinez had been needed out of the bullpen Friday. … The Red Sox fell to 11-5 in interleague play.
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