Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Dustin Pedroia homered three times, including a two-run blast in the top of the 10th inning, and drove in five runs overall, as the Boston Red Sox avoided a sweep and outslugged the Colorado Rockies, 13-11, at Coors Field.
Pedroia finished 5-for-5 with a walk and four runs scored for the Red Sox, who entered this three-game set having won six straight.
The 2008 American League MVP, Pedroia clubbed a two-run homer off reliever Rafael Betancourt to give the Red Sox an 11-8 lead in the top of the eighth, but the Rockies got a run in the bottom half on a pinch-hit single from Jason Giambi, who hit the walk-off home run against Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon on Wednesday.
Papelbon (3-4) came on again to protect a lead in the ninth, but Todd Helton lined a one-out single off the right-field wall. Carlos Gonzalez followed with a base hit to put men on the corners and pilfered second. Brad Hawpe then sliced a single down the left-field line to tie the game. It was the second straight blown save for Papelbon.
"I got it on the barrel, I back-spun it," Pedroia said. "The thin air, I was just hoping it would get in the first or second row."
Papelbon fared much better in the 10th as he retired the side in order.
"That's some game, that's some series," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said. "Obviously I haven't been around here since the inception of this ballpark, but I think you might be hard-pressed to find a better three-game series that was played between two clubs."
The first inning could have been a lot worse for returning starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, who failed to retire any of the first five batters he faced. Jonathan Herrera got things started with a single and consecutive walks by Helton and Gonzalez loaded the bases.
Following a coaching visit to the mound, Hawpe hit a chopper over a leaping Adrian Beltre at third base to bring home a pair. After Smith drew a walk to reload the bags, Matsuzaka set down three in a row, limiting the damage to two runs.
Matsuzaka had been on the disabled list since June 12, when he was scratched from a start against Philadelphia after straining his right forearm while warming up.
Pedroia homered to left field leading off the fourth, snapping starter Jason Hammel's scoreless streak at 28 1/3 innings. David Ortiz singled and Beltre doubled before Mike Cameron put the Red Sox on top with a two-run double. A two-out single by Matsuzaka plated Cameron to make it 4-2.
It was the first three-homer game of Pedroia's career...Matsuzaka gave up two runs on five hits, walked four and struck out six in five innings...The Red Sox placed third baseman Mike Lowell on the 15-day DL with a strained right hip to make room for Matsuzaka...Hammel allowed four runs on seven hits over four innings.