Final: Sox 8, Rays 5, 10:41:
The Red Sox erupted for eight runs on 10 hits to help John Lackey (9-3) remain undefeated in his last seven starts in tonight’s 8-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays before a Fenway Park crowd of 38,013.
David Ortiz broke a scoreless tie in the fifth with a mammoth home run to right field off Rays starter James Shields (5+ innings, 7 hits, 5 runs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts, 1 wild pitch, 1 homer, 109 pitches). It was Ortiz’s 17th homer, giving him 50 RBI on the season.
The Sox added two more runs in the sixth on an RBI sacrifice fly by Jason Varitek that sent Shields from the game and a run-scoring basehit by Daniel Nava off reliever Dan Wheeler with two out and the bases loaded.
Bill Hall belted a 2-run homer in the seventh to highlight a three-run eruption that gave the Sox the buffer they would need to withstand a late uprising by Rays in the eighth when Willy Aybar punctuated a three-run outburst with his 2-run pinch-hit homer off Hideki Okajima.
After Daniel Bard relieved Okajima to get out of the eighth, Scott Atchison started the ninth and handed the baton to Dustin Richardson, who struck out Carlos Pena before giving up a 2-RBI single to Ben Zobrist. Jonathan Papelbon came in to face Aybar and struck him out on six pitches, the last a 96-m.p.h. fastball.
Bottom 8th, 10:20, Sox 8, Rays 3:
Kevin Youkilis ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning, getting Andy Sonnanstine out of a potential jam. Scott Atchison will pitch for Bard (.1 inning) in the top of the ninth in an attempt to close it out. Sox 8th: No runs, no hits, 1 left on base.
Top 8th, 10:08, Sox 8, Rays 3:
The Rays roughed up Hideki Okajima, who gave up a 2-run pinch-hit homer to Willy Aybar (his second career pinch-hit homer) and a pinch-hit triple to B.J. Upton before he was relieved by Daniel Bard with two out in the eighth. Bard induced Jason Bartlett to hit a pop foul to third baseman Kevin Youkilis to end the inning. Okajima’s line: .2 innings, 2 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 1 home run. Rays 8th: 2 runs, 2 hits, no errors, 1 left on base.
Bottom 7th, 9:48, Sox 8, Rays 1:
After giving up an RBI sacrifice fly to Jason Varitek, scoring Kevin Youkilis (who reached on a walk and advanced on Adrian Beltre’s double to left) , Lance Cormier was done for the night, giving way to RHP Andy Sonnanstine, who fanned the flames of the this conflagration when he gave up a mammoth 2-run homer to Bill Hall to left, scoring Beltre (4-for-4, 2 runs scored) to give the Sox an 8-1 lead. Cormier’s line: 1 inning, 2 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk. Hideki Okajima will pitch the eighth for Lackey (7 innings, 8 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 108 pitches). Sox 7th: 3 runs, 2 hits.
Top 7th, 9:36, Sox 5, Rays 1:
Tampa got one in seventh on Evan Longoria’s RBI single to left that scored John Jaso (who reached on a single to center), but the Rays were out of the inning on the play when Carl Crawford (who also reached on a single to center) got caught run down on the basepaths by Bill Hall. Rays 7th: 1 run, 3 hits, no errors, 1 left on base.
Bottom 6th, 9:24, Sox 5, Rays 0:
James Shields took an RBI single by Jason Varitek off his right foot. It was his 109th — and last — pitch of the night. Dan Wheeler relieved Shields and walked Bill Hall to load the bases and then struck out Mike Cameron (looking) and Marco Scutaro (swinging) before handing it over to Lance Cormier, who came on with the bases loaded and two out to face Daniel Nava. Nava reached on a base hit that eluded the backhanded grab of Reid Brignac, making it 5-0 Sox. Cormier got out of the bases-loaded jam when he induced to David Ortiz to ground out for the force out at third on Hall. Shields’ line: 5.1 innings, 7 hits, 5 runs (earned), 2 walks, 6 strikeouts, 1 wild pitch, 1 home run, 109 pitches. Wheeler: .2 innings, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts. Sox 6th: 2 runs, 3 hits, no errors, 2 left on base.
Top 6th, 9:04, Sox 3, Rays 0
Lackey held the Rays scoreless in the sixth, allowing just one runner to reach when he issued a walk to Ben Zobrist. Lackey rebounded by striking out Matt Joyce and then inducing Sean Rodriguez (who singled in his first two at-bats) to fly out to right. Dan Wheeler is now up in the Rays pen. Rays 6th: No runs, no hits, 1 left on base.
