Shane Victorino isn't the only reason the Red Sox defeated the Blue Jays in 11 innings on Tuesday -- baseball doesn't work like that -- but he played a significant role both in the field and at the plate, leading to Boston's victory.
The Blue Jays would score one run off of a J.P. Arencibia single in the fifth, and the deficit would remain just 1-0 thanks to Victorino's arm one inning later:
The ball gets to Victorino quickly -- thanks, turf -- and with his arm, Reyes has absolutely no chance at home. It's a laser from Boston's right fielder, which you can see even more clearly from this camera angle:
Perfectly placed one-hop to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who can get out in front of Reyes away from the plate for the easy tag. The Jays were still ahead, but thanks to this, the solo shot Arencibia hit off of reliever Junichi Tazawa in the eighth didn't make this a 3-2 game, which allowed the game to go to extras.
In the 11th, Victorino came up with Salty on third base and Jacoby Ellsbury on first. Ellsbury would steal second base to eliminate the force out there, which would in turn make this grounder up the middle a two-run single that put the Sox up for good:
Once again, the turf makes a difference. If that had been on regular grass, it could have been a slower grounder, with a chance to be handled by the shortstop. On the artificial surface, however, once a hard grounder gets to bouncing, it doesn't stop for some time, and two runs end up scoring.
The Red Sox picked up a game on both the Rays and Orioles with this win, putting the two clubs four and six games back, respectively. Thanks for the help with the breathing room, Shanf.
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