Final, Red Sox 2-1: The ninth inning didn’t start off the way Andrew Bailey wanted it to, but the right-hander ensured it ended with a Red Sox win.
James Loney singled to begin the bottom of the ninth, and Bailey fell behind the next hitter, Desmond Jennings, 3-0. Bailey got Jennings to lift a lazy fly ball into center field on a 3-1 pitch, though, and that helped turn the inning around.
Sam Fuld, who pinch ran for Loney, stole second base with two outs after Bailey struck out Luke Scott. That put the potential tying run into scoring position, but Bailey fanned Jose Lobaton on a nasty pitch low and inside to end the ballgame.
Alfredo Aceves earned the victory, while Chris Archer suffered the loss. Bailey’s save is his seventh of the season, and it’s a big one considering he couldn’t nail down Monday’s game.
Aceves, while wild at times, turned in a pretty decent performance overall. He gave up four hits and walked four, but he allowed just one run over six innings, which is exactly what the Red Sox needed out of him in his spot start.
Both of Boston’s runs came on Daniel Nava’s two-run homer in the third inning. Nava put up a 10-pitch battle against Archer before hammering a hanging slider into the right field seats.
The Red Sox now travel to Baltimore for four games against the Orioles. Felix Doubront will start the series opener on Thursday.
Good night, everyone.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 2-1: To the bottom of the ninth, we go.
Alex Torres tossed a 1-2-3 inning in the ninth, and the Rays’ offense will come up in the home half with the deficit still at one run.
Will Middlebrooks struck out, Stephen Drew popped out and Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out in the top of the ninth.
The Red Sox will now turn to Andrew Bailey. James Loney, Desmond Jennings and Luke Scott are due up for Tampa.
End 8th, Red Sox 2-1: Kelly Johnson set the table for Evan Longoria with two outs. But the All-Star slugger wasn’t ready to feast.
Craig Breslow started the eighth inning off in impressive fashion. He struck out both Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist swinging.
Joyce saw eight pitches and ran the count full, but he swung and missed on a 3-2 pitch that was low and out of the strike zone.
Zobrist also chased a ball down. It looked like a slider from Breslow.
At that point, Johnson made some noise by lining a double off the base of the wall in left-center field. John Farrell then decided to go with Koji Uehara with the right-handed hitting Longoria coming up. The moved paid off.
Uehara struck out Longoria, who homered in the sixth inning, on three pitches. The first two were called strikes, and Uehara pulled the string with an 0-2 pitch in the dirt to complete the strikeout.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 2-1: Yunel Escobar was a busy man in the eighth inning.
David Ortiz began the inning by lifting a popup down the left field line in foul territory. Escobar needed to run a long way, but he managed to track it down for the first out. The play was impressive not only because of the range that Escobar showed, but also because he had to deal with the bullpen mound while making the play.
Escobar showed off his range again when the next batter, Mike Napoli, lifted a ball to left field. The Rays shortstop ranged all the way out to haul it in while tumbling to the ground. It was a nice play, but Escobar probably should have yielded to left fielder Kelly Johnson in that situation. It would have been a much easier play for Johnson, who was coming in on the ball.
Mike Carp kept the inning alive with a single into right field, and he was then lifted for a pinch-runner in Shane Victorino. The inning ended four pitches later, though, when Jarrod Saltalamacchia also popped out to Escobar at short.
Victorino will remain in the game as the new right fielder, while Daniel Nava will shift to left field. Craig Breslow will pitch the eighth inning for Boston.
End 7th, Red Sox 2-1: Junichi Tazawa was the first reliever out of the Red Sox’ bullpen, and he was very impressive in the seventh inning.
Tazawa struck out two while enjoying a 1-2-3 frame.
Tazawa’s first strikeout came against Luke Scott, who went down hacking at a pitch in the dirt.
Jose Lobaton flied out to Jacoby Ellsbury in center field for the second out, and Tazawa capped off the effective inning by striking out Yunel Escobar.
