Shane Victorino's run-scoring infield single in the top of the seventh inning spurred the Boston Red Sox to a 3-1 come-from-behind road win over the Tampa Bay Rays and a berth in the American League Championship Series.
In a low-scoring affair Tuesday night at Tropicana Field, the Red Sox won the game behind strong starting and relief pitching, heads-up base running and a costly wild pitch in the seventh inning by Rays reliever Joel Peralta, one of nine pitchers Tampa Bay used Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.
In that inning, with the Rays leading 1-0, reliever Jake McGee walked pinch hitter Xander Bogaerts, who moved to third on a two-out single by left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
McGee was then replaced by Peralta, who immediately threw a ball in the dirt that bounced away from the catcher and allowed Bogaerts to score from third base and Ellsbury - who had stolen second base earlier - to advance to third.
That set up the play of the game, when Victorino beat out a dribbler to Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar and Ellsbury came home with the go-ahead run.
The Red Sox's bullpen took care of the job from there to back up a strong outing by starter Jake Peavy, who worked 5 2/3 innings and gave up just one earned run, an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth by David DeJesus that scored Escobar.
Boston also got an insurance run in the top of the ninth when second baseman Dustin Pedroia hit a sacrifice fly that scored Bogaerts.
Down 2-1 in the best-of-five series coming into Tuesday night's game, the desperate Rays yanked struggling starter Jeremy Hellickson after he loaded the bases in the second inning with no one out with the game still scoreless.
They managed to get out of that inning with no runs scored thanks to a strike out and a double play, however, and led until the game's latter stages.
Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow got the win and McGee took the loss.
In other action Tuesday night, the Detroit Tigers forced a game five in their American League Division Series against the Oakland A's with an 8-6 home win.
The decider will be played Thursday in Oakland, with the winner to travel to Boston for Saturday's Game 1 of the ALCS. EFE