Roundup: Victorino has walk-off winner, Red Sox edge Rays in 10
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
BOSTON — Shane Victorino didn’t even notice Tampa Bay’s unusual five-man infield. His only thought was to make contact with the speedy Jacoby Ellsbury standing on third base.
Victorino had a well-placed RBI single into an overloaded infield in the 10th inning Saturday, lifting the Red Sox to a 2-1 win over the Rays.
Ellsbury singled with one out against Brandon Gomes (0-1), stole second and advanced on catcher Jose Lobaton’s throwing error when the ball deflected off shortstop Yunel Escobar’s glove and into short right field. Victorino then hit a hard grounder into the unusual infield configuration that second baseman Ben Zobrist made a diving stop on to his right, but was unable to make a throw home.
“That’s the goal right there,” a smiling Victorino said. “Just put the ball in play. I’ve been in that spot before.”
Ellsbury knew he’d score easily once the ball got past the pitcher.
“When I saw him dive, I knew I was going to get in,” he said. “It’s probably got to be hit right at someone to have them make a throw.”
David Ross had a solo homer for Boston, which snapped a two-game losing streak.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said he had the “contact play on” in the 10th, where Ellsbury was breaking on any ball hit on the ground.
“We felt like we had the combination we could take advantage of,” he said.
Rays manager Joe Maddon felt it was just hit in the wrong spot for his defense.
“The ball was perfect,” he said. “You bisect two guys on the same side of the infield and then furthermore, hit it at the right speed. It’s just very unfortunate for us. But something we work on. They beat us.”
Junichi Tazawa (2-0) pitched one inning for the win, getting out of a jam after giving up a leadoff double to Jose Molina, who was lifted for a pinch runner. Lobaton entered in the bottom of the 10th.
The Rays went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
“In my career, I’ve noticed early in the season a lot of teams struggle with that,” Tampa Bay’s Shelley Duncan said of his team’s clutch hitting woes. “Sometimes guys press a little more earlier than they do in the middle of the year.”
Boston’s Koji Uehara escaped a ninth-inning jam after closer Joel Hanrahan had his second poor outing this week. Gomes then got Stephen Drew to line out to center field with a pair of runners on, sending it to extra innings.
Hanrahan, who gave up five runs in the ninth of a loss to Baltimore on Wednesday, opened the ninth by walking Evan Longoria and Zobrist. Uehara then struck out pinch-hitter James Loney looking before retiring the next two hitters.
The anticipated matchup of prized lefties, reigning AL Cy Young Award winner David Price and Jon Lester, lived up to its billing.
Lester held the Rays to one run on five hits, walked one and struck out five to move into sixth place ahead of Luis Tiant on the club’s career strikeout list with 1,078. Tiant had 1,075 from 1971-78.
“We had to make a couple of adjustments where I had to get the ball down,” Lester said. “You have those days where you’ve getting the ball up.”
Price, coming off a miserable start when he allowed a career-worst eight runs last Sunday against Cleveland, pitched six innings, allowing just the solo homer to Ross and three other hits while striking out eight and walking four.
Price mostly mixed a sharp cutter with a fastball and an occasional curve to make the Red Sox hitters look as if they were guessing most of the time.
“I felt a lot better. It started with my bullpen last week,” he said. “Just going to continue to get my work in. Like I said before, six innings over here just isn’t enough. That’s a very good team and Lester threw the ball extremely well today.”
With the Red Sox trailing 1-0 in the fifth, Ross belted a homer out of Fenway Park, sending a hanging changeup over the Green Monster seats. Before that, Boston had just one infield hit a bouncer to deep short that Victorino barely beat out.
The Rays jumped ahead 1-0 in the third, but Lester stranded Sean Rodriguez on third base after he reached with no outs. Desmond Jennings singled and scored when Rodriguez’s doubled down the left field line didn’t carom very far and stayed deep in the corner. He advanced on a wild pitch.
Lester then fanned Longoria on a cutter, surpassing Tiant, Zobrist was robbed on first baseman Mike Napoli’s diving catch of his liner and Shelley Duncan grounded out.
Boston had runners on first and second after consecutive two-out singles by Napoli and Will Middlebrooks, but Price got Daniel Nava on an easy fly to center.
NOTES: RHP Clay Buchholz (2-0, 0.64 ERA) is scheduled to face Rays’ RHP Alex Cobb (1-0, 0.00) on Sunday. ... Red Sox DH David Ortiz, who missed all of spring training with an Achilles injury, went 1 for 4 with a single and two RBIs in a rehab game with Triple-A Pawtucket Saturday. It was the opener of a doubleheader.
Orioles 5, Yankees 3
NEW YORK — Nolan Reimold, Ryan Flaherty and Nick Markakis hit solo home runs, sending the Baltimore Orioles over the Yankees 5-3 Saturday and stopping New York’s four-game winning string.
Nate McLouth doubled twice, singled and made a nifty catch in left field to back Jason Hammel (2-1).
Orioles reliever Brian Matusz, Darren O’Day and Jim Johnson each pitched a scoreless inning. Johnson closed for his fifth save, shutting down a team that tagged him in last year’s AL playoffs.
Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells hit solo homers for the Yankees. Phil Hughes (0-2) was booed off the mound after giving up three long drives in three-plus innings.
