BOSTON -- It's a feeling that Jarrod Saltalamacchia will never forget.
Bottom of the ninth, down one run, and pinch-hitting for Marlon Byrd. The tying run was on second, with one out. And it was an 0-1 count against a closer in Fernando Rodney who hadn't blown a save or allowed a home run all season.
So what did Saltalamacchia do? He jacked a 96-mph fastball over the Red Sox bullpen for a two-run walk-off home run, just 24 hours after he prevented Luke Scott from charging the mound.
On Friday night at Fenway Park, the Red Sox' and Tampa Bay Rays' dugouts and bullpens emptied after Franklin Morales hit Scott with a pitch, causing a pile of players surrounding home plate.
That pile was somewhat different on Saturday night, as Red Sox players embraced the game's hero.
"It was funny," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine after his team's dramatic 3-2 win on Saturday night, "I looked at Tim Bogar when the inning started and I said, 'We haven't had a walk-off all year.' And he said, 'It's a great day for it, let's do it.' And Salty did.
"It really looked great," added Valentine. "We saw that scene before, just, this was a happy scene. And last night might have brought them together, and maybe we'll have that reunion a few times at home plate this year."
It marked Saltalamacchia's first-career walk-off home run. He's also the first Red Sox pinch-hitter to hit a walk-off home run since Wes Chamberlain in 1995.
"I was just looking for a fastball," said Saltalamacchia, who has three homers and six RBI in his last six games. "I was able to get a fastball down the middle of the plate and do something with it.
"Tonight was awesome. I met the shredder for the first time. It was just great. We've been working so hard, and this team's so close, that it was just an awesome feeling to come into home plate with those guys just pumped up."