Rays 6, Sox 5
In a fitting start to the Boston Marathon weekend, the Rays engaged the Red Sox in a game of marathon baseball, winning Friday’s suspended game, 3-1, in 12 innings then prevailing in the nightcap, 6-5, before a Fenway Park crowd of 37,022 that thinned considerably after the clock struck midnight.
In a game that took 3 hours 17 minutes, the Rays staved off a four-run rally in the seventh by the Sox, who got a pair of two-run homers by Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis.
Clay Buchholz absorbed his first loss of the season (1-1) after scuffling in an interminable first inning (43 pitches, 26 minutes) in which he allowed the Rays to score four unearned runs.
James Shields, meanwhile, picked up his first win of the season after allowing four runs on nine hits, including the homers by Pedroia and Youkilis, while striking out seven in 6-2/3 innings.
Top 9th: Rays 6, Sox 5
Ramirez submitted another strong 1-2-3 inning, his second consecutive scoreless frame against the Rays. Rafael Soriano is now in the game for Tampa in relief of Wheeler (1 inning, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout). Rays 9th: no runs, no hits, none left on.
Bottom 8th: Rays 6, Sox 5
The Sox put two runners aboard against Dan Wheeler when Mike Lowell hit a lead-off single to center and Cameron followed, one out later, with a walk. Wheeler got Jeremy Hermida out on a foul tip to the catcher and Marco Scutaro to fly out to right to strand both runners. Sox 8th: no runs, 1 hit, 2 left on base.
Top 8th: Rays 6, Sox 5
RHP Ramon Ramirez came in and did a nice job of holding down the Rays with a 1-2-3 eighth inning, which included a strikeout of DH Pat Burrell (86 slider) . Dan Wheeler is now on the mound for the Rays in relief of Randy Choate. Rays 8th: no runs, no hits, none left on.
Bottom 7th: Rays 6, Sox 5
Dustin Pedroia just unloaded on James Shields, hitting a two-run homer with two out in the seventh. Pedroia’s fifth homer of the season, which gave him the most of any Sox second baseman in the month of April, helped halve Tampa’s lead, 6-3. Victor Martinez’s single to right spelled the end of the night for Shields (6-2/3 innings, 9 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts, 2 home runs, 121 pitches, 78 strikes). He turned it over to Andy Sonanstine, who promptly served up a 2-run homer to Kevin Youkilis on an 0-1 pitch, pulling the Sox within 1. Randy Choate relieved Sonanstine and faced David Ortiz, who grounded to short. Ramon Ramirez is now in the game for Boston. Sox 7th: 4 runs, 4 hits, none left on.
Top 7th: Rays 6, Sox 1
Evan Longoria just unloaded on Scott Atchison with a two-out solo homer to over the Green Monster. It was his second homer of the season on a 2-0 pitch. What a bomb. If the light tower hadn’t gotten in the way, it’d still be gaining altitude. James Shields is back on the mound, but there is activity in the Tampa bullpen. Rays 7th: 1 run, 1 hit, none left on.
Bottom 6th: Rays 5, Sox 1
The Sox have now stranded five baserunners in the last four innings, including Mike Lowell in the bottom of the sixth after he reached on a two-out single to right against Shields, who continued to battle and got J.D. Drew to pop up to second. Shields has now thrown 104 pitches. Sox 6th: no runs, 1 hit, 1 left on base.
Top 6th: Rays 5, Sox 1
The Rays manufactured yet another unearned run, with B.J. Upton scoring this one after reaching on an error by Marco Scutaro (Marco giveth and he taketh away). Upton then stole second _ giving him three stolen bases on the season; the Sox allowing 18 of 19 runners to steal successfully _ and went to third on a wild pitch to score on John Jaso’s ground-rule double to right. Atchison got out of the inning by striking out Sean Rodriguez and getting a nifty defensive play by J.D. Drew on Jason Bartlett’s fly ball to right. Rays 6th: 1 run, 1 hit, 1 error, 1 left on base.
