The Red Sox had a great chance to end their holiday weekend in Tampa on a positive note. But since this season is a gray hellscape of complete and utter misery, they didn’t finish the job.
Matt Joyce’s bases loaded single with one out in the bottom of the 10th made 4-3 winners of the Rays, who wound up splitting the four game set with the Sox. Burke Badenhop gave up a lead off double to Ryan Hanigan, a close play at second which Sox manager John Farrell challenged and lost, then after an intentional walk, a sacrifice by Ben Zobrist and another intentional walk, Joyce lofted a fly ball to left over the head of Yoenis Cespedes to end it.
The Sox trailed 3-2 in the eighth when Cespedes tied the game with an RBI single to left that scored Mookie Betts, who had his third straight two-hit game. And in the tenth, Boston put the go-ahead run on after Christian Vazquez singled with one out. But newly acquired Jemile Weeks, making his Red Sox debut as a pinch runner, was promptly picked off first to end the threat. Obviously, Weeks has been paying attention.
Rubby De La Rosa pitched 5.1 innings for the Sox, allowing three runs on six hits. He struck out four and walked none. Mike Napoli, serving as the DH in place of David Ortiz, hit his 17th homer of the season, a solo shot to deep left center, in the fourth.
The loss snapped a five game road winning streak for the Sox, who will look to play spoiler when they open up a three-game series against the playoff contending Yankees on Tuesday night in the Bronx.