Reimold provided a rare boost from the DH slot. Baltimore designated hitters had managed a mere single and zero RBIs in 33 at-bats this season until he homered in the fourth. It was a loud shot, too, from the ninth-place hitter, with the crack of the bat reverberating around Yankee Stadium.
Flaherty’s longball was equally unexpected. He was 1 for 18 with a single this year before his homer in the second. Markakis led off the third by connecting against the homer-prone Hughes.
Down 5-2 in the fourth, the Yankees put two runners on with one out. Lyle Overbay hit a long liner to the opposite field, but McLouth hurried back, stuck up his glove and made the catch on a tough ball.
Yankees All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano shifted to shortstop for the ninth inning, the first time he’s played anywhere except second in the majors.
With Derek Jeter injured, Eduardo Nunez sitting out a day after being hit by a pitch and starting shortstop Jayson Nix leaving for a pinch-hitter in the eighth, Cano moved over. He didn’t get any plays in the field.
Orioles Gold Glove shortstop J.J. Hardy bounced a routine throw for his first error of the season, All-Star Adam Jones flung his bat and helmet after chasing strike three and even McLouth, known for his hustle, appeared to coast around the bases and ran through a stop sign for an easy out at the plate.
Hughes never looked comfortable, and taking Matt Wieters’ hard one-hopper off his body on a chilly afternoon didn’t help, either. Slowed in spring training by a bulging disk in his back, Hughes lost his season debut last weekend after coming off the disabled list to start at Detroit.
Reliever David Phelps kept the Yankees close, giving up one hit in four shutout innings and striking out six.
McLouth led off the game by slicing a double, moved up when Manny Machado put down the first sacrifice bunt against the Yankees this year and later scored on a grounder by Jones.
Braves 3, Nationals 1
WASHINGTON — Tim Hudson pitched seven innings of four-hit ball, Evan Gattis homered, and the Atlanta Braves beat Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals 3-1 Saturday for their eighth straight victory.
Hudson (2-0) allowed one run, walked none and struck out three in improving his lifetime record against Washington to 15-5. Not only did the right-hander outpitch Strasburg, but he also got two singles off Washington’s hard-throwing ace.
Strasburg (1-2) gave up two unearned runs and five hits in six innings. He struck out seven, walked one and hit a batter.
Atlanta took the lead for good in the third inning, when Gattis homered after a two-out throwing error by Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. It was the fourth homer in eight games for Gattis, who made his major league debut on April 3.
Giants 3, Cubs 2
CHICAGO — Madison Bumgarner allowed two runs while pitching into the seventh inning, Marco Scutaro had three hits and the San Francisco Giants held off the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Saturday.
Pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro hit a two-out, two-run homer off Bumgarner in the seventh to pull the Cubs to 3-2. It was Navarro’s second career pinch home run in two days, each hit from a different side of the plate. His tying homer in the ninth Friday was hit from the left side.
The Cubs threatened in the eighth, putting two on with no outs, before Alfonso Soriano grounded out and Welington Castillo hit into a double play against Santiago Casilla, who earned his first save. Giants closer Sergio Romo was unavailable after throwing four of the last five games.
Bumgarner (3-0) struck out six and walked two, one intentional, in 6 2-3 innings.
Mets 4, Twins 2
MINNEAPOLIS — Matt Harvey didn’t allow a hit until Justin Morneau homered off the right-field foul pole with two outs in the seventh inning and led the New York Mets over the Minnesota Twins 4-2 Saturday.
Harvey (3-0) pitched past the seventh for the first time in 13 career major league starts, allowing one run and two hits in eight innings with six strikeouts and two walks. His ERA rose from 0.64 to 0.82.
Despite a 35-degree gametime temperature, the 24-year-old right-hander pitched with his sleeves rolled up and reached 97 mph.
Before Morneau’s homer — his first this season — Minnesota’s only hard-hit ball came on Eduardo Escobar’s lineout to first base in the third.
Johan Santana pitched the Mets’ first no-hitter on June 1 last year against St. Louis, in New York’s 8,020th game.
White Sox 4
CLEVELAND — Mark Reynolds hit a grand slam in a big fifth inning and Zach McAllister pitched into the seventh, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 9-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.
Reynolds had an RBI single to give Cleveland a 3-2 lead in the third inning. He connected off White Sox ace Chris Sale in a six-run fifth and tied a career high with five RBIs.
The loss was Chicago’s fifth straight, all on the road. The White Sox are 0-5 away from home for the first time since 1972.
McAllister (1-1) allowed three runs in 6 1-3 innings and retired 16 of 17 at one point. He allowed five hits and struck out six. Chicago scored two unearned runs in the first.
Nick Swisher and Yan Gomes each hit two-run homers for the Indians.
Jays place Reyes
on 15-day disabled list
TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays have placed star shortstop Jose Reyes on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained ankle and selected the contract of shortstop Munenori Kawasaki from Triple-A Buffalo.
The moves were announced on Saturday, a day after Reyes twisted his left ankle with an awkward slide into second base in the Blue Jays’ 8-4 win over Kansas City Friday night. The results of an MRI exam were not immediately released but the 29-year-old speedster is expected to be out for several weeks.
The four-time all-star was carted off the field after the injury in the sixth inning.
Reyes was hitting a .395 average, with a homer, five RBIs and five steals in 10 games.
The Blue Jays were scheduled to play at Kansas City on Saturday night.