Escobar fouled off three straight pitches, but Tazawa finally put him away in the same manner he put Scott away. Escobar chased a pitch in the dirt.
Aceves’ night ended after six innings. He had some brief moments of wildness, but it’s hard to complain with the overall results. Aceves allowed just one run, and it came on a sixth-inning homer by Evan Longoria. The right-hander walked four, surrendered four hits and struck out three while throwing 84 pitches (50 strikes).
Mid 7th, Red Sox 2-1: The Red Sox pride themselves on working deep into counts and wearing down pitchers. All three hitters did that in the seventh inning, although all three were retired at the end of their respective at-bats.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off the seventh with an eight-pitch battle. He laid off a 1-2 curveball before fouling off three straight pitches. Jamey Wright, who finished the sixth inning, finally struck out Ellsbury with a changeup.
That was Wright’s last batter. Joe Maddon turned to hard-throwing lefty Jake McGee to finish the inning.
McGee’s first opponent was Daniel Nava, who is responsible for Boston’s two runs. Nava saw seven pitches, but McGee ended up striking him out on a 98 mph fastball that Nava foul tipped into the catcher’s mitt.
Dustin Pedroia flied out to end the frame. He saw 11 pitches, though, which is amazing considering he fell behind 0-2 after two pitches. Pedroia fouled off six pitches during the full count before skying a 97 mph fastball to left.
End 6th, Red Sox 2-1: Evan Longoria was tired of looking at a goose egg. He launched a solo homer in the sixth inning, and the Rays have cut their deficit in half.
Longoria drove a fastball from Alfredo Aceves to straightaway center field. Jacoby Ellsbury attempted to scale the wall, but he didn’t stand a chance. Longoria’s blast is his 13th of the season.
Aceves bounced back to retire James Loney and Desmond Jennings — both on groundouts — but the Rays finally have some momentum.
That’ll likely be it for Aceves, as John Farrell just went over to the right-hander in the dugout to seemingly offer some congratulations.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 2-0: Kyle Farnsworth started the sixth inning, and Jamey Wright finished it. Both pitchers did their job, and Tampa’s deficit is still two runs.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia made solid contact to begin the inning, but his line drive was right at second baseman Ben Zobrist for the first out.
Farnsworth then struck out Will Middlebrooks to cap off his 1 2/3 innings of relief. Farnsworth doesn’t throw quite as hard as he used to — he used to reach triple digits — but he still got it up to 95 mph to strike out Middlebrooks.
Wright retired Stephen Drew on a popout to Drew’s counterpart at short upon entering the game.
Alfredo Aceves is coming back out for the sixth inning. We’ll see how long John Farrell sticks with his starter in this one.
9:09 p.m., Red Sox 2-0: The Bruins are also off to a good start. The B’s lead 1-0 through one period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Milan Lucic scored the goal.
For those looking to keep up on the B’s, I highly encourage that you check out NESN.com’s Bruins live blog. It can be found at the link below.
End 5th, Red Sox 2-0: Jarrod Saltalamacchia will always be lauded more for his offense, but his defense has drastically improved lately. His D may have kept a run off the scoreboard in the fifth.
Yunel Escobar singled with one out. He was gunned down by Saltalamacchia when he tried to take second base, though, and it proved to be a big out.
Matt Joyce hooked a double down the right field line with two outs, and it almost certainly would have plated Escobar had he not been wiped off the basepaths by Saltalamacchia.
Ben Zobrist threatened to tie the game with a long fly ball to left field. Mike Carp tracked it down at the warning track, though, and the score remains the same.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 2-0: Unfortunately, we’ll no longer get to see Chris Archer jump all over the mound like a mad man. Kyle Farnsworth took over for Archer in the fifth inning.
Farnsworth got two quick outs. Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz each grounded back to the mound, where Farnsworth took care of business.
The inning got a little bit interesting, though, when Farnsworth drilled Mike Napoli. It might not have been intentional given the two-run deficit that the Rays face, but it certainly gets you thinking. There were two outs and the bases were empty, so who knows?
