Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/26/12

BOSTON -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia's pinch-hit home run in the ninth-inning gave him the first walk-off home run of his career and the Red Sox their first walk-off win of the season. It also gave Boston a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park to move it back to .500, at 23-23.

Saltalamacchia, pinch-hitting with one out and Daniel Nava on second base, turned on an 0-1 pitch from Fernando Rodney for the win.

"Obviously tonight was awesome," said Saltalamacchia, who hit the Sox first pinch-hit, walk-off home run since Wes Chamberlain on May 9, 1995, against the Orioles. "This club is so close. It's an awesome feeling.

"No better feeling."

Not for everyone. It was the first blown save of the season for Rodney in 16 opportunities.

"That's not exactly what I wanted," Rodney said. "I wanted it down and it stayed middle. You know when you make a mistake, they're going to make you pay. That's what happened.

"I'm not surprised, because he's a good hitter. I know someday that's going to happen to me. But that happened tonight. Tomorrow is the next day, so I'm going to keep working my routine."

Rodney walked Nava to lead off the ninth. Rodney entered the game with just three walks and one earned run allowed in 23 2/3 innings. Saltalamacchia's home run was the first he has allowed this season.

"Fernando's been fabulous, and he's going to continue to be fabulous for us,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

Rich Hill, who pitched the ninth for the Red Sox, earned the win.

Both Rays starter David Price and Red Sox starter Josh Beckett easily handled the opposing lineup.

The Red Sox finally broke through against Price in the sixth inning when Will Middlebrooks' single scored David Ortiz from second base.

But the Rays got to Beckett for two runs in the seventh. B.J. Upton led off with a single and took third on Matt Joyce's single to right. Upton scored on Ben Zobrist's sacrifice fly with Joyce scoring on Luke Scott's single to right.

Over the first five innings, Beckett limited the Rays to just one hit, a Jose Molina third-inning single. Molina was perhaps the unlikeliest batter in the Rays lineup to notch the first hit off Beckett. Molina entered the game batting just .173 this season, and .160 (4-for-25) in his career against Beckett.

"His ball was moving in and out, had great location," Sox manager Bobby Valentine said of Beckett. "He looks great on the mound right now."

Saltalamacchia's blast took Beckett off the hook for the loss. He went seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts. It also took the win away from Price, who went seven innings, giving up one run on eight hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

"Really, really good baseball game," Maddon said. "They beat us in the ninth inning. That can happen in this ballpark. But we'll come back tomorrow and play it again."

NOTES: Despite Friday's bench-clearing melee in the ninth inning, after Luke Scott was hit by a Franklin Morales pitch, there were no warnings issued to the Rays or Red Sox before Saturday's game. ... Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka made a rehab start with Triple-A Pawtucket Saturday night. He went five scoreless innings, giving up one hit and one walk with two strikeouts against the Toledo Mud Hens. ... Outfielder Ryan Kalish who is recovering from off-season neck and shoulder surgery after being limited to 24 games last season, made a rehab start with High-A Salem. Serving as the designated hitter, he went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, an RBI, two strikeouts, and a solo home run. ... Rays' outfielder Hideki Matsui went 3-for-4 with a double and an intentional walk for Triple-A Durham on Friday. In 10 games since signing a minor league contract April 30 he is 7-for-37 (.189). ... Fernando Rodney entered Saturday's game 15-for-15 in save situations, one behind the major league lead. ... Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

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