Victorino, Breslow deliver when it counts

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Shane Victorino came through with what would be the winning hit in Tuesday's ALDS-clinching win by hustling down the line on an infield ground ball to Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar and beating the throw to first.

"It all feels good," said Victorino, who had been 0-for-7 against Joel Peralta before his game-changer in the seventh. "When I put that ball into play, I knew it was going to be a tough play with Escobar. I knew it wasn't hit hard enough. It was a matter of beating Escobar for making the play. And I was able to do that."

In addition to his winning hit, Victorino was hit by a pitch twice, bringing his ALDS total to a record four.

"Hey, it is what it is," Victorino said. "People say I'm close to the plate. I crowd the plate. Part of getting hit is part of the game. I know those guys aren't doing it for any apparent reason. They're just trying to make their pitches and execute their pitches. So be it that I'm getting hit. Trust me, I don't want to get hit. It doesn't feel good."


Craig Breslow tied a career high when he struck out the first four batters he faced, beginning with James Loney in the sixth before retiring the side in the seventh. Breslow went on to get one out in the eighth before giving way to Junichi Tazawa following an infield hit by Escobar.

Breslow earned the win, his first postseason victory.

"My goal was just to get guys out," said Breslow, who also fanned Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist and Desmond Jennings. "It wasn't to strike guys out. Knowing where we were in the lineup, when I went back out for that second inning, it was the heart of the order, pretty dangerous guys. Trying to keep the ball on the ground as much as I could. And for whatever reason, tonight I was able to get ahead. And before the ball was put into play, I was able to get in some strikeouts."