Napoli followed up the plunking with a rare steal of second base. Mike Carp couldn’t drive him, though, and the game is still 2-0.
End 4th, Red Sox 2-0: Alfredo Aceves, who has been up-and-down in this game, turned in a quick inning in the fourth.
Aceves needed just 10 pitches to sit down the Rays in order. It was his second quick inning of the game, as Aceves needed just nine pitches to assemble a 1-2-3 first inning.
James Loney and Desmond Jennings each grounded out, and Luke Scott struck out swinging. Aceves went with a changeup to finish off the three-pitch strikeout against Scott.
Aceves has been all over the place at times, but you’ve got to give him credit. He’s kept the Rays’ offense scoreless thus far.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 2-0: Chris Archer just won the lottery. Or at least that’s what it looked like in his reaction to striking out Daniel Nava with the bases loaded.
Mike Carp kicked off the Red Sox’ quest to eventually load the bases. He singled into into left field to begin the fourth inning.
Archer was then all over the place en route to walking two and striking out two. Will Middlebrooks and Jacoby Ellsbury each walked, while Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Stephen Drew each struck out swinging.
Nava, who homered in the third inning, came up with the bases loaded. He worked the count full before fanning on a slider to end the threat.
Archer literally jumped off the mound after striking out Nava. He then stared back in toward Nava, while Nava returned the favor with a staredown of his own.
End 3rd, Red Sox 2-0: Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist immediately got something going for the Rays, but their efforts proved fruitless.
Joyce walked on five pitches to begin the third inning. That marked Alfredo Aceves’ fourth walk of the contest, as control has clearly been an issue.
Zobrist added to the threat with a single into right field, but Aceves — who has been up-and-down in this game — escaped the inning two batters later.
Kelly Johnson struck out looking for the first out, and Evan Longoria then grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Stephen Drew made a nice stop to kick off the 6-4-3 twin killing.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 2-0: Chris Archer threw a pitch that he immediately regretted.
Daniel Nava put together a fantastic two-out at-bat against the right-hander. Then, Archer left a slider over the inner half of the plate on his 10th pitch of the AB, and Nava drove it into the right-field seats for a two-run homer.
Jacoby Ellsbury got the attack going with a two-out single. He then swiped his second base of the game — and AL-leading 29th of the season — before Nava put the Red Sox on the scoreboard with his ninth home run of the year.
Dustin Pedroia hit an infield single and David Ortiz walked to try and kick off another round of damage, but Archer struck out Mike Napoli to end the inning.
Archer was very animated in the inning. He was (understandably) very angry after surrendering the long ball to Nava, and he was also (again understandably) fired up after sitting down Napoli.
End 2nd, 0-0: Alfredo Aceves has made trips to both ends of the spectrum in this game.
Aceves, who needed just nine pitches to retire the Rays in order in the first inning, labored through the second inning before escaping a bases-loaded jam unscathed.
Aceves walked three batters — Evan Longoria, Desmond Jennings and Jose Lobaton — in the inning. It was clear that he and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia weren’t on the same page, and Aceves’ wildness almost cost the Red Sox.
The right-hander escaped the inning, however, by getting Yunel Escobar to ground to the left side. Will Middlebrooks made the play and delivered a strike to first base on the run to put an abrupt end to Tampa’s rally.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Chris Archer was in control in the second inning.
Archer, who pitched out of the stretch for most of the first inning after issuing a leadoff walk to Jacoby Ellsbury, retired the Red Sox in order.
Archer first struck out Mike Napoli swinging. Napoli fouled off a couple of pitches before getting too far ahead of a slider.
Mike Carp lined out before Archer picked up another strikeout against Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Salty jumped ahead in the count 2-0, but Archer battled back and froze him with a 2-2 fastball.
Archer dialed it up to 97 mph while striking out Saltalamacchia.
