Replays showed that the Tampa Bay Rays’ Evan Longoria probably beat shortstop Stephen Drew’s throw by a quarter of a step on the third and final out of the sixth inning in yesterday’s 3-2 Red Sox victory.

In this era of no instant replay on such plays, the call falls under the “Breaks of the Game” category. This one fell in the Red Sox’ favor.

And it was a big favor, too. If Longoria had been safe, Kelly Johnson would have scored from third and the game would have been tied at 2.

Drew dived to his left to get to the hard-hit ball and scrambled to his feet before uncorking the throw.

“(Longoria) had topspin on the ball and when it took off, the infield was kind of playing fast because of a day game and stuff,” Drew said. “I didn’t know if I was going to get it or not — at the end I knew I was going to have to battle and then get up and throw him out. It was one of those things, right place, right time.

“I don’t know, honestly when I got up I didn’t have a good footing — when I got up I kind of lost footing and threw. I knew I threw a good throw to Nap (first baseman Mike Napoli). A bang-bang play and it worked out for us.’’

Said manager John Farrell: “Obviously the head-long dive, he recovers quick. It’s a bang-bang play at first base. Up until that point, that was really the one inning, with the exception of the cutter that stays in the middle of the plate to Longoria (who homered off Ryan Dempster in the fourth), that was really the only threat they mounted against Ryan. Just an outstanding play on Stephen’s point. The one thing that maybe some had concern about is coming over the ankle injury — his range is outstanding at shortstop.”