Final, Rays 6-2: Jamey Wright recorded the first two outs of the ninth inning, Fernando Rodney recorded the last out and the Rays finished off the Red Sox.
Ryan Dempster gave the Sox six decent innings and kept them in the game despite a shaky first inning. But the Rays regained the lead in the fifth inning, and they tacked on three more runs against the Boston bullpen to secure a 6-2 win.
Dempster surrendered three runs on eight hits while suffering the loss, which dropped his record to 4-8. He struck out three, walked two and gave up a home run to Desmond Jennings in the first inning.
Craig Breslow was charged with three runs in the seventh inning. Evan Longoria knocked in the first run, and Wil Myers added to the lead with a two-run single after Alex Wilson relieved Breslow with two runners in scoring position.
The Red Sox will now head to Detroit for a four-game set with the Tigers. John Lackey will start the first game in a series that should be a good test for both teams.
Good night, everyone.
Mid 9th, Rays 6-2: The Rays strung together a couple of hits, but the score remained the same. Jamey Wright will now try to finish off the Red Sox.
Evan Longoria and James Loney hit back-to-back singles against Pedro Beato with one down in the ninth inning. Beato bounced back to retire Wil Myers and Kelly Johnson.
Mike Napoli, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jonny Gomes are due up for Boston in the bottom of the ninth.
End 8th, Rays 6-2: Joel Peralta gave up the big blast to Jonny Gomes on Tuesday. He had no problem doing his job in the eighth inning.
Daniel Nava, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz went down in order against the right-hander, and the Rays are now three outs from sneaking away with a victory in the series.
Nava put up an excellent at-bat against Peralta. He saw 10 pitches in the at-bat, and he fouled off three straight 3-2 offerings before flying out to center field.
Pedroia struck out looking when he got caught out on his front foot. It looked as if Pedroia was thinking fastball, but Peralta dropped a splitter on him.
Ortiz put good wood on a 1-2 fastball, but Sean Rodriguez, who pinch-hit for Matt Joyce in the top half the inning, raced back to make the grab on the warning track in left field.
Pedro Beato will pitch the ninth inning for Boston.
Mid 8th, Rays 6-2: Franklin Morales was the new pitcher for Boston in the eighth. He made sure Tampa Bay didn’t extend its lead any further.
Morales made quick work of Jose Molina to begin the inning. He fired three straight fastballs en route to picking up a strikeout. Molina had been 3-for-3.
Yunel Escobar then smoked a comebacker right at Morales. The left-hander snatched it out of thin air and fired to first to complete the out.
Sean Rodriguez, pinch-hitting for Matt Joyce, made a little two-out racket with a single into left field, but Morales ended the inning the same way he started it — with a strikeout. Morales went upstairs to fan Desmond Jennings.
Daniel Nava, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz are due up in the bottom of the eighth inning.
End 7th, Rays 6-2: Jose Iglesias’ two-out walk in the seventh inning may come at a price.
Iglesias reached base, but he still doesn’t have a hit, meaning his 18-game hit streak is in jeopardy. There’s still a chance he could get up again, but it’ll take some rallying from the Red Sox.
Prior to Iglesias’ walk, Jake McGee, who took over for Jeremy Hellickson, struck out Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew.
Jacoby Ellsbury drilled a line drive right at Evan Longoria down at third base to end the inning. It was a weird play, because as Ellsbury smoked the line drive, he appeared to do something to his leg or foot. That caused him to hobble out of the batter’s box, and it brought out John Farrell and the team’s trainer. Ellsbury appears to be OK, though, and he’ll stay in the game.
Mid 7th, Rays 6-2: Craig Breslow had a rough go of it.
Breslow took over for Ryan Dempster, who went the first six innings, and he was charged with three runs as the Rays opened up a 6-2 lead.
Desmond Jennings got the seventh-inning attack going with a one-out single into left field. Ben Zobrist then flied out for the inning’s second out, but things got problematic from there.
