Rays - 001 120 001 - 5 9 2 Red Sox - 002 000 010 - 3 7 0Yet another long night at the ball park (3:22), with a poor performance from a Red Sox starting pitcher and the lineup's frustrating inability to hit with men on base. Tonight's ineffective starter was Justin Masterson (4.1-7-4-6-1, 96) and the team went 1-for-12 with RATS. They left the bases loaded in the eighth and batted twice in the ninth, without success, with the potential winning run at the plate.
After the Rays took a 1-0 lead, Boston quickly rallied, giving fans the impression that the Mookie momentum from last night might have carried over. Xander Bogaerts doubled to the gap in left center. Blake Swihart lined a double to the exact same spot, and the game was tied. Dustin Pedroia's fly to center scored Swihart, giving the Sox a 2-1 lead.
But Masterson gave the lead away immediately, as Evan Longoria began the third with a solo home run. Masterson allowed a double to David DeJesus and walked two batters, but retired Kevin Kiermasier on a fly to Betts, leaving three Rays on base. Masterson walked two more batters in the fifth and Tampa Bay had the sacks full with one out. Joey Butler dumped a two-run single into center - and, with the score 4-2, that was the end of Masterson's dismal night.
The Red Sox had a runner on third base with two outs in both the fourth and sixth innings, but could not bring the man home.
Mookie Betts popped a solo home run off Kevin Jepsen to start the bottom of the eighth, cutting the lead to 4-3. After Pedroia grounded out, David Ortiz walked. Mike Napoli should have been called out on strikes - twice! - but home plate umpire Mark Carlson kept calling balls and so Napoli ended up lining a single to left field that Butler dove for, but could not hold onto. Manager John Farrell then pulled Ortiz and put the recently-acquired Luis Jimenez in at second as a pinch-runner. Pablo Sandoval walked, loading the bases with one out. Daniel Nava batted for Allen Craig and grounded to first. James Loney threw home and Jimenez was forced at the plate. Brock Holt grounded to first unassisted, ending the inning.
Longoria hit another solo home run in the ninth, off Alexi Ogando, to give the Rays a two-run cushion.
In the ninth, facing Brad Boxberger, Bogaerts reached on an infield single and took second on a wild pitch. Swihart fouled out to catcher Rene Rivera for the first out. Betts hit a few hard foul balls to left, and ended up working a seven-pitch walk. Pedroia struck out, leaving the game in the hands of Jimenez (.218/.255/.269 lifetime), who had run for Ortiz. On a 1-1 pitch, Jimenez dribbled a little grounder in front of the plate and Rivera threw him out with ease.
The loss dropped the Red Sox (13-15) back into the East basement.
Alex Colome / Justin Masterson