Top 9th: Rays 3, Red Sox 2
Game over. Injuries may finally be catching up to the Red Sox and Hideki Okajima hurt them again. The team lost Kevin Youkilis (right ankle pain) and is now as thin as they’ve been at any time this season. The Sox have lost two one-run games to the Rays. Felix Doubrant, 22, put forth a respectable start replacing Clay Buchholz, allowing two runs over 5-2/3 innings. The Sox simply couldn’t get the bats going in a lineup that eventually had Niuman Romero in the cleanup spot after Youkilis went down in the fourth inning. After Eric Patterson drove in a run in the ninth with as triple, the Rays walked David Ortiz intentionally. Terry Francona then had Mike Cameron run for Ortiz, but not hit for Romero, who grounded out to end the game. Okajioma had allowed a solo homer to Carl Crawford in the 8th, the margin of victory. Soriano held on to earn the save before a weak crowd of 19,902 at Tropicana Field.
Bottom 8th: Rays 3, Red Sox 1
Carl Crawford has stroked his 8th homer on a 2-1 pitch from Hideki Okajima, who has now allowed seven runs over his last five outings (4 innings). Okajima last worked June 29th vs., Baltimore and allowed two hits and two runs in two-thirds of an inning. He’s had a sore back and and hadn’t worked since. Robert Manuel has come on to relieve Okie with runners at the corners and two outs. Manuel strikes out Rodriguez to end the eighth.
Top 7th: Rays 2, Red Sox 1
Biggest AB of your life, Niuman Romero. Two on, two out. As a replacement for the injured Kevin Youkilis, Romero grounded out softly. His name, at least for the time being, will not be mentioned with Darnell McDonald and Daniel Nava as immortal no-names. Nice job by Scott Atchison. Got last out of the sixth and retired the Rays in order in the 7th.
Bottom 6th: Rays 2, Red Sox 1
If the Rays wind up losing this game, thank Evan Longoria. The coverboy made a baserunning blunder at third base when he came too far down the line on a pitch with Carlos Pena at the plate. He got himself picked off on a heckuva throw by Kevin Cash to third where Beltre applied the tag. A heads-up play by Cash who caught Longoria completely asleep. It really helped Doubront who had loaded the bases with one out and Pena up. Doubront wound up walking Pena and came out of the game having thrown an even 100 pitches. Scott Atchison was left with the bases full and Sean Rodriguez up. But Atchison got out of it when SRod flew out to right. Doubront’s line: 5-2/3, 5 hits, 2 earned runs, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts. Niemann is also out: he went 6 innings, four hits, no earned runs, 3 walks and 6 strikeouts.
Bottom 6th: Rays 2, Red Sox 1
Youkilis left the game with right ankle pain, the Sox announced. That’s the extent of our information.
Bottom 5th: Rays 2, Red Sox 1
Sean Rodriguez led off the fifth with a triple to right-center and scored on John Jaso’s grounder to shortstop. Nevertheless, for his second major league start, Doubront is pitching well. He recovered nicely from the triple, retiring three straight batters though Upton ended the inning with a drive to the right field fence, which Drew caught against the wall.
Top 4th: Rays 1, Red Sox 1
Oh boy, Kevin Youkilis is coming out of the game. Youkilis was kicking the dirt while he was up and suddenly looked as if he had a cramp or worse. We’ll find out what it was. But it was enough for Youkilis to leave the game. Update: Beltre took a foul ball off the right knee, but stayed in. Sox tie it on Daniel Nava’s single to right beyond the grasp of outstretched Sean Rodriguez at second base after J.D. Drew reached on Evan Longoria’s throwing error.
Bottom 3rd: Rays 1, Red Sox 0
Rays scored off Doubront, who has exhibited a good breaking ball, but a straight fastball that obviously needs some work. Jaso singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. Bartlett singled passed Marco Scutaro on a well-hit one-hopper which he would normally get to. Doubront settled down and retired the next three batters.
Top 3rd: Red Sox 0, Rays 0
Sox put two batters on with walks (Cash and Scutaro), but Niemann got it together and struck out the hot Eric Patterson and got Ortiz to pop to left.
lBottom 1st: Red Sox 0 Rays 0
Rays also had a two-out double by Evan Longoria, a huggy down the third base line, just out of Adrian Beltre’s grasp. Doubront got the first two batters on fly ball’s to center. He retired Wily Aybar on a fly ball to right.
Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Rays 0
Funky double by Ortiz, who blasted a hard-hit ball passed Sean Rodriguez who was in short right in the Ortiz Shift. Kevin Youkilis grounded out, ending the threat. Mr. Felix Doubront now makes his second major league start.