Evan Longoria went down and got a low changeup, driving it into left field for a two-out RBI. James Loney then doubled down the left field line to chase Breslow from the game.
John Farrell called upon Alex Wilson, and he didn’t fare much better. Rookie Wil Myers greeted Wilson with a two-run single, and the Rays suddenly have a four-run lead.
End 6th, Rays 3-2: Jeremy Hellickson didn’t give the Red Sox an inch in the sixth.
Hellickson easily took care of David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Ortiz flied out to right field before Napoli and Saltalamacchia both struck out.
Hellickson took a little off to get Napoli. He fanned the slugger with a 3-2 changeup down in the zone.
Salty also ran the count full, but he went down looking at a 3-2 fastball.
Ryan Dempster’s night is indeed over. Craig Breslow will take over for Boston in the seventh inning.
Mid 6th, Rays 3-2: Ryan Dempster maneuvered through what was probably his last inning
Dempster, whose pitch count is at 108, needed to buckle down in the sixth inning to keep the deficit at one run.
James Loney grounded out and Wil Myers flied out, and it looked like Dempster was on his way to bouncing back from the fifth-inning hiccup. A walk and a single later, Dempster found himself in a high-stress situation.
Kelly Johnson walked, and Jose Molina sent him from first to third with his third hit of the game. Dempster then duked it out with Yunel Escobar, who fouled off two straight pitches and saw eight total before flying out to center field to end the threat.
End 5th, Rays 3-2: The potential tying run was 90 feet away, but Dustin Pedroia couldn’t push it across.
Jacoby Ellsbury drilled a one-out single into center after Jose Iglesias grounded to third base to lead off the inning. Ellsbury soon found himself going station to station.
Ellsbury moved up to second base when Daniel Nava struck out. Nava fanned on a changeup out of the zone, but the pitch got away from catcher Jose Molina, enabling Ellsbury to advance. Jeremy Hellickson was charged with his second wild pitch of the contest.
Hellickson was then called for a balk with Pedroia batting, as the right-hander started and stopped before stepping off the rubber. Hellickson didn’t agree with the call, but hey, it is what it is. Everyone loves a good balk, right?
Pedroia got into a hitter-friendly 3-1 count, but he ended up grounding to first base to end the inning with Ellsbury hung up on third.
Mid 5th, Rays 3-2: The Rays snatched the lead right back.
Jose Molina led off the fifth inning with his second hit of the game, and after back-to-back flyouts, Desmond Jennings walked. Ryan Dempster delivered a first-pitch strike to Jennings, but he missed with four straight pitches — three fastballs — to issue the free pass.
Ben Zobrist then stepped up, and he singled into center field. Jacoby Ellsbury came up firing to the plate, but Jose Molina — who is probably one of the slowest human beings on planet earth, rivaled only by his brothers — slid in under Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s tag.
Jennings advanced to third and Zobrist took second on Ellsbury’s throw, but Dempster avoided any additional damage. Evan Longoria popped out to Mike Napoli in foul territory with the two runners in scoring position to end the inning.
End 4th, 2-2: Evan Longoria has almost robbed Jonny Gomes on two separate occasions. Both instances ended with a run-scoring infield single.
Jeremy Hellickson got two quick outs in the bottom of the fourth, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia kicked off a rally by planting a double off the center field wall. Desmond Jennings elected to back off and play the bounce this time around, rather than go into the leap like he did on David Ortiz’s double earlier in the game.
Hellickson then threw a pitch in the dirt with Gomes at the plate. It rolled all the way to the backstop, and catcher Jose Molina didn’t know where it was at one point. That allowed Saltalamacchia to take third, and he even took a wide turn before ultimately tossing on the brakes.
Gomes hit a hot smash down to third base with two outs. Longoria made a great leaping bid, but the ball popped out of his glove, allowing Gomes to reach at first and Salty to score from third.
