Victorino blasts home run in Red Sox loss

SAN FRANCISCO – 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.

Boston outfielder Shane Victorino, a St. Anthony High School alumnus, hit a solo homer off Ryan Vogelsong in the third inning to put the Red Sox ahead 2-0.

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 San Francisco 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 last month from the Detroit Tigers 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.

The Red Sox couldn’t hold a 2-0 lead and lost for the fifth time in seven games to fall percentage points behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the lead in the American League East.

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

In the eighth inning, 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 ball down the right-field line that 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.”