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Barnes steps up, earns first big league win

OAKLAND -- The Red Sox had already turned to five relief pitchers on Monday night before calling on Matt Barnes to pitch in extra innings. The rookie righty responded by retiring six of the seven batters he faced en route to his first Major League win.

Over two innings, Barnes allowed no hits and a walk while striking out one to lead the Red Sox to a 5-4, 11-inning victory over the Athletics.

"Yeah, given what we went through in Toronto, we had some guys on some short leashes here tonight," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He was calm. Pulse seemed to stay pretty even-keel for him. Didn't go out and change his demeanor after we took the lead in the 11th inning. Two key innings for us."

Maybe Barnes would have envisioned getting his first Major League win as a starter, but the Red Sox have decided to convert him to a reliever for now.

"I mean, it's a different routine," Barnes said. "It's still a work in progress. We'll keep working with that. For right now, it's going good."

By the time the game ended, the game ball that commemorated his first win was already on the shelf in his locker.

"I'll probably give it to my mom," said Barnes. "She likes to keep all that stuff."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.
Read More: Boston Red Sox, Matt Barnes