A few minutes before Brad Marchand sent Bruins fans into delirium last night, Will Middlebrooks and the Red Sox staged a rousing rally of their own. After a scorching April, the Red Sox had floundered in May. And they appeared on their way to another listless loss, trailing 3-1 in the ninth with flamethrowing Rays closer Fernando Rodney taking the mound.

But then Middlebrooks delivered the at-bat of the young season, curling a three-run double to left field in a 4-3 victory.

Breaking down the play from start to finish illustrates just how well the Red Sox can play with a game on the line. This one had the look and feel of a catalyst.

“Awesome, man,” Middlebrooks said. “Gives us some momentum, we’re on the road, so it’s obviously good to get that momentum going to the next series, and try to get things turned around.”

To set the scene: Rodney entered in the ninth and it became immediately clear that he had zero command of his fastball, walking Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, and with one out, Daniel Nava.

After watching Stephen Drew strike out on three changeups, Middlebrooks knew what to expect.

So much for that. Two fastballs of nearly 100 mph later — including one he barely fouled off — he found himself in an 0-2 hole.