BALTIMORE -- The September callup became the No. 5 hitter in Game 162 of the regular season.
That is how how much impact Ryan Lavarnway had Tuesday night, when he hit two homers, drove in four runs and made two key throws from behind the plate to help the Red Sox to a possible season-saving 8-7 victory over the Orioles.
Lavarnway batted sixth on Tuesday. Nobody has questioned Lavarnway's bat, but he proved under fire that he could handle the responsibilities behind the plate, and that's why manager Terry Francona threw him back out there Wednesday.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (left collarbone) and Jason Varitek (sore right knee) are clearly banged up, but the biggest reason why Lavarnway made his second Major League start at catcher on Wednesday is because of what he did the night before.
"Salty could go," said Francona. "I don't think he's close to 100 percent, but, again, we've got a kid who just drove in four runs and caught a pretty good game and feels good about himself, and [Jon] Lester is OK with him catching. I think rather than go the other way where Salty starts and we bring this kid in, I think we're better off doing it this way. If we have to make a move, Salty is always sitting there. This kid played a pretty good game last night."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.