The scene has unfolded again and again over the past 12 months. Koji Uehara nails down a save for the Red Sox, then goes through the postgame handshake line, where David Ortiz waits to lift the skinny closer and sling him over his broad shoulder.

This time, though, the gesture meant a little more.

Uehara inherited a two-run lead in the ninth inning here yesterday against the best-in-the-majors A’s. But for only the second time in his 252 career relief appearances, he allowed two home runs, solo shots by Stephen Vogt and John Jaso, to blow his first save since last July 6.

Stunning? That doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Then along came Ortiz to blast a leadoff homer in the 10th and give Uehara a second chance. He mowed down the A’s on 11 pitches, finally securing a sweep-averting 7-6 victory, and upon reaching Ortiz in the handshake line, the lift and the embrace lingered a few seconds longer.

“He said, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you,’ ” Ortiz said. “That’s my boy. He got us out of hot water always. I’ve got to do something for him sometimes.”

Ortiz did more than bail out Uehara, though. He lifted up a Red Sox team that was desperate for a win, especially on a day when ace lefty Jon Lester provided another seven solid innings and the offense finally busted out for 13 hits, three homers and more runs than it had scored in the previous three games combined.

To lose this game after leading 6-1 in the eighth inning would have been as demoralizing as it gets.

“We’d rather win in regulation, but hey, a win’s a win. We’ll take it,” said first baseman Mike Napoli, who became the first Red Sox player since Rico Petrocelli on Sept. 9, 1967 to hit a home run and get credited with stealing home. “It was nice getting our bats going, Lester pitched a hell of a game, and we’ll go to Seattle and try to win a series.”

But the Red Sox have had big wins before — remember Ortiz’ game-winning homer in the ninth inning two weeks ago in Detroit? — and failed to build on the momentum.

Will this be any different?

“It’s just something that hopefully we get started,” Ortiz said. “We haven’t been able to produce consistently. We’ve had a good game, had a good series and then we go back to struggles. Hopefully everything changes at some point.”