Game 64: Rays Tee Off on Red Sox Pitching,Club 4 Home Runs to Even The Series

By Dereck Violante

Tampa Bay goes yard 4 times, including two by Desmond Jennings, en route to a 8-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

The scoring came early and often as the Red Sox drew first blood to start the game off.  In the top of the first Boston became aggressive at the plate and on the bases in an attempt to distract Roberto Hernandez, who took the hill for Tampa Bay.  Jacoby Ellsbury lead off the game with a single to left field and then managed to steal second.  Victorino then followed with a single to right, putting runners at the corners with no one out.  Dustin Pedroia then managed to hit a sac fly way in foul territory to Ben Zobrist in right which drew a throw home but was unable to catch the speedy Ellsbury at the plate, giving the Red Sox a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the inning the Rays struck back, tying the game at 1 when James Loney, with 2 outs, drew a walk with the bases loaded, the Rays 4th walk of the inning.

After a Desmond Jennings solo shot in the 2nd, the Red Sox took the lead in the top of the 3rd started by a lead-off single by the red-hot Jose Iglesias, followed by Ellsbury reaching base on a fielders choice as James Loney made a poor decision trying to get the lead runner.  With no one out Shane Victorino laid down a perfect bunt to advance the runners to 2nd & 3rd.  After A Dustin Pedroia strikeout, Joe Maddon made the call to intentionally walk David Ortiz, which turned out to be the wrong call, as Mike Napoli muscled a pitch in that landed in center field for a 2 RBI single, giving the Red Sox a 3-2 lead.  That was the last lead Boston saw.

The bottom of the 3rd is where the Rays came back to take the lead and never looked back.  Ben Zobrist led off the inning with a single.  After a quick strikeout by Evan Longoria, Yunel Escobar drew a walk to put men on 1st & 2nd with 1 out.  After a James Loney strikeout, Ryan Roberts, aka. TatMan, hit a 2 out RBI single, tying the game at 3.  Jose Molina then hit a flare to center, scoring yet another run and giving the Rays a 4-3 lead.

Tampa Bay essentially put the game out of reach with a Evan Longoria solo shot in the 4th, a Matt Joyce 2 run home run and a Desmond Jennings solo shot both in the 5th, his second of the game.

This was an all around impressive effort by the Rays as they managed all 8 runs with 2 outs, coming through in the clutch as well as the quality start by Roberto Hernandez with a pitching line of 7 innings, giving up 3 earned runs, while striking out 7 against 2 walks.

Up next for Tampa Bay is the rubber match of the 3 game series against the Red Sox as the Rays send Chris Archer (1-1, 4.91 ERA) to the hill against Alfredo Aceves (2-1, 6.57 ERA) for a 7:10pm start at the Trop.