Bottom 5th: Rays 4, Sox 1
Marco Scutaro just broke up Shields’ shutout bid with a towering homer _ his first of the season _ to the Green Monster seats. Dustin Pedroia followed with a towering double off The Wall against Shields, prompting a visit from Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey. It must have done the trick, because Shields got Victor Martinez to fly to center to end the inning. RHP Scott Atchison is now in the game for Buchholz (5 innings, 3 hits, 4 runs (none earned), 4 walks, 7 strikeouts, 108 pitches). Sox 5th: 1 run, 2 hits, 1 left on base.
Top 5th: Rays 4, Sox 0
It’s an observation that bears repeating: If Buccholz hadn’t struggled in the first inning (43 pitches, 26 minutes, 4 runs, 2 hits, 3 walks, 1 strikeout), he’d have an outstanding outing going. The fifth was another strong inning as he held the Rays scoreless for the fourth consecutive inning. Through five innings Buchholz has thrown 108 pitches and allowed three hits while recording 7 strikeouts and 4 walks. Rays 5th: no runs, no hits, 1 left on base.
Bottom 4th: Rays 4, Sox 0
The Sox put two men aboard when Victor Martinez reached on a lead-off single to right and David Ortiz lashed a one-out double off The Wall, but Shields got out of the jam when he got Mike Lowell to fly out to right and J.D. Drew to ground to first. Sox 4th: no runs, 2 hits, 2 left on.
Top 4th: Rays 4, Sox 0
Take away that interminable 43-pitch, 26-minute first inning and Buccholz would have himself quite a game going. Despite giving up a one-out double to backup catcher John Jaso, Buchholz settled down and struck out Sean Rodriguez (for the second time in the game) and Jason Bartlett (86, slider) to end the inning. Through four innings, Buchholz has thrown 93 pitches, including 40 in the last three scoreless innings. Rays 4th: no runs, 1 hit, 1 left on base.
Bottom 3d: Rays 4, Sox 0
Mike Cameron was the first Sox baserunner to reach against Shields when he hit a one-out double off The Wall. Cameron tagged up and went to third after Ben Zobrist robbed Jeremy Hermida of a possible home run with his running catch and collision with the fence near the foul pole in right. Shields seemed to scuffle himself when he walked Marco Scutaro to put men on the corners, but he got out of the potential jam by inducing Dustin Pedroia to ground to short. Sox 3d: no runs, one hit, none left on.
Top 3d: Rays 4, Sox 0
Another strong inning from Buccholz, who has now retired the last six batters he’s faced, three on strikeouts, including Carlos Pena (91 fastball) and B.J. Upton (89 curveball) to end the third. Rays 3d: no runs, no hits, none left on.
Bottom 2d: Rays 4, Sox 0
The Sox had nothing for Shields in the bottom of the inning, going down in order (again). Kevin Youkilis struck out, David Ortiz flew to left and Mike Lowell grounded out to third. Sox 2d: no runs, no hits, none left on.
Top 2d: Rays 4, Sox 0
After scuffling in the first, Buchholz seemed to settle down in the second inning, getting the Rays in order. Rays 2d: no runs, no hits, none left on base
Bottom 1st: Rays 4, Sox 0
The Red Sox had no answer for the Rays after James Shields retired the side in order, recording a pair of strikeouts against leadoff hitter Marco Scutaro (93 fastball) and No. 3 hitter Victor Martinez (93 fastball). Sox 1st: no runs, no hits, none left on base.
Top 1st: Rays 4, Sox 0
Pat Burrell strikes again. After he hit the winning 2-run homer to help the Rays win the suspended game, 3-1, Burrell came to the plate with the bases loaded and hit a double to right off a scuffling Buccholz that cleared the bases and gave the Rays a commanding 4-0 lead. Buchholz, mercifully, got out of the inning by striking out Sean Rodriguez, Tampa’s No. 9 hitter, with an 82-mile-per-hour changeup. It was his 43d pitch in a 26-minute inning. Rays 1st: 4 runs, 2 hits, 1 error, 2 left on base.
Top 1st: Rays 1, Sox 0
The Rays, picking up where they left off after winning Friday’s rain-suspended game, 3-1, scored the first run of the nightcap. Mike Cameron was charged with an error when Carlos Pena hit a low liner off Clay Buchholz to shallow center that bounced off the webbing of Cameron’s glove. The two-out error allowed Carl Crawford (single to right, fielder’s choice, stolen base) to score from third.