Game over: Rays 8, Red Sox 5
Even without their usual closer available (Kyle Farnsworth has a sore elbow) the Rays held on as Ellsbury doubled with two outs and was stranded there.
The Rays won three of four in the series and take the season series 12-6, outscoring the Sox by a whopping 39 runs.
The $41 million Rays have embarrassed the $161 million Sox in recent weeks, winning eight of the last nine games between the teams. Tampa Bay was 7-2 at Fenway Park, outscoring the Sox 54-26.
The Sox now lead by two games in the wild card with 10 to play. The odds are still with them, but given how they’re playing, would anybody be surprised if the collapse continued?
Enjoy the second half of the Patriots game.
Middle of the 9th: Rays 8, Red Sox 5
Albers and Trever Miller retired the side in order. Outside of Andrew Miller, the Red Sox bullpen was solid today.
Top of the 9th: Rays 8, Red Sox 5
Crawford pinch hit and doubled with two outs against J.P. Howell. Peralta, a righthander, came in. McDonald stayed in the game and popped to second.
Middle of the 8th: Rays 8, Red Sox 5
Upton reached on an error with two outs before Salty threw him out.
Top of the 8th: Rays 8, Red Sox 5
Scutaro and Ellsbury singled with two outs. Aviles then knocked one into the Monster Seats facing Cesar Ramos.
The Ghost of Adrian Gonzalez then struck out. He is 0 for 12 in the series with seven K’s. Matt Albers coming out of the bullpen. Big crowd of Rays trying to grab their bats in the dugout.
Middle of the 7th: Rays 8, Red Sox 2
Andrew Miller did what Andrew Miller does and allowed two runs.
The Red Sox have allowed four steals today, thrown two wild pitches and been charged with four passed balls. Embarrassing day of baseball.
Top of the 7th: Rays 6, Red Sox 2
The Sox made three outs as far as I could tell. I was busy making hotel reservations to cover the Ray-Tigers series in the first round.
(That’s a joke. But maybe I should. Yikes.)
Andrew Miller now pitching.
Middle of the 6th: Rays 6, Red Sox 2
Atchison left a runner stranded on third. Rays now have Brignac at shortstop.
Top of the 6th: Rays 6, Red Sox 2
1-2-3 inning for Jake McGee. Price left for precautionary reasons with a bruise on his chest. Atchison now in for Wakefield. NESN’s rating must be plunging like a rock as the Patriots close in on opening kickoff in Foxboro.
Middle of the 5th: Rays 6, Red Sox 2
This is really embarrassing for the Red Sox now. Jennings singled, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and then scored on a passed ball.
Longoria singled and Kotchman walked with one out. Damon popped to right. Zobrist grounded to third and Aviles threw the ball away, allowing a run to score.
Top of the 5th: Rays 4, Red Sox 2
The Zombie Sox won’t go down without a fight it seems. Pedroia sigled and Ortiz walked to start the inning. After Jackson popped up, McDonald smacked a two-run double to the gap in right.
There was a chance for more but Salty struck out and Scutaro grounded out.
Middle of the 4th: Rays 4, Red Sox 0
Joyce doubled, took third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly. Another bad day for the Red Sox and with the Yankees losing.
Top of the 4th: Rays 3, Red Sox 0
Price was struck in the right shoulder by a liner from Aviles. The ball deflected to third base and Aviles was thrown out. Price was checked out and stayed in the game. He retired the side in order.
Middle of the 3rd: Rays 3, Red Sox 0
1-2-3 inning for Wakefield. He has now reached 3,000 innings in his career for the Red Sox. He’s the first Sox pitcher to hit that plateau.
Top of the 3rd: Rays 3, Red Sox 0
Jackson and McDonald walked with two outs. But Salty flied to center and Scutaro popped to first.
Middle of the 2nd: Rays 3, Red Sox 0
Ugly inning for Wakefield. Kotchman struck out but reached on a wild pitch. He then took second on a passed ball. Damon, mindlessly booed by some in the crowd, doubled in a run. With one out, Joyce singled in Damon.
Joyce stole second and scored on a single by Jennings, who has killed the Red Sox all series. A three-run deficit against a lefty like Price looks huge, especially given how poorly the Sox are playing.
Top of the 2nd: Rays 0, Red Sox 0
Aviles (5 for 9 in the series) doubled with one out. Gonzalez went the other way but Jennings tracked the ball down. Pedroia then struck out.
Middle of the 1st: Rays 0, Red Sox 0
Wakefield retired the side in order on 10 pitches.
Pre-game: Good afternoon from Fenway Park, where the Red Sox will attempt to split their series with the Rays.
It’ll be Tim Wakefield against David Price. A 45-year-old against a 26-year-old.
Hang out here for the updates and please feel free to leave your comments if you’re not watching football. I assume we still have some good baseball fans out there.