More fireworks nearly flew on Sunday, when Pedroia was pitched high and tight in three consecutive at-bats. The Boston second baseman wasn't hit, but was clearly ticked off, as NESN's cameras caught him uttering some less-than-favorable adjectives after the third instance.
Pedroia's outburst may or may not have been the impetus, but for a team that's lacked a serious spark of late, the Red Sox were happy to take any energy that they could get.
After stranding throngs of teammates on base in the first two games of the series, the Sox finally got the timely hitting that they'd been missing and upended the Pirates, 4-2.
Adrian Gonzalez had two hits to improve his league-leading average to .361, and both Gonzalez and the pinch-hitting David Ortiz narrowly missed towering home runs down the right field line that would have helped to open the game up for Boston.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia scored on a wild throw by Andrew McCutchen in the Red Sox' half of the fourth, but a Marco Sctuaro error helped Neil Walker to get on base, eventually coming around to score on a Ronny Cedeno sacrifice fly.
McCutchen briefly atoned for his error in the bottom of the fifth, singling home pitcher James McDonald after Andrew Miller had loaded the bases with nobody out. Garrett Jones was tagged out at 3rd on the play, and Miller was able to escape the inning - and eventually the rest of the game - without allowing further damage.
In Boston's sixth, Josh Reddick flew out to left fielder Matt Diaz, scoring Kevin Youkilis. Diaz moved over to left in place of Jose Tabata, who was injured legging out an infield single on the first pitch of Pittsburgh's half of the first. No report was issued on the injury, but Tabata was carted off the field, looking to have seriously injured his right leg.
Boston loaded the bases with nobody out in the seventh, and Pedroia grounded out to second, scoring Scutaro from third. After Adrian Gonzalez was intentionally walked, Youkilis flied out to right and in rumbled David Ortiz to give Boston their first two-run lead of the game.
Alfredo Aceves and Daniel Bard pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings, respectively. Jonathan Papelbon worked around a leadoff four-pitch walk in the ninth and retired the side in order to salvage the series.