Game over: Red Sox 12, Rays 5
Never know, do you? Red Sox pretty much put a lineup out there waving the white flag for the season with four rookies in the lineup and trounced the Rays, who could have gained ground on the Yankees, who lost to the Orioles. Rays may kick themselves. Jon Lester needed only six innings to record 10 strikeouts, allowing two runs. Big night for Ryan Kalish, who hit a grand slam in the fourth to break the game wide open. Adrian Beltre and David Ortiz also homered.
Top 8th: Red Sox 12, Rays 5
One thing we forgot to mention was a nice pregame ceremony for Luis Tiant, celebrating his 70th birthday and the 35th anniversary of his late-season 1975 pitching performances. Tiant, inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 1997, will turn 70 in November, but the team wanted to honor him before the end of the season. Dwight Evans, Bill Lee and Johnny Pesky were on hand to support Tiant who was presented with a luxury watch. Tiant also threw out the first pitch. Tiant went 122-81 with a 3.36 ERA with the Sox in eight seasons. He won 229 games with a 3.30 ERA and won 20 games four times. Tiant remains a special assignment instructor for the Red Sox.
Bottom 7th: Red Sox 12, Rays 5
A thousand substitutions by the Rays. They scored three runs on bases loaded walks, two by Robert Coello and one by Dustin Richardson before Scott Atchison got the job done. Sox have scored here in the bottom of the inning on Navarro sac fly deep to center. Navarro reminds me of a young Edgar Renteria.
Top 7th: Red Sox 11, Rays 4
Not a great debut for Robert Coello, the Independent League graduate who had a decent run at Pawtucket. He walked two with the bases loaded and was mercifully lifted by Terry Francona for Dustin Richardson.
Bottom 4th: Red Sox 11, Rays 2
The exclamation point of the inning: a grand slam by Ryan Kalish, the second of his young career (August 17 vs. Angels). The turning point of the inning was Joe Maddon's decision to walk Adrian Beltre intentionally (for the second time). The Sox had runners at second and third with two outs after Nava and Drew singled. After Drew was erased at second base on Victor Martinez' fielder's choice, the catcher wisely moved to second on a foul pop by Ortiz with Shoppach having his back turned to make the catch to the left of homeplate. With first base open, Maddon ordered the intentional walk to pitch to Jed Lowrie. Sonnanstine went 3-0 to Lowrie and walked him on four pitches, scoring Nava.
Top 3rd: Red Sox 6, Tampa Bay 2
The Red Sox had Scott Atchison warming up in the third as Jon Lester struggled. A pair of infield hits, one of the RBI variety by Sean Rodriguez, brought in a run. Rocco Baldelli struck out on an offspeed pitch with the bases loaded.
Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 6, Rays 1
The Red Sox have driven Jeff Niemann out of the game with three more runs. A quick hook by Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon, who doesn't want this game to get too far out of hand with the Yankees losing to the Orioles this afternoon. Maddon had brought in Andy Sonnanstine. Ryan Kalish started things off with a single to center and he promptly stole second base. After Lars Anderson struck out in his first major league at-bat and Navarro also struck out, Leadoff hitter Daniel Nava worked a walk, followed by another free pass to J.D. Drew. Victor Martinez followed with a two-run single spelling the end of Niemann. Ortiz greeted Sonnanstine with an RBI double off the left-center field wall.
Bottom 1st: Red Sox 3. Rays 1
David Ortiz and and Adrian Beltre went back-to-back with homers off Rays' starter Jeff Niemann. Ortiz' came with Victor Martinez aboard after he had drawn a two-out walk. Ortiz' 28th homer was pulled down the right field line. Beltre's was hit into the Monster seats.
Top 1st: Rays 1, Red Sox 0
Carl Crawford drove in B.J. Upton for TB's first run. Upton singled and stole second. Crawford also stole his 42nd base (to third).