Mid 4th, Rays 2-1: Ryan Dempster is starting to settle in after a shaky start to the game.
Dempster enjoyed his second straight 1-2-3 inning in the fourth. He struck out two hitters while doing so.
Dempster started the inning by striking out James Loney looking. The righty made good use of his slider during the at-bat, tossing two in a row to pick up the K after falling behind in the count 2-1.
After Wil Myers popped out to second base for the second out, Dempster struck out Kelly Johnson swinging to complete the frame. Johnson also went down on a slider.
End 3rd, Rays 2-1: Double plays are certainly a pitcher’s best friend.
Jacoby Ellsbury singled to lead off the third inning, and we all know how menacing he can be when he reaches base. Fortunately for the Rays, Jeremy Hellickson didn’t find out.
Daniel Nava grounded to shortstop Yunel Escobar, who stepped on second and fired to first for a double play.
Dustin Pedroia grounded out to second base to end the inning.
Mid 3rd, Rays 2-1: Ryan Dempster was very effective in the third inning.
Dempster mowed the Rays down bing, bing, bing. Desmond Jennings grounded out, Ben Zobrist flied out and Evan Longoria popped out.
End 2nd, Rays 2-1: Desmond Jennings nearly added a highlight-reel catch to his first-inning home run. But he didn’t.
David Ortiz smoked a ball to deep center to lead off the second inning. Jennings raced back and leaped — the guy has some ups — to try to make a grab against the wall. The ball was just out of his reach, though, and Ortiz ended up with a double.
There was some thought as to whether the big fella could pick up another triple, as the ball ricocheted away from Jennings. Instead, Ortiz tossed on the brakes after reaching second base standing up.
Mike Napoli grounded to first base for the first out of the inning. It was a productive out, though. Ortiz advanced to third base, and he scored when Jonny Gomes reached on an infield single.
Evan Longoria made a nice diving stop on Gomes’ ground ball to the left side, but he couldn’t quite get a handle on the baseball upon popping up to his feet.
Stephen Drew singled with two outs to put runners at first and second. Jeremy Hellickson escaped without any further damage inflicted by getting Jose Iglesias, who’s riding an 18-game hit streak, to ground into a forceout at second base.
Mid 2nd, Rays 2-0: The Rays offense went right back to work in the second inning. Fortunately for the Red Sox, Ryan Dempster induced a big ground ball.
Dempster started the inning by striking out Kelly Johnson. Dempster jumped ahead in the count 0-2, but Johnson laid off back-to-back pitches to even up the count. The right-hander eventually won the battle by tossing a good-looking slider in on the hands that caught the inside corner.
The momentum quickly shifted in Tampa’s favor, though. Jose Molina and Yunel Escobar — the team’s No. 8 and No. 9 hitters — hit back-to-back singles into center field.
Dempster escaped the first-and-second jam by inducing a huge double play. Matt Joyce grounded to Dustin Pedroia, who kicked off the 4-6-3, inning-ending twin killing.
End 1st, Rays 2-0: Night games haven’t been kind to Jeremy Hellickson this season. He started off on the right foot in this one, though.
Hellickson enjoyed a 1-2-3 first inning after the Rays’ offense jumped out to an early 2-0 edge.
Jacoby Ellsbury started the inning with a ground ball down to first. James Loney, who made an error in Game 1 on Tuesday, got dirty while making a nice pick, and he flipped to Hellickson to complete the out.
Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia each made some fairly decent contact, but they were retired on a pair of flyouts.
Hellickson entered Wednesday’s game with a strange split. The right-hander owns a 2-3 record and 7.09 ERA in 10 night games. He’s 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA in four day games.
Mid 1st, Rays 2-0: The Rays have already matched their run total from all of Tuesday — and they played 18 innings on Tuesday.
Desmond Jennings, who still hasn’t lived up to his immense potential since arriving in the bigs, put Tampa on the board in the first inning. He drilled a 1-2 Ryan Dempster offering right down the left field line for his ninth home run of the season.
