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Final: Rays 5, Red Sox 3

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  July 14, 2012 07:11 PM

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Game over: The Red Sox offense continued to be inept when it counts most. Mike Aviles started things of with a single to center off Fernando Rodney and that's all she wrote. A pair of strikeouts by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Brent Lillibridge and a weak fly ball to left by the slumping Daniel Nava.

Bottom 8th: Rays 5, Red Sox 3 BJ Upton hit a solo homer against Andrew Miller to give the Rays a cushion.

Top 8th: Rays 4, Red Sox 3 Great opportunity squandered by the Sox. Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a double and he never moved. Pedro Ciriaco botched a sacrifice bunt attempt when he popped up foul to the catcher. With one out and a runner at second, David Ortiz walked, but hre next two hitters - Cody Ross and Will Middlebrooks - couldn't come up with a big hit against reliever Joel Peralta to end the inning and two runners on base.

Bottom 7th: Rays 4, Red Sox 3 The Rays scored twice to overtake the Sox. Buchholz began to tire and walked Luke Scott and hit Jeff Keppinger with a pitch. Desmond Jennings bunted the runners over. That was all for Buchholz as Bobby Valentine brought in Matt Albers. Joe Maddon brought up Hideki Matsui to pinch-hit for Jose Molina and with the base open, Valetnine walked him intentionally to set up a double-play possibility with sinker-baller Albers. But Albers walked pinch hitter Jose Lobaton with the bases loaded to force in the tying run. Elliott Johnson then knocked in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to center. Andrew Miller came on to face Carlos Pena and struck him out.

Top 7th: Red Sox 3, Rays 2 David Price rebounds with a strong inning retiring the Red Sox in order. Nava is now 0-for-3.

Bottom 6th: Red Sox 3, Rays 2 With 79 pitches through six, looks like the Sox may get seven innings out of Buchholz. He retired the side 1-2-3 very swiftly to preserve Boston's one-run lead.

Top 6th: Red Sox 3, Rays 2 A nice bluff down the thrid base line (something Bobby V emphasizes to his runners) forces David Price into a bad pickoff throw to third which went over the third baseman's head scoring Ross with the go-ahead run. That was after Ross had walked and moved to second on Jose Molina's passed ball and to third on Will Middlebrooks' ground out.

Bottom 5th: Red Sox 2, Rays 2 The run the Sox had cutdown in the tiop of the inning came back to haunt them as the Rays tied it. After Jeff Keppinger doubled to left center, he was advanced to third on a Desmond Jennings sac bunt. Mike Aviles booted Jose Molina's grounder to short allowing the run to score. Buchholz got out of further harm striking out the final two batters of the inning. He's got seven K's through five.

Top 5th: Red Sox 2, Rays 1 Kelly Shoppach was thrown out trying to score from third on a fly ball to right by Pedro Criaco. Nice throw by Ben Zobrist and nice block by Jose Molina, preventing Shoppach's leg from touching plate. Shoppach very, very slow. He had walked and movced to second on Brent Lillibridge single. After Jacoby ellsbury singled to left to load the bases, Ciriaco knocked into the DP.

Bottom 4th: Red Sox 2, Rays 1 Buchholz is really dealing. Two K's in a 1-2-3 inning.

Top 4th: Red Sox 2, Rays 1 One pitch before Will Middlebrooks jacked a 2-run homer, I uttered the words, "Middlebrooks looks overmatched!" After David Ortiz hit a single to the left side of the shift and Cody Ross struck out swinging, Middlebrooks, who had struck out in his first bat and was making no contact in his second at bat vs. Price, poked it into the leftcenter bleachers.

Bottom 3rd: Rays 1, Red Sox 0 Buchholz allowed back-to-back singles to Desmond Jennings and Jose Molina to put runners at the corners with nobody out. Sean Rodriguez got the run in with a deep fly ball to center. Buchholz, who is expected to throw no more than 90 pitches, kept the damage to a minimum.

Top 3rd: Red Sox 0, Rays 0 Daniel Nava may be getting too selective. He took a called third strike. His averaging is dropping like a brick. He's now 8-for-48 (.167) against lefties. The Sox set down in order by Price. Jacoby Ellsbury flew out to left field.

Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 0, Rays 0 Rocking chair inning for Buchholz - a strike out (BJ Upton), Luke Scott (4-3) and Jeff Keppinger (6-3).

Top 2nd: Red Sox 0, Rays 0 Kelly Shoppach knows David Price like the back of his hand after catching him while with the Rays, but Price got the best of him when he struck him out on a called third strike. Shoppach has struck out in 38 of his 94 at-bats. Price again fanned two Red Sox. The struggling will Middlebrooks struck out as well. Mike Aviles singled with two outs.

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 0, Rays 0 Clay Buchholz returned from his stint on the DL with a stomach illness looking very sharp. He also struck out two Rays in a perfect inning. He fell behind 3-0 to Ben Zobrist and came back and poured three straight strikes at him.

Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Rays 0 David Price throwing gas right off the bat, 95 and 96 mph on the gun. The top of the Sox order had no chance - Jacoby Ellsbury with a weak grounder to second, Pedro Ciriaco struck out and David ortiz took a called third strike.

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