End 1st, 0-0: Alfredo Aceves made quick work of the Rays in the first inning.
Aceves needed just nine pitches to retire Matt Joyce, Ben Zobrist and Kelly Johnson in order.
Joyce grounded harmlessly to second base, Zobrist flied out to right field and Johnson popped out into shallow left.
Stephen Drew covered a lot of ground to retire Johnson, but he did so relatively easily. In other words, no catwalks came into play, which is always a plus.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Jacoby Ellsbury continued his game-changing ways in the first inning. Old friend James Loney stole the show, though.
Ellsbury walked to lead off the ballgame. He promptly swiped his AL-leading 28th base of the season, putting a runner into scoring position with no outs.
The Red Sox couldn’t capitalize on the early scoring chance, however.
Daniel Nava flied out into left-center field, and Dustin Pedroia, despite working a full count, struck out looking on a slider right over the plate.
The highlight of the inning came when David Ortiz ripped a hot smash to the right side. If it got through, Ellsbury likely would have scored, but Loney made a tremendous diving stop. Loney flipped to pitcher Chris Archer, who was covering the bag, for the inning’s final out.
Alfredo Aceves will now head to the mound to begin his night.
7:10 p.m.: Chris Archer’s first pitch is in there for a strike, and we’re underway.
6:53 p.m.: We’ll see if any tension boils over into Wednesday’s rubber match. After all, Alfredo Aceves is pitching. Just something to keep in mind.
6:26 p.m.: Speaking of Jacoby Ellsbury, he currently owns a 10-game hit streak.
Ellsbury is hitting .447 (21-for-47) over that stretch, which includes seven multi-hit games. He has reached safely in his last 15 games overall — racking up a .406 average and .486 on-base percentage in that span.
6:14 p.m.: Jose Iglesias won’t be in the lineup on Wednesday, but he’s been red hot. The whole Iglesias-Will Middlebrooks-Stephen Drew trio — and how Farrell handles the situation — is a very intriguing storyline going forward.
Iglesias enters Wednesday’s game having hit safely in a career-high 14 straight games with an at-bat. The last Red Sox rookie with a single-season hit streak of at least that length was Jacoby Ellsbury, who had an 18-game streak from Sept. 5-28, 2008.
5:33 p.m.: Tuesday’s lineup cards have been posted. Have a look below.
Red Sox (40-26)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Daniel Nava, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Mike Carp, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
Alfredo Aceves, RHP (2-1, 6.57 ERA)
Matt Joyce, RF
Ben Zobrist, 2B
Kelly Johnson, LF
Evan Longoria, 3B
James Loney, 1B
Desmond Jennings, CF
Luke Scott, DH
Jose Lobaton, C
Yunel Escobar, 2B
Chris Archer, RHP (1-1, 4.91 ERA)
2:30 p.m.: The Red Sox officially announced the roster move involving Alfredo Aceves. Jose De La Torre was optioned to Triple-A following Tuesday’s game, and Aceves has been recalled to take his place on the 25-man roster.
8 a.m. ET: Monday’s game took a while. But you can bet the Red Sox would rather play 14 innings and walk away victorious than play nine innings and stumble to a defeat.
Jon Lester continued his slump on Tuesday with what he described as a “terrible” performance. It was far and away Lester’s worst outing of the season, as he walked a career-high seven and allowed seven earned runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings. Making matters worse was that the Red Sox really needed Lester to give them innings after Monday’s lengthy affair.
If there was a silver lining for Boston in Tuesday’s 8-3 defeat, it was the performance of Jose De La Torre, who gave the Sox 3 1/3 innings of solid relief work. De La Torre allowed just one run on two hits and three walks in his outing, and the lone run came on a home run by Desmond Jennings, who happened to be the first batter the right-hander faced.
De La Torre is Pawtucket-bound, though. He’s been optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket, and Alfredo Aceves is expected to be recalled and start Wednesday’s game. Wednesday’s action kicks off at 7:10 p.m.