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Final: Red Sox 3, Rays 1

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  July 13, 2012 08:13 PM

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Game over Red Sox 3, Rays 1: The Sox open up the second half of the season with a win. Alfredo Aceves pitched a dominating inning to earn his 20th save. The game lasted 3:26 before 29,089.

Top 9th: Red Sox 3, Rays 1: Jacoby Ellsbury obviously does not have his timing down. He struck out with Pedro Ciriaco at third with one out. Could have been a big run for the Sox. Cody Ross, pinch-hitting for Daniel Nava, flew out to left.

Bottom 8th: Red Sox 3, Rays 1: Dumb base running by Ben Zobrist cost the Rays a chance to pull even closer in this one. Zobrist doubled to left against Vicente Padilla and on B.J. Upton's sinking liner to right on which Ryan Sweeney made a nice sliding catch, Zobrist tagged up and tried to make third. But Sweeney popped up quickly hit cutoff man Mike Aviles who gunned Zobrist down at third on a nice throw and tag by third baseman Nick Punto. After Keppinger reached on an infield hit to third, Padilla struck out Sean Rodriguez to end the inning.

Top 8th: Red Sox 3, Rays 1: The Red Sox have been unable to help their cause here tonight. They're back to their inept offensive ways going down in order against Kyle Farnsworth. The Tampa Bay offense isn't much better and have been given every opportunity to overtake the Red Sox in this game but can't. Nick Punto has replaced Will Middlebrooks at third base in the bottom of the eighth. Wonder if the young third baseman, who has looked horrible at the plate (0-for-4 with two strikeouts) has done something to his hamstring?

Bottom 7th: Red Sox 3, Rays 1: Good inning for Matt Albers who has retired all four batters he's faced. Albers struck out a pair of batters in his 1-2-3 inning.

Top 7th: Red Sox 3, Rays 1: Tremendous squandering of an opportunity by the Red Sox to add to their lead. Bases loaded, one out and Bobby Valentine had Adrian Gonzalez on deck with David Ortiz up. Once Joe Maddon saw Gonzalez on deck with lefty JP Howell on the mound, he ordered Ortiz walked intentionally for the second time to load the bases. Valentine pulled back Gonzales and left righthanded hitting Mauro Gomez in. But Gomez, who was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts against Hellickson, grounded into a double-play to end the inning. Ouch.

Bottom 6th: Red Sox 3, Rays 1: Mike Aviles made a bad throw over Mauro Gomez' head at first base on Ben Zobrist's grounder with Scott Atchison starting the inning in place of Franklin Morales, who went five innings and allowed two hits. Atchison got the next two outs but surrendered a double to left by Sean Rodriguez scoring the first Rays run. Andrew Miller came on to pitch to lefthanded hitting Luke Scott. Maddon countered with righthanded hitting Brooks Conrad.Miller, who throws 97 mph, started him off with offspeed pitches and fell behind, 2-0. Conrad reached on an infield single to shortstop. On came Matt Albers, who struck out Desmond Jennings to end the inning.

Top 6th: Red Sox 3, Rays 0: The only good thing going on for the Red Sox is that the sixth was likely Hellickson's last. Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled with one out, but the Sox couldn't muster much else. Hellickson shut the Red Sox down over the last four innings.

Bottom 5th: Red Sox 3, Rays 0: Franklin Morales spotted the Rays a one-out double by Jose Lobaton, but struck out Elliot Johnson and Carlos Pena to get out of the inning. Morales is closing in on 100 pitches, and Scott Atchison is warming up.

Top 5th: Red Sox 3, Rays 0: With two outs after Daniel Nava had reached base with a walk, Rays manager Joe Maddon had David Ortiz intentionally walked advancing Nava to second base. Good move. With Mauro Gomez in the No. 4 hole, And with the slugger having problems with Hellickson all night, it was a good move. Gomez grounded out to third base to end the threat.

Bottom 4th: Red Sox 3, Rays 0: Ugly inning for Morales who walked three batters with two outs, but struck out Luke Scott on a high 96 mph fastball. Morales, who threw 33 pitches, lost it all of a sudden after getting two quick outs. He walked BJ Upton, Jeff Keppinger, and Sean Rodriguez. Morales also balked to send runners at second and third, but Rays never scored.

Top 4th: Red Sox 3, Rays 0: The Red Sox have allowed Hellickson to settle down, a another quick inning for the righty.

Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 3, Rays 0: Morales continues to have good fastball location and consistently around 94 mph. The bottom of Rays order and leadoff man Elliot Johnson are retired.

Top 3rd: Red Sox 3, Rays 0: Hellickson retired the side as Gomez and Middlebrooks struck out.

Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 3, Rays 0: Morales mowed the Rays down and got Luke Scott, who he hit with a pitch creating a bench-clearing brawl the last time these teams met, to foul out to third.

Top 2nd: Red Sox 3, Rays 0: Pedro Ciriaco singled up the middle with the bases loaded scoring two more Boston runs, but Jacoby Ellsbury (struck out) and and Daniel Nava (popped to shortstop) stranding runners at the corners. The Sox loaded them up as Hellickson walked two batters and hit Mike Aviles.

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 1, Rays 0: Franklin Morales allowed a two-out double to Ben Zobrist in the left field corner. Morales was about to get out of the inning with a ground ball to third base. Will Middlebrooks threw over to first. The throw was low, but Mauro Gomez, who was a late replacement for Adrian Gonzalez (still weak after a stomach ailment) dropped the throw. With runners at the corners, Morales picked off BJ Upton to end the inning.

Top 1st: Red Sox 1, Rays 0: David Ortiz started the second half scoring for the Red Sox with a home run, a vicious shot to right field on a 3-1 offering from Jeremy Hellickson giving Boston the early lead. Jacoby Ellsbury, in his first at-bat in three months, lined out to left field and Daniel Nava tapped back to the pitcher before Ortiz unleashed his 23d homer.

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