Game over: Rays 9, Sox 3
Chih-Hsien Chiang singled with two outs in the ninth, but Tug Hulett struck out to end the game.
Bottom 8th: Rays 9, Red Sox 3
Recently demoted backstop Dusty Brown doubled to knock in Tug Hulett with the second Sox run and Kevin Frandsen singled in the third Sox run.
Top 8th: Rays 9, Sox 1
Hard to declare a winner in the Battle of the Lefties. Scott Schoeneweis retired the first two batters he faced with strikeouts and then saw the roof cave in allowing two hits, two runs with two walks and two strikeouts in two-thirds of an inning. Alan Embree got his turn and got beaten in his second outing. In the eighth he allowed two hits, four runs, three earned, with two walks and no strikeouts in two-thirds of an ininng. Draw? Well, at least Schoeneweis struck out lefthanded hitter Hank Blalock.
Bottom 7th: Rays 5, Sox 1
A Dustin Pedroia sacrifice fly has scored Boston’s only run. The line on Schoeneweis: 2/3 of innings, 2 hits, 2 runs, 2BB and 2 Ks.
Top 7th: Rays 5, Red Sox 0
Scott Schoeneweis, trying to make the team as the second lefty, made a good first impression when he struck out Hank Blalock to lead off the 7th. He also retired righthanded hitting Sean Rodriguez, but it went downhill from there. Schoeneweis allowed a run on a double-error by minor league first baseman Brett Harper on Jason Bartlett’s grounder to shortstop on which Marco Scutaro made a nice play. But Schoeneweis reloaded the bases before coming out in favor of Joe Nelson. The situation didn’t improve. Nelson, also fighting for a spot, walked B.J. Upton to force home a run.
Bottom 5th: Rays 3, Red Sox 0
The Rays had scored an unearned run in the top of the fifth on Jason Bartlett’s single to center after a two-out single by Ashley who went to third on Beckett’s throwing error. The Sox had a couple of baserunners in the bottom of the inning as Scutaro singled and Pedroia reached on an error by second baseman Sean Rodriguez, but after Youkilis struck out and with David Ortiz up, the Sox were caught in a baserunning snafu where Pedroia broke from first base and was caught in a rundown, but Scutaro was thrown out roaming off the bag at third, catcher-to-shortstop-to-third base if you’re scoring.
Top fourth: Rays 2, Red Sox 0
Nice inning for Becket. Struck out the side – B.J. Upton, Willy Aybar and Pat Burrell. Showed nice breaking ball and change-up. Fastball still in the 91-92 range.
Bottom third: Rays 2, Red Sox 0
The old two-stranded combo. Mike Lowell struck out on a Niemann curveball with runners at the corners. Kevin Youkilis had hit a rocket ground-rule double to right and Ortiz reached on an error by shortstop Jason Bartlett.
Top third: Rays 2, Red Sox 0
Nice at-bat spring training or no spring training for catcher Nevin Ashley. He belted the ninth pitch of the at-bat to the CVS sign in rightcenter. A nice poke. By the way, guess what Ashley’s wife’s first name is? Answer: Ashley.
Bottom 2nd: Rays 1, Red Sox 0
Two more runners stranded, this time by Marco Scutaro who grounded out to shortstop with two on and two outs. Mike Lowell, playing 3rd tonight, singled to right field and Bill Hall, the No. 9 hitter and leftfielder, singled through the left side of the infield. Mike Cameron struck out on a 91 mph inside fastball, great location by Niemann. The Sox want Cameron to be more aggressive in two-strike fastball situations. He was, but no dice this time.
Top 2nd: Rays 1, Red Sox 0
Beckett featured a good hook in the second inning getting Sean Rodriguez fishing for one for an inning-ending strikeout. Beckett gave up a gap double to Pat Burrell on a 93 mph fastball and Hank Blalock smacked a 92 mph fastball to the wall in right before Drew made the catch. Beckett’s velocity has been around 92-93.
Bottom 1st: Rays 1, Red Sox 0
David Ortiz stranded a pair of runners when he grounded out to first base against 6-9 righty Jeff Niemann. J.D. Drew had stroked a two-out single up the middle and Kevin Youkilis had walked.
Top 1st : Rays 1, Red Sox 0
Mike Schmidt…rather Evan Longoria…. blasted a Josh Becket slider over the left field fence on the first pitch with two outs in the first inning to give the Rays an early lead. Beckett threw eight pitches in the inning, retiring Jason Bartlett on a grounder to second base and Carl Crawford on a bouncer back to Beckett before the homer. B.J. Upton flew out to center to end the inning.