Giants 3, Red Sox 2

Unable to produce a clutch hit, the San Francisco Giants still

found a way to win.

Brayan Villarreal walked Marco Scutaro with the bases loaded and

two outs in the bottom of the ninth, handing the Giants a 3-2

victory over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.

The Giants squandered numerous opportunities early in the game,

going 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position, but they tied it

in the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly in foul territory and used

two walks and a hit batsman to win it.

”We have been on the other end of these games,” manager Bruce

Bochy said. ”You take it any way you can get it. This was a good

one.”

Roger Kieschnick started the winning rally with a one-out single

against Franklin Morales (2-1) for his third hit of the game. The

Giants loaded the bases with two outs when Morales walked Andres

Torres and hit pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez on the left wrist.

”We started out the inning in pretty good shape and then

seemingly in a matter of about seven or eight pitches it looked

like Franklin lost the strike zone a little bit and leaves us in a

tough spot with two outs,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

With Brandon Workman having pitched the past two days, Farrell

gave Villarreal his first appearance with the Red Sox. Villarreal

was acquired in a deal last month from Detroit and called up from

Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday.

He made a poor first impression, throwing four straight balls to

Scutaro. Giants hitting coach Hensley Meulens told Scutaro that

Villarreal had control problems before the at-bat and that proved

true. Villarreal has walked nine of 29 batters he has faced this

season, including two with the bases loaded.

”When he told me that, I wanted to make sure I looked for my

pitch and not be too aggressive,” Scutaro said.

He did just that, giving the defending World Series champion

Giants a rare reason to celebrate.

”It’s nice to win one like this because we have been on the

other side of them,” said starter Ryan Vogelsong, who allowed two

runs in seven innings. ”When you play a tough game like that and

things aren’t going your way … it’s good to come out on the

winning end of it.”

The Red Sox couldn’t hold a 2-0 lead and lost for the fifth time

in seven games to fall percentage points behind Tampa Bay for the

lead in the AL East.

Sergio Romo (4-6) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.

After twice failing to get a runner in from third with no outs,

the Giants finally delivered in the eighth inning to tie the

game.

Scutaro reached on a one-out single and went to third on Brandon

Belt’s single against Junichi Tazawa. Buster Posey then hit a high

fly down the right-field line that Shane Victorino caught in foul

territory. Scutaro scored easily on the sacrifice fly but Tazawa

escaped without any further damage to keep the score tied at 2.

”No second-guessing guys. I let that ball fall and he hits a

three-run homer then what are you guys going to say?” Victorino

said. ”When I was on the move over there I told myself catch the

ball and try and get in the best position I could to make the

throw.”

Victorino helped give Boston the lead when he hit a rare

right-handed homer off a righty pitcher. The switch-hitting

Victorino is unable to bat left-handed because of an injured left

leg. But that did not bother him when he led off the third inning

with a drive to left that made it 2-0.

It was just the second time Victorino had hit a right-handed

homer against a righty in his career, also doing it against

knuckleballer R.A. Dickey on Sept. 24, 2010, according to STATS

LLC.

It looked as if that 2-0 lead would stand up when Jake Peavy

escaped jams in the fourth and fifth innings. Belt, who had three

hits, was stranded after a leadoff triple in the fourth when Posey

grounded out and Peavy struck out Hunter Pence and Brandon

Crawford.

The Giants scored their first run of the series when Kieschnick

led off the fifth with a single and scored on Joaquin Arias’

triple. But San Francisco couldn’t get the equalizer when

Vogelsong, Gregor Blanco and Scutaro followed with groundouts.

NOTES: SS Xander Bogaerts (20 years, 323 days) became the

youngest position player to appear in a game for Boston since

Dwight Evans (20, 318) in 1972. He went 0 for 3 and stranded five

runners. … San Francisco 3B Pablo Sandoval was scratched because

of a sore back. … Boston RHP Clay Buchholz (neck and shoulder)

threw 46 pitches in a simulated game and is set to make a rehab

start Sunday. Farrell said he would like Buchholz to get three

rehab starts but he might only get two depending on the minor

league schedule. … LHP Barry Zito (4-8) makes his first start of

the month for the Giants in the series finale Wednesday after Chad

Gaudin was placed on the DL. Felix Doubront (8-6) goes for

Boston.