Game over: Red Sox 7, Rays 3 (10 innings): Red Sox wrap up another one. That’s seven of eight and 10 of 12 and they’re 89-58 with a 9.5-game lead on the Rays. The magic number is eight.
The Rays have lost 13 of 17. They’re a game ahead of the Yankees.
Uehara with the win. Tazawa finished it up. From 69-93 to this.
Middle of the 10th: Red Sox 7, Rays 3: Wow, John Farrell pulled another rabbit out his hat as Mike Carp delivered a pinch-hit grand slam off Roberto Hernandez.
Facing Joel Peralta, Pedroia walked and was bunted to second by Victorino. Ortiz was intentionally walked. In came Hernandez, who walked Napoli to load the bases.
Carp pinch hit for Gomes and lined the first pitch out to center. He has eight home runs and 37 RBIs in 211 plate appearances. It was the seventh pinch-hit homer for the Red Sox this season and the first pinch-hit grand slam since Kevin Millar in 2003.
Top of the 10th: Red Sox 3, Rays 3: Another 1-2-3 inning for Uehara. That’s 34 in a row retired by him. The record for relievers since 1960 is 41 in a row by Bobby Jenks in 2007.
Shockingly, Uehara needed 17 pitches to get the three outs.
Middle of the 9th: Red Sox 3, Rays 3: Rodney retired the side in order. Farrell going to Koji in a non-save situation. Desperate Rays get the hottest reliever in baseball.
Top of the 9th: Red Sox 3, Rays 3: Workman allowed a home run by James Loney to right field. Four strikeouts for Workman in two innings, but also two runs. He hasn’t cashed in on recent high-leverage relief chances.
Fernando Rodney in for the Rays.
Top of the 8th: Red Sox 3, Rays 2: Pedroia singled off Jamie Wright. But Jake McGee got Ortiz to ground into an inning-ending double play.
There were machinations to start the bottom of the inning. When Sean Rodriguez pinch for DeJesus against Morales, Farrell called in righthander Brandon Workman. Then Joe Maddon sent up Kelly Johnson. Then he struck out. Zobrist walked with two outs and scored on a double by Longoria, who is having a heck of a game (on base four times, several nice plays with the glove). Workman struck out Joyce to end the inning.
Farrell said before the game that Koji Uehara was available. Can his streak continue?
Top of the 7th: Red Sox 3, Rays 1: The Rays nearly pulled off a triple play. Nava and Drew singled to start the sixth. Middlebrooks then hit a chopper to third. Longoria leaped to snare the ball, came down on the bag and fired to second for the second out. The throw to first was just a second late.
Ross walked to force Cobb out of the game. Bradley then grounded into a force.
Franklin Morales, in for Dempster, retired the side in order. Dempster’s line: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 7 K.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 3, Rays 1: The Red Sox got a double from JBJ in the fourth inning but have not done much else since scoring the three runs.
Dempster retired the side in the fourth then struggled again in the fifth. DeJesus walked and Myers singled before Longoria walked — or really was pitched around. Dempster then walked Joyce to load the bases before striking out Jennings.
Dempster has put 10 runners on base in five innings and allowed one run. The Rays are 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position. They are 0 for last 12 with bases loaded according to Tampa Bay Times beat writer Marc Topkin.
Top of the 4th: Red Sox 3, Rays 1: Escobar doubled and scored in a double by DeJesus. With two outs, Dempster hit Longoria and walked Joyce to load the bases. Jennings grounded a ball into the hole at short. Drew made a diving stop and strong throw to second to get the out and save a run.
It was the kind of play that, had Jose Iglesias made, people would have gone nuts about. Drew has to be winning skeptics over at this point. His defense has been strong.
Middle of the 3rd: Red Sox 3, Rays 0: Pedroia singled with one out and went to third when Victorino doubled down the third base line. When Cobb fell behind Ortiz, Joe Maddon ordered him intentionally walked.
Big mistake. Mike Napoli has raked all season with the bases loaded and he lined a ball to right. Rookie Wil Myers misplayed the low liner into a double and two runs scored. Ortiz then scored on Nava’s groundout.
Napoli is hitting .462. (6 for 13) with 13 RBIs when Ortiz is intentionally walked ahead of him. He is 11 for 21 with 31 RBIs in 22 plate appearances with bases loaded.
Top of the 3rd: Red Sox 0, Rays 0: The Sox missed a chance to score. Napoli walked ahead of a single by Nava. Drew fanned before Middlebrooks tapped a ball back to mound. Cobb went to third and Napoli was called safe on a very close play. He and Longoria touched the bag at the same time. Ross then grounded into a double play.
The Rays also missed a shot, Longoria doubled before Jennings walked with one out. Loney grounded to first as Napoli ranged off the bag to make a nice play. His defense has been far, far better than anybody could have expected this season. Dempster then fanned Lobaton to end the inning.
Dempster has not pitched as well as the Red Sox hoped. But he has struck out 148 in 159.2 innings.
Top of the 2nd: Red Sox 0, Rays 0: Easy inning for both pitchers. Bradley made a smooth running catch in center to end the inning when Zobrist launched a ball into the gap.
Who’s to say what happens with Jacoby Ellsbury. But it would be a shame to not play Bradley in center field. He’s that good.
Pre-game: Good evening from Tropicana Field, where they just had a brief ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
If you haven’t seen The Man With the Red Bandana about former former BC lacrosse player Welles Crowther, it’s well worth your time.
As for the baseball, it’ll be Ryan Dempster against Boston native Alex Cobb. We’ll have updates every inning or so.
Hope you hang out here while enjoying the game. The magic number is 10.