Ben Zobrist immediately followed up with a single into center field on the third pitch of his at-bat. He advanced to third base when Evan Longoria delivered a hit into left-center.
Jonny Gomes came up firing to third on Longoria’s hit in an attempt to throw out Zobrist. The throw got by Jose Iglesias, who was charged with his first error. Zobrist wasn’t able to score on the mishandled throw, but runners ended up at second and third with one out.
James Loney struck a sacrifice fly to right field to give Tampa a 2-0 edge, and that’s where we stand with the Red Sox coming up for the first time.
7:10 p.m.: Ryan Dempster’s first pitch is a strike, and we’re underway on a beautiful night at Fenway.
6:58 p.m.: We all received some great news on Wednesday. Jerry Remy is nearing his return to the NESN broadcast booth.
Remy, who has been out of action since May 28 because of illness, said during a conference call that he’ll return to the booth on Tuesday, when the Red Sox host the Rockies at Fenway Park.
Remy sounded like he was in good spirits, and it’s clear that he’s excited to get back to work.
6:43 p.m.: In addition to the live blog — which has been a constant in the NESN.com repertoire — we’ll also have a Bruins live chat going on for Wednesday’s Game 4. I apologize to you baseball fanatics who don’t care, but I figure there are a lot of B’s fans out there who might be interested in such. Check out the scene at the link below.
6:39 p.m.: While I hope you all check in with the Red Sox live blog from time to time, I also encourage you to scope out our Bruins live blog. Mike Cole will be keeping you up to speed on all of Wednesday’s Game 4 Stanley Cup action.
6:02 p.m.: Jonny Gomes’ walk-off home run on Tuesday capped an exciting day at the ballpark. There’s been no shortage of those types of days, though.
The walk-0ff win was the Red Sox’ sixth of 2013. That’s double their total from all of last season and the most for the Red Sox through June since 1998, when Boston also had six.
5:12 p.m.: Jarrod Saltalamacchia is earning his paycheck. Salty caught both games of the doubleheader on Tuesday, and he’ll once again be in the starting lineup on Wednesday.
Will Middlebrooks will be out of the lineup, as the left side of Boston’s infield will consist of Stephen Drew and Jose Iglesias at shortstop and third base, respectively.
The complete lineups for Wednesday are below.
Red Sox (44-29)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Daniel Nava, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Jonny Gomes, LF
Stephen Drew, SS
Jose Iglesias, 3B
Ryan Dempster, RHP (4-7, 4.21 ERA)
Matt Joyce, LF
Desmond Jennings, CF
Ben Zobrist, 2B
Evan Longoria, 3B
James Loney, 1B
Wil Myers, RF
Kelly Johnson, DH
Jose Molina, C
Yunel Escobar, SS
Jeremy Hellickson, RHP (4-3, 5.67 ERA)
4:35 p.m.: The Red Sox announced that they have signed first-round pick Trey Ball.
Ball, an 18-year-old left-hander from New Castle, Ind., was the seventh overall pick in this year’s draft. He is with the Red Sox at Fenway Park now, and he’ll report to the Gulf Coast League Red Sox in Fort Myers next week.
8 a.m. ET: Tuesday marked a long day at the office for the Red Sox. It was also a very productive day, as the Sox swept their doubleheader with the Rays.
Game 1 took an eternity because of a three-hour rain delay, but Boston eventually emerged victorious, 5-1. Game 2, on the other hand, moved at a brisk pace, mainly because Felix Doubront pounded the strike zone en route to eight shutout innings. In the end, after Andrew Bailey blew a save in the ninth inning, Jonny Gomes capped off Game 2 and the eventful twin bill with a walk-off home run over the Green Monster.
With Tuesday’s two victories, the Red Sox are now a season high-tying 15 games over .500 with a 44-29 record. Ryan Dempster will try to keep moving Boston in the right direction on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s contest, which is the Red Sox’ last before going