Game over: Red Sox 4, Rays 2
Jonathan Papelbon earned his 13th save, shutting down the Rays after they put the first two hitters on base as the Sox ended their 9-game road trip with an 8-1 record.
Papelbon allowed a leadoff double to Casey Kotchman and an infield single to B.J. Upton. Joe Maddon pinch-hit Elliot Johnson for John Jaso with the intent of moving the runners into scoring position with a bunt. But Johnson popped it in the air allowing Kevin Youkilis to make a nice diving play on the ball for the first out.
Pinch-hitter Justin Ruggiano took a called third strike before Sean Rodriguez ended the evening for Tampa Bay striking out on a 3-2 pitch.
The game lasted 3:13 before 23,495.
Top 9th: Red Sox 4, Rays 2
Adrian Gonzalez homered, his 14th on a linedrive shot to rightfield off Kyle Farnsworth to give Papelbon a two-run lead to work with.
Bottom 8th: Red Sox 3, Rays 2
Heading into the nitty-gritty here. Daniel Bard is out for the eighth trying to hold the 1-run lead. Jonathan Papelbon is warming up and would come in to pitch the ninth we assume.
Jacoby Ellsbury pinch-hit for Mike cameron in the eighth and stayed in the game to play center with McDonald moving to right. Ellsbury has now played in all 68 Red Sox games.
Bottom 6th: Red Sox 3, Rays 2
Clay Buchholz has been relieved by Alfredo Aceves in the bottom of the sixth. Buchholz went 5 IP, 2H, 1R, 3BB’s and 5 K’s. He threw 81 pitches. Could his back be an issue again? Prcie is also gone after five. He allowed five hits, three runs, walked five and struck out five. He threw 106 pitches.
The Rays closed the gap when Casey Kotchman homered off Aceves.
Bottom 4th: Red Sox 3, Rays 1
Jed Lowrie reinjured his left shoulder. We’ll keep our eye on this. If Lowrie has to go on the DL, the Sox would have to recall an infielder.
Meanwhile, Buchholz is pitching well. He allowed a two-out single to Upton, after retiring six straight, three via strikeout. Upton stole second base, his 16th and second of the game, but was stranded at second.
Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 3, Rays 1
Buchholz retired the top of the order. Struck out Joyce to end the inning.
Top 3rd: Red Sox 3, Rays 1
Price settled down, 1-2-3 inning.
Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 3, Rays 1
The Rays started chipping away against Buchholz. BJ Upton walked and stole second base and came in on Sam Fuld’s double to left field.
Top 2nd: Red Sox 3, Rays 0
Jarrod Saltalamacchia drilled a double to right field off the wall and scored on Darnell McDonald’s single up the middle. Dustin Pedroia, with a perfectly-placed single down the first base line, scored McDonald from first base. Adrian Gonzalez then walked setting the stage for Youk vs. Price II.
Youkilis nearly knocked into another double-play, as his hard grounder to shortstop enabled Reid Brignac to flip to Ben Zobrist to get the force at second, but on the transfer, Zobrist dropped the ball killing the DP possibility.
Price’s poor outing continued by walking Ortiz. Price finally retired Marco Scutaro on a pop out to end the threat of more damage.
Bottom 1st: Red Sox 1, Rays 0
As we enter the bottom of the first, Marco Scutaro has replaced Jed Lowrie at shortstop. Lowrie struck out in the first and has been plagued by a sore shoulder. We haven’t yet heard an announcement.
Clay Buchholz walked Ben Zobrist with one out, but nothing else. Get the feeling this won’t be a 2:24 or 2:20 game like the first two.
Top 1st: Red Sox 1, Rays 0
A rather eventful first inning.
Darnell McDonald, leading off and playing centerfield, stroked a liner to the left field wall that Sam Fuld caught up to for the first out against Rays starter David Price. After Dustin Pedroia walked, Adrian Gonzalez ripped a double down the right field line sending Pedroia to third. Could Pedroia have scored?
Kevin Youkilis was hit with a pitch above the left elbow, prompting home plate umpire Gary Darling to issue a warning to both benches. Did Price really try to hit Youkilis? There was a base open with lefthanded hitting David Ortiz due up, so you could see Price doing it. There’s also the theory that Price was getting back at Youkilis for stepping on Casey Kotchman late in last night’s game.
Price had Ortiz 0-2. He thought he had Ortiz struck out on 2-2. The count ran to 3-2., Ortiz fouled off one pitch and then walked him to force in a run.
After Price struck out Jed Lowrie, he left the bases loaded when he got Carl Crawford to ground out to second base.
Prcie threw 33 pitches.