BOSTON – Boston’s Jarrod Saltalamacchia caught Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk’s ceremonial first pitch honoring a memorable Fenway Park moment.

Then he made one of his own about three hours later.

Saltalamacchia had a pinch-hit, two-run homer off Fernando Rodney with one out in the ninth inning to lift the Red Sox to a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night.

Fisk’s moment that was honored was his homer off the left-field foul pole to end Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Saltalamacchia caught the former Red Sox catcher and had a chance to chat.

“I said to him, ‘Do you remember that swing?’ He said, ‘I wake up some nights and still get goose bumps,’ ” Saltalamacchia said. “I know how he felt. I’m going to remember the swing.”

Daniel Nava walked to open the ninth, Nick Punto sacrificed and Saltalamacchia lofted a high drive to right-center for Boston’s 11th win in 15 games.


“Go talk to Salty. He deserves to be at the center (of attention),” Boston Manager Bobby Valentine said as he left the podium from his postgame news conference.

Rodney (2-1) had converted his first 15 save chances.

“We were saying, ‘He’s going to blow his first one.’ Positive thinking,” said Adrian Gonzalez, who watched in the clubhouse after coming out for a pinch runner in the sixth.

Rodney said he just missed badly with a pitch.

“I know someday that’s going to happen to me. But that happened tonight,” he said. “Tomorrow is the next day, so I’m going to keep working my routine.”

Rays Manager Joe Maddon gave Rodney a high-five and a big hug before the right-hander went to the shower.


“Fernando’s been fabulous and he’s going to continue to be fabulous for us,” Maddon said. “No, I’m not concerned about him at all. He had great stuff.”

A night after the teams had a testy benches-clearing scrum in the ninth inning that turned into an exchange of words between the managers, the teams played a taut game highlighted by the pitching of aces Josh Beckett and David Price.

Despite pregame accusations by Valentine that the Rays’ coaches were “unprofessional” for their actions and that they “were agitating, aggravating, and instigating the situation,” this game had no sign of the testiness that came late in Friday’s 7-4 win by the Rays when the benches cleared after Red Sox reliever Franklin Morales hit Luke Scott in the right leg.

Boston’s Beckett and Tampa Bay’s Price each pitched seven impressive innings.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.