Hansen gives up two runs, in second big-league inning

In all of his days pitching for here at St. John’s, Craig Hansen was an ideal closer. Drafted by the Red Sox as the 26th overall pick in the first round of the amateur draft, Hansen proved to the Sox that they had made a sound investment as he failed to give up a run as a closer for the Portland Sea Dogs, Boston’s Double-A affiliate.

Hansen pitched 0.2 innings Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays, giving up no runs.

However, Hansen was roughly reminded by the Orioles’ Melvin Mora that the majors are a whole new show Saturday.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Hansen surrendered a two-run home run that tied the game at two apiece.

They were the first runs surrendered by Hansen in his professional career. Fortunately for the Sox, they were able to bail out the new guy with a two-run rally, capped by an Edgar Renteria two-RBI single in the top of the ninth followed by Mike Timlin pitching a one-run relief effort to give the Sox a 4-3 win.

The victory proved crucial, as the Yankees fell to Toronto 7-4, putting the Sox in a tie for first in the A.L East.

But the Sox have in Hansen a determined and optimistic professional who understands that despite a loss, tomorrow is another day.

“It’s easy for me to put today behind me because throughout school, I was a closer and learned that tomorrow we have another game,” Hansen told MLB.com. “Hopefully, I get an opportunity tomorrow or whenever it is to go back out there and come out on top.”

On top of a great attitude, Hansen also has the support of his teammates, who told him off the bat that they were going to get those two runs back, and sure enough they did.

After the game, reliever Mike Timlin was first to offer advice to the former St. John’s closer.

“Mora is a good hitter,” Timlin told MLB.com. “More often, [Hansen’s] going to get guys out than not. He’s got great stuff.”

Added team president Larry Lucchino: “That kid is going to bail us out in the future.”

Red Sox fans certainly hope that Lucchino’s premonition is accurate, as they collectively hold their breaths down what is promising to be one of the most eventful home stretches in team history.

This weekend, the New York Yankees, Hansen’s favorite team growing up, travel to Fenway Park for a three-game series.