Top 9th: Rays 6, Red Sox 5
Game over. Rays win this as Rafael Soriano shuts down Sox in the ninth after allowing a two-out single to David Ortiz. The Sox squandered this one. Simply gave it away. They had a 5-1 lead thanks to a pair of homers by Eric Patterson and Daisuke Matsuzaka squandered the lead. The Sox knocked Matt Garza out of the game after three innings. This should have been a W. Nice job by the Tampa Bay pen, but Boston squandered chances to break the tie. Disappointing loss for the Sox who drop into third place. The game lasted 3:40 with 28,528 in attendance.
Bottom 7th: Rays 6, Red Sox 5
Ramon Ramirez allowed a couple of leadoff singles by Matt Joyce and Sean Rodriguez and finally allowed a run on Jason Bartlett’s sac fly. Missed opportunities costing Sox.
Top 7th: Red Sox 5, Rays 5
Bases loaded, one out. Adrian Beltre up. All good right? Nada. Beltre struck out against Grant Balfour who had allowed a double to right to Eric Patterson, an intentional walk to Ortiz, a regular walk to Youkilis to load them up. Lefty Randy Choate came on to face J.D. Drew with two outs and the bases loaded. Drew struck out swinging on a pitch low in the strikezone.
Bottom 6th: Red Sox 5, Rays 5
We’ll have to find out after the game what happened on the Jason Bartlett bunt play. Runners were at first and second. Bartlett bunted and Dice-K picked it up but had no play. He had looked to third but Beltre had also come in to try and field the bunt so there was no one covering third. Not sure if Beltre or Cash were late in telling Dice-K which base to go, but the bases were loaded. John Jaso singled to score the tying runs. That was the end of Dice-K. Dustin Richardson came on to face Zobrist. The Rays’ outfielder tried to squeeze home a run, but Youkilis charged in and threw to Cash at the plate who tagged the runner out. Richardson did well in retiring Crawford with a fly ball out. Francona opted for Ramon Ramirez with Longoria due up. Ramirez pitched very carefully and walked him. With Aybar up, the bases loaded, Ramirez threw ball one. He went to 3-2 before inducing a ground ball to Youkilis, who made the play unassisted at first base.
Bottom 5th: Red Sox 5, Rays 3
Dice-K allowed a pair of singles to Zobrist and Crawford to put runners at the corners. Longoria’s long fly to center scored Zobrist. Aybar’s bloop double put runners in scoring position. Dice-K and Cash got crossed up on a pitch which got away from Cash (passed ball) scoring the third Rays run.
Bottom 4th: Red Sox 5, Rays 1
Guess we’ll give Dice-K another inning. Already thrown 90-plus pitches. (my mistake,in the 80s here in the fifth). Had a 1-2-3 inning in the fourth after doing his Houdini in the third, putting the first two men on and then retiring the next three. By the way, Andy Pettitte has replaced Clay Buchholz on the All-Star team. Now they have to find a way to get Jered Weaver on the team.
Top 4th: Red Sox 5, Rays 1
Where’s the one place Eric Patterson likes the ball? Low. Twice now – Garza in the third and Andy Sonnenstine in the fourth – have thrown him sliders low in the zone and Patterson has hit them for home runs. It’s his first multi-homer game.
Top 3rd: Red Sox 4, Rays 1
Eric Patterson just crushed a homer deep into the rightfield bleachers just inside the foul pole. It’s his first with Red Sox and fifth this season. It came with two outs after Carl Crawford made one of his fully extended, diving catches in left-center to rob Marco Scuatro of extra bases in the third. Rays are letting this guy go into free-agency? Ortiz walked after the homer and came in (barely) on Youkilis’ triple off the rightfield wall. Ortiz had slowed at third thinking it was out, but sprinted and beat the throw to the plate. Drew followed with an infield hit to the left side of the mound. Billy Hall, who singled in his first plate appearance, singled up the middle scoring Youkilis. You think Dice-K was bad? Garza threw 49 pitches, but got out of it by striking out Mike Cameron.
Top 2nd: Rays 1, Red Sox 0
About 15 scouts are here watching these two teams. Among the teams represented here are the Cardinals, Brewers, Pirates, Angels, Yankees, White Sox, Padres and Astros. Some are advance scouts, but most of them are pro scouts which means some are evaluating for deals. There has been a lot of chatter about whether the Rays’ B.J. Upton could be available. Dice-K had a….yes…1-2-3 inning.
Bottom 1st: Rays 1, Red Sox 0
When Dice-K is on the hill it’s all about minimizing damage. That’s what he did in the first. He walked leadoff man Ben Zobrist, allowed an RBI double to All-Star Carl Crawford and then proceeded to retire the next two batters before walking Matt Joyce. He struck out Sean Rodriguez to end the threat. Damage: 1 run and 30 pitches.
Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Rays 0
A charged up Matt Garza put two Sox batters on base (Marco Scutaro with a bunt hit and David Ortiz with a walk) but wiggled out of the jam. Sox had a great chance with two on and one out but Kevin Youkilis, who ran the count to 3-0, flied out to center, while Adrian Beltre flied out to right.