Tuesday, March 11, 2014
(Continued from page 1)
Breslow put in one of the top performances of Tuesday's game. He ended the sixth by striking out James Loney. In the seventh, Breslow set down the formidable threesome of Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist and Desmond Jennings.
He got another out in the eighth before giving up an infield single. Junichi Tazawa (one strikeout) and Uehara (four outs, two by strikeout) finished it up.
"Obviously a great feeling," Breslow said. "I'll reflect when it's all done, and hopefully that won't be for a while."
JAKE PEAVY became the anonymous pitcher after the stellar bullpen effort. But while the Red Sox offense was stuck getting out the gate, it was Peavy who kept the game close, putting up zeroes for five innings until he allowed one run in the sixth.
"It would be a shame if Jake's start is overlooked," Breslow said. "Jake's been a big-game pitcher. We knew we were going to get everything he had. And he probably had some more."
In a regular-season game, maybe Peavy would have stayed in longer. But when Loney, a left-handed batter, came up in the sixth with a runner on base and one run already in, Farrell called for Breslow.
Still, Peavy's contribution cannot be overstated.
Giving up talented shortstop Jose Iglesias in the deal to get Peavy keeps looking more vital for Boston.
ONE SCENE that captured the spirit of this Red Sox team was Shane Victorino using all his hustle to beat out a ground ball for an infield single that drove in the go-ahead run, scoring Ellsbury in the seventh inning.
Victorino hit a broken-bat grounder, slowly bouncing to shortstop Yunel Escobar.
"I knew I had to go," Victorino said. "I knew it was going to be a tough play for Escobar. It was a matter of me beating him."
While Escobar charged the ball, Victorino sprinted up the line. As Victorino reached first base before the throw, he made an emphatic safe sign. The ump agreed.
THE FINAL WORD comes from Rays Manager Joe Maddon, tipping his hat to the Red Sox.
"They were really good," Maddon said. "They've really promoted the character within that group. They're just gamers.
"You could see their grit."
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or: