Game 89: Shields, Rays Falter, Drop Series to Red Sox

By Robbie Knopf

The Rays scored 3 runs in the first inning against Josh Beckett, but nothing went right after that as they fell 7-3 to the Red Sox. James Shields had another rough outing, lasting just 5 innings allowing 6 runs on 11 hits, striking out 5 while walking 3. He allowed homers to Mike Aviles and Daniel Nava. Beckett, meanwhile, was sharp after the first, going 6 innings overall allowing 3 runs on 8 hits, striking out 7 while walking 2.

The Rays scored their runs in the first on a Ben Zobrist RBI single and a 2-run single by Desmond Jennings. After that, the Rays managed at least one baserunner in every inning but the 5th and 8th, even drawing 3 walks from Alfredo Aceves in the 9th to bring the tying run to the plate, but they couldn’t score anyone else. The Rays banged out 10 hits, drew 5 walks, and even got a hit batsman as well, but they went just 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base to end up with just 3 runs. Ben Zobrist had 3 hits and Will Rhymes, Carlos Pena and Elliot Johnson had multi-hit games as well, but they could not get that to translate to runs. Other than that, the one big highlight in this game was Wade Davis, who got on track after a string of frustrating outings, going 2 innings allowing just 1 hit and striking out 4 while walking 1.

With the loss, the Rays remain 8.5 games back in the AL East with the Yankees losing as well, and they begin a 4-game set versus the Indians on Monday. The Rays had a setback in their first series of the second half, and they have to get things turned around, fast.