Another spanking by the Rays over the Red Sox. This game ended a long, long time ago, but the Sox had to go through the motions and play the full nine innings. How can a team look so bad vying for the playoffs?
The last few innings of this game resembled something out of Fort Myers or Port Charlotte. The Sox got their entire bench out there. Jose Iglesias got his first major league hit. Joey Gathright was even out there fresh off the great teaching of his former manager Jose Canseco in the Independent leagues.
The fans weren't impressed either. Very few left in the stands at the end of this one.
The Sox lead for second place and the wild card is down to three in the loss column. And that's no laughing matter. The Rays are serious about winning this.
Top 8th: Rays 9, Red Sox 1
Andrew Miller really firing the ball, eh? Trying to find a silver lining folks.
Top 7th: Rays 9, Red Sox 1
Kevin Youkilis has been replaced by Mike Aviles at third base. We'll see if Youk has reinjured his back or hip or something else. Hellickson left after 5-2/3 innings, allowing three hits, one run with four walks and four strikeouts. He threw 117 pitches.
B.J. Upton greeted Matt Albers with a two-run homer. Casey Kotchman drove in the ninth run with a single.
Just had a nice chat with Drew Bledsoe, one of the class acts in sports.
Bottom 6th: Rays 6, Red Sox 1
A strong wind blowing in from left brought David Ortiz' routine fly to left back in and it dropped in front of Desmond Jennings for a basehit. While Josh Reddick walked to put a pair of runners on, Crawford lined out to left to end the inning.
Top 6th: Rays 6, Red Sox 1
Casey Kotchman hit a lined shot into the Red Sox bullpen with Johnny Damon aboard off Franklin Morales to pad Tampa Bay's lead. Earlier in the inning, Ben Zobrist had singled and was picked off first base by Scott Atchison. Johnny Damon was then hit with a pitch. After Matt Joyce struck out, Kotchman struck.
Top 4th: Rays 4, Red Sox 1
Could have been worse. Weiland walked Damon and Joyce reached on an error. Here, Francona came out and yanked the rookie for veteran lefty Trevor Miller. He did a nice job in getting out of the jam, foiling a squeeze attempt on a John Jason bunt as Damon was easily thrown out at the plate by Adrian Gonzalez.
Bottom 3rd: Rays 4, Red Sox 1
A walk and basehit by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Marco Scutaro respectively against Hellickson got the Sox going. Pedroia walked with one out to load the bases. Adrian Gonzalez' grounder to first base, got Boston's first run to score. David Ortiz was walked intentionally to reload the bases for Kevin Youkilis. The count ran to 3-2 before Youkilis grounded out to third to end the threat.
Top 3rd: Rays 4, Red Sox 0
Good times ended for Weiland, who retired the first seven batters. John Jaso doubled off the left field wall. With two outs, Desmond Jennings drew a walk. B.J. Upton then hit a broken-bat grounder toward shortstop Marco Scutaro. The broken bat and the ball went through his legs, scoring Jaso. Evan Longoria then put a charge into a 1-2 fastball that he deposited into the Red Sox bullpen, a three-run blast, scoring Jennings and Upton..
Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 0, Rays 0
Carl Crawford continues his disappointing season in Boston. Ortiz at third, two outs, got to 3-2 on Hellickson and poppeds out to second base. He's now 6 for 39 against the Rays. That's .153 folks. Ortiz singled to right after hitting a foul home run, Advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on Josh Reddick's grounder.
Top 2nd: Red Sox 0, Rays 0
Long drive by Johnny Damon to right. A homer in a lot of parks but an out here. Weiland has retired six straight. Little rain in the air, but so far no delay. Groundskeeper Dave Mellor told me before the game we may get some "nuisance" rain.
Bottom 1st: Red Sox 0, Rays 0
Jeremy Hellickson mowed the Sox down matching Weiland's first inning goose egg. Lots of empty seats at the start of this game, but starting to fill in a bit.
Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Rays 0
Kyle Weiland retired the Rays in order. Weiland is trying to refind his hard sinker and in the first inning had a good one.