Final: Rays 6, Red Sox 2: The Sox go down in order in the ninth and the Rays salvage a split of the doubleheader. They come back tomorrow afternoon and finish up the short series.
Top of the ninth, Rays 6, Red Sox 2: An awkward double by Johnny Damon that bounced fair in left field, then off the fence in foul territory then died in short left turned out to be harmless.
Bottom of the eighth, Rays 6, Red Sox 2: The Sox offense only mustered three hits in the first game of the double header and they have just three in the nightcap. With David Ortiz out of the lineup, they’ve gotten no hits from the DH spot. Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez are both 0 for the doubleheader.
Top of the eighth, Rays 6, Red Sox 2: The Rays get three runs on four hits — they also utilized some clever base-running, scoring on a convoluted double-steal — and stretch their lead.
Bottom of the seventh, Rays 3, Red Sox 2: Carl Crawford drew boos from the Fenway crowd after he struck out for the third time this game and the fourth time overall today.
Top of the seventh, Rays 3, Red Sox 2: Dustin Pedroia has a couple of web gems tonight, both on scalding hot line drives. This one came of the bat of Desmond Jennings (who’s killing the ball today) and probably would have plated Sean Rodriguez (who reached after he was hit by a pitch for the second time today) if Pedroia hadn’t snared it.
Bottom of the sixth, Rays 3, Red Sox 2: Jacoby Ellsbury’s power surge continues today. He’s hit his second home run of the twin bill. This time, though, the bases were empty, so the Sox still trail.
Top of the sixth, Rays 3, Red Sox 1: Ben Zobrist gets his second hit of the night, but the Rays can’t capitalize.
Bottom of the fifth, Rays 3, Red Sox 1:The Sox go down in order. Jeff Niemann’s up to six strikeouts after catching Jason Varitek (swinging) and Darnell McDonald (looking).
Top of the fifth, Rays 3, Red Sox 1: Desmond Jennings got a hold o the first pitch he saw with two outs and shot it over the Monster for his fifth home run of the season.
Bottom of the fourth, Rays 2, Red Sox 1: Dustin Pedroia shot one out to the Monster but it landed on the wrong side of the foul pole. Josh Reddick bounced out to second and Carl Crawford struck out for the second time tonight (this time swinging). Crawford came in hitting .167 (3 for 18) against his former team coming into this doubleheader.
Top of the fourth, Rays 2, Red Sox 1: Triple plays are going around these days. The Brewers turned one yesterday. Now, the Sox see it and raise it, with Jed Lowrie going around the horn on a Sean Rodriguez ground ball to get three. It was the Sox’s first triple play since July 8, 1994 when John Valentin turned an unassisted triple play at shortstop.
Bottom of the third, Rays 2, Red Sox 1: Jason Varitek cuts the lead in half, drilling a 1-and-0 pitch to right field for his eighth home run of the season.
Top of the third, Rays 2, Red Sox 0: Desmond Jennings tagged the Wall with a line drive but was left stranded after Erik Bedard sat Johnny Damon, Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist down in order.
Bottom of the second, Rays 2, Red Sox 0: The Sox go down in a blink. Carl Crawford struck out looking. He’s 2 for his last 15.
Top of the second, Rays 2, Red Sox 0: Bad enough Bedard put the first two batters on base with a bunt single by Ben Zobrist and a single to right by B.J. Upton. But then he started to get out of it. He retired Casey Kotchman with a grounder to second base, advancing the runners. But then Sean Rodriguez reached second base when on his grounder to third base, Jed Lowrie made a lousy throw in the dirt to Jason Varitek at the plate, which the catcher couldn’t handle as the run scored. A good throw had the runner. Lowrie was charged with an error.
Matt Joyce’s grounder to second got the second run in. Catcher Robinson Chirinos struck out to end the inning.
Bottom of the first, Rays 0, Red Sox 0: Adrian Gonzalez walked with two outs but his trek ended there when rookie leftfielder Desmond Jennings made as spectacular leaping catch against The Monster to rob cleanup hitter Pedroia of extra bases. One could hear the sound of the wall as if the ball had hit off it. Terry Francona came out to argue the call, but to no avail. It looked like a clean catch.
Top of the first, Rays 0, Red Sox 0: Strong start for Erik Bedard, who retired the Rays in order in the first inning.
Pregame: Sox have taken the field for the start of the nigthcap of tonight’s doubleheader. Erik Bedard makes an important start. Game time is 7:08 p.m. 72 degrees.