BOSTON — Welcome to Boston Shane Victorino.
The right fielder’s RBI infield single in the 10th inning propelled the Red Sox to a 2-1 10 inning win over the Rays Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park. Jacoby Ellsbury singled, then stole second and advanced to third on an errant throw setting up the heroics from Victorino.
“It’s awesome to get the first one of the year [walk-off] and being part of it is what it’s about, it’s exciting,” Victorino said, who played in just his fourth game at Fenway as a member of the Red Sox. “The crowds have been amazing, I am loving every minute of it. I have always said that. When I signed here I said that. I remember the days when I was an opposing player coming into a place like Fenway. … It was a big ‘W’ for us today, a good team effort and we’re going to look to get another one tomorrow.”
The pitching matchup of Jon Lester and David Price certainly lived up to its billing as each allowed just one run in outstanding performances. Price was taken out after the sixth throwing 106 pitches, while Lester made it through seven finishing with 100 pitches.
Lester allowed just the one run on five hits, struck out seven and walked one. He continued to impress as in his three starts he hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of those outings. He got stronger as the game went along, allowing just one hit after the run scored in the third, while retiring 12 straight in that stretch.
Things got interesting in the ninth when Joel Hanrahan came in, making his first appearance since allowing five runs in the ninth inning Wednesday night. After two walks, putting runners on first and second with no outs manager John Farrell came out and removed his closer from the game. Koji Uehara replaced him and got the next three hitters out in succession, extending his scoreless outings streak to 19.
Andrew Bailey and Junichi Tazawa (win) also pitched scoreless innings of relief.
The Rays got their first run in the third inning on an RBI double from Sean Rodriguez, while the Sox got their first run in the sixth on a home run from catcher David Ross over the Monster. For his career against Price, Ross is 2-for-4 with both hits being home runs.
The teams will be back in action tomorrow afternoon (1:35, NESN and TBS) as Clay Buchholz (2-0) will seek his third win of the year and be opposed by Alex Cobb (1-0).
What they will be saying: This was a defining win for the Red Sox as they came in to the game losers of two straight and overcame some adversity during the game with some relievers being put into difficult spots … Despite being shut down by Price, the team kept grinding, working counts which forced him from the game after the sixth, and also allowed for Ross’ home run which came on a 3-2 pitch … You could not have asked for a better first three starts from Lester as he’s allowed two, zero, and one run in his three outings this season. He is pitching like the ace of the staff, something everyone knew he was capable of doing, it was just a matter of getting results.
Follow Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @hannable84.