Rays - 101 100 000 - 3 9 0For the second straight night, the Red Sox came to bat in the bottom of the sixth inning, trailing in the game. And just like Thursday -- when Boston set a new AL record by scoring 12 times before making an out -- the bats came alive, giving them a lead that carried them to victory.
Red Sox - 000 005 02x - 7 15 0
They sent a mere nine men to the plate in this sixth inning. The five runs came on two home runs: a three-run job to left by Jason Bay (on an 0-2 pitch) and a first-pitch, two-run dinger from J.D. Drew.
The Sox tacked on two more runs in the eighth. With two outs, Julio Lugo blooped a single to right, Jacoby Ellsbury doubled into the left field corner, and Pedroia single to center.
FY went 4-for-5 (his second four-hit game of the season; he also has five three-hit games). His one out came on a diving, sliding catch in right field by Gabe Gross. Mike Lowell had three hits, though he also made what will go down as one of the dumbest baserunning decisions of the year, trying to stretch a fourth-inning single off the Wall into a double. He stopped short of second base by 20 feet and tried to go back to first, but Akinori Iwamura ran him down.
Penny recovered from a 31-pitch first inning and settled down nicely (6.1-8-3-2-2, 91), though he did leave the potential tying runs on base with one out in the seventh for Hideki Okajima. Protecting a 5-3 lead with Rays on first and second, Jeemer retired Carl Crawford (who had singled, tripled and doubled up to that point) on a fly ball to center, then fanned Evan Longoria.
Okajima and Ramon Ramirez worked together in the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon took the ninth. He gave up a leadoff single, but got the next three, including strike outs of B.J. Upton (on a flithy slider) and Crawford to end the game.
James Shields (3.51, 139 ERA+) / Brad Penny (7.61, 67 ERA+)
The Rays have won six of their last eight games, going back to the beginning of the the series against the Red Sox on April 30. They have also won six of their last eight games at Fenway Park (including playoff games). Tampa Bay is currently in third place, ahead of the fourth-place Yankees by .003.
In four starts (16 innings) in Boston, B.G. Shields has a 9.56 ERA.
MLB's preview has an amusing headline: "Lugo Could Be Secret Weapon". ... Yes, but for which team?
Here are the Top ERA+ leaders in the AL:
ERA+That is nuts. Greinke has pitched complete games in three of his last four starts, but has not thrown more than 111 pitches in any outing. (The modern record for a season is 291.) He pitches tomorrow night in Anaheim.
Zack Greinke KCR 1169
Erik Bedard SEA 195
Mark Buehrle CHW 192
Jered Weaver LAA 183
Dallas Braden OAK 178
Scott Richmond TOR 175
Jarrod Washburn SEA 173
Tim Wakefield BOS 173
Kevin Millwood TEX 173
Edwin Jackson DET 158