ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 6-2 win over Tampa Bay:
* It appears that Andrew Benintendi can play a little bit.
On Sunday, Benintendi rebounded from a rough night with a triple and his first career homer.
On Monday, his contributions came in the field.
With the Red Sox leading 3-0 in the bottom of the eighth and a runner on base, Steve Souza Jr. drive a ball down the left field line that looked headed for a two-run homer.
But Benintendi, who had moved over from center to left after Chris Young left for a pinch-runner in the top of the inning, raced over, timed his leap perfectly, and straddled the wall, his legs hanging over precariously, while pulling the ball back.
It was, in short, the catch that Torii Hunter tried to make in Game 2 of the 2013 ALCS -- but couldn't.
* Chris Young made a nice return to the lineup.
Young missed almost exactly two months with a pulled hamstring, but in his first game back in the lineup, contributed on both sides of the ball.
At the plate, he walked twice and knocked in the first run with an RBI double in the fourth.
In the field, he ranged toward the line to snare a fly ball by Tim Beckham with a man on and one out in the fifth.
Both the double and the running catch seemed to indicate that Young was fully recovered.
* Unsurprisingly, John Farrell has some trust issues with his bullpen.
Price had thrown 104 pitches through seven innings and the Red Sox led 3-0. For most starters, that would be enough of a workload for the night.
But given all the difficulties the Red Sox have had in the eighth inning of late, Farrell was taking no chances. Through the top of the eighth, no one stirred, making it clear that Price was the manager's choice to go back out for the start of the eighth.
Those fears were reinforced when Matt Barnes came in for some mop-up work, leading by five in the ninth, and allowed a two-run homer, two singles and a wild pitch before recording the final out.