Game over: A combination of a terrible performance by Daisuke Matsuzaka and one by the Red Sox bullpen made for a horrible Wednesday night at The Trop. After the Red Sox had won two straight and four out of their last five, the Rays’ offense finally came alive in a 13-3 Tampa win. The game was played in 3:21 before 12,708.
Bottom 8th: Rays 13, Red Sox 3 Chris Carpenter gave up a run as the misery continued. He did get a strikeout with the bases loaded.
Top 8th: Rays 12, Red Sox 3 Sox retired in order.
Bottom 7th: Rays 12, Red Sox 3 Valentine did a complete overhaul of the lineup. Mauro Gomez went to third, Ivan De Jesus to second, Pedro Ciriaco shifted from third to center field, Scott Podsednik moved to left field. Also, Guillermo Quiroz came in to catch for the Sox. He became the 56th player to play for the Sox, a team record. Scott Atchison continued to be the only positive. He retired the Rays in order.
Top 7th: Rays 12, Red Sox 3 Three up, three down for Sox. Ciriaco drove a ball deep to left that was caught for the final out.
Bottom 6th: Rays 12, Red Sox 3 Aceves unravels as he allows three runs (charged with four altogether), makes a throwing error, and fails to back up third base, allowing the third run of the inning to score. Carlos Pena walked and Molina bunted for a hit, but Aceves tried to make an off-balance throw to first and it was wide of Loney. With runners at second and third, Desmond Jennings tripled in the runs. Ciriaco was charged with an error for allowing the second run to score, but Aceves failed to back up third, so there was no backup for Ciriaco. Upton doubled in the third run of the inning. Aceves was taken out by Valentine. This time Aceves didn’t make a scene, handing Valentine the ball and leaving quietly. But then came Daniel Bard. He walked the first two batters he faced to load the bases. His first out was Luke Scott’s sacrifice fly. Keppinger then singled in the 10th Rays run. Bard walked Joyce and Valentine had seen enough, Bard faced five batters and allowed three walks and a hit. Then it was Andrew Miller’s turn to dissolve. The big lefty walked Carlos Pena on four pitches with the bases loaded, and fell behind Molina 3-and-0 before throwing his first strike on his eighth pitch. Miller ran the count to 3-and-2 before walking Molina to force in another run. Out came Miller. Thank goodness for Scott Atchison, who ended the six-walk, seven-run inning with a double-play grounder.
Top 6th: Rays 5, Red Sox 3 Archer ran his strikeout total to eight as Loney and Salty went down on strikes.
Bottom 5th: Rays 5, Red Sox 3 Aceves holds the fort as he tackles the middle of the order.
Top 5th: Rays 5, Red Sox 3 An Ellsbury single highlighted another non-eventful inning for the Sox in which Archer struck out two more (Ciriaco and Ross).
Bottom 4th: Rays 5, Red Sox 3 One of those Dice-K innings. Jeff Keppinger homered to left. Matt Joyce singled to right. Carlos Pena homered to right and Jose Molina doubled high atop the wall in center. Bye-bye Dice-K. In came Alfredo Aceves, who got the next three outs while stranding a runner at third.
Top 4th: Red Sox 3, Rays 2 Sox managed a Daniel Nava walk amid a pair of strikeouts (Salty and Lavarnway).
Bottom 3d: Red Sox 3, Rays 2 Desmond Jennings reached on a single to deep shortstop and stole second base. After BJ Upton grounded out with the runner staying put, Ben Zobrist singled to center, scoring Jennings, who didn’t even hesitate with Ellsbury’s arm in center.
Top 3d: Red Sox 3, Rays 1 The Sox added two runs here. Jose Iglesias, who has been somewhat of a sparkplug, walked and advanced to second on Pedro Ciriaco’s single to left. Jacoby Ellsbury failed to sacrifice, but he singled on a grounder up the middle to score Iglesias. Dustin Pedroia avoided a double play with hustle down the line, scoring Ciriaco with the third Sox run.
Bottom 2d: Red Sox 1, Rays 1 Matsuzaka minimized the damage. He allowed hits to Longoria, Scott, and Keppinger to start the inning to load the bases. He walked Matt Joyce to force a run in, but then struck out Carlos Pena and induced a 5-3 double-play grounder by catcher Jose Moilina to escape what could have been an awful situation.
Top 2d: Red Sox 1, Rays 0 The Red Sox drew a pair of walks off Archer – James Loney and Jarrod Saltalamacchia taking free passes. But the slow-footed Ryan Lavarnway knocked into a 4-6-3 double play to take Boston out of a potentially big inning.
Bottom 1st: Red Sox 1, Rays 0 Dasiuke Matsuzaka retired the Rays in order and effectively protected the one-run lead.
Top 1st: Red Sox 1, Rays 0 The Sox manufactured a run with a single by Pedro Ciriaco to lead off vs. Chris Archer. He stole his 15th consecutive base and then scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s bloop single to left. Ellsbury was picked off trying to steal.