Bottom 5th, 8:57, Sox 3, Rays 0:
Leave it to Big Papi. David Ortiz broke the scorless tie with a mammoth 3-run homer to right — his 17th of the season — leaving no doubt about the destination of Shields’s first-pitch offering (a 94 fastball). Shields seemed to scuffle when Mike Cameron hit a one-out single to left which was followed by Marco Scutaro’s sharply-hit double (his 20th of the season) off an 83 cutter from Shields. Daniel Nava struck out with men in scoring position, setting the stage for Papi’s heroic blast. A miffed Shields got out of the inning when he struck out Kevin Youkilis on three pitches. Sox 5th: 3 runs, 3 hits, no errors, none left on base.
Top 5th, 8:38, Rays 0, Sox 0:
Lackey needed just nine pitches and one fabulous snowcone catch by second baseman Bill Hall, who ranged into foul territory just past the right field line to snare Evan Longoria’s pop foul, to get out of the inning. Lackey got the first two outs smartly when he induced John Jaso to pop up to Adrian Beltre (who barely avoided a collision with a sliding Jason Varitek) and Carl Crawford to fly to left. Rays 5th: No runs, no hits.
Bottom 4th, 8:33, Rays 0, Sox 0:
In what seemed like a mirror-image of Lackey’s fourth inning, Shields encountered trouble when he issued a two-out walk to J.D. Drew and then gave up a single to left to Adrian Beltre. A wild pitch advanced both runners to scoring position, but Shields got out of the jam by getting Jason Varitek to strike out (looking) on an 85-m.p.h. cutter. Sox 4th: No runs, 1 hit, no errors, 2 left on base.
Top 4th, 8:18, Rays 0, Sox 0:
Lackey experienced some trouble when he allowed Sean Rodriguez (now 2-for-2) to reach on a two-out single to center. Rodriguez stole second, then went to third when Reid Brignac reached on a basehit that ricocheted off Lackey’s glove. With men on the corners, Lackey paralyzed Jason Bartlett with an 82-m.p.h. for a called third strike, Rays 4th: No runs, 2 hits, no errors, 2 left on base.
Bottom 3d, 8:09, Rays 0, Sox 0:
Tidy 1-2-3 inning for Shields, who needed only 11 pitches to strike out Mike Cameron (swinging) on an 84-m.p.h. changeup and Marco Scutaro (looking) on a 94 m.p.h. fasteball before getting Daniel Nava to ground to short. Sox 3d: No runs, no hits, no errors.
Top 3d, 8:02, Rays 0, Sox 0:
Still scoreless after Lackey one-hit the Rays in the third, allowing a ground-rule double to Carl Crawford, who is now 2-for-2 on the night. Crawford stole third, but wound up stuck there when Lackey got Evan Longoria to fly to center and Carlos Pena to hit an infield pop-up. Rays 3d: No runs, 1 hit, no errors, none left on base.
Bottom 2d, 7:53, Rays 0, Sox 0:
Adrian Beltre reached in the second with a one-out double to right field, advanced to third on Jason Varitek’s ground out to second, and wound up getting stranded when Bill Hall ran the count full on Shields before grounding out to second to end the inning. Sox 2d: No runs, 1 hit, no errors, 1 left on base.
Top 2d, 7:44, Rays 0, Sox 0
Sean Rodriguez reaches on a one-out single to left, but Lackey gets Reid Brignac to fly to center and Jason Bartlett to ground to second for the force out on Rodriguez. Rays 2d: No runs, 1 hit, no errors, none left on base.
Bottom 1st, 7:34, Rays 0, Sox 0:
Rays starter James Shields (6-7, 4.55 ERA) needed 24 pitches to get out of the first inning, allowing just one baserunner when he walked David Ortiz with two out. Shields got out of the inning by inducing Kevin Youkilis to fly out to center field. Sox 1st: No runs, no hits, no errors, 1 left on base.
Top 1st, 7:20, Rays 0, Sox 0
Sox starter John Lackey (8-3, 4.69) needed 21 pitches to get out of the first inning against the Rays. Lackey was charged with a throwing error on a pick-off attempt to first, which enabled Carl Crawford, who reached on a one-out single up the middle, to advance to second. Crawford was stranded there when Lackey got Evan Longoria to fly to right, and Ben Zobrist to ground out to first. Rays 1st: No runs, 1 hit, 1 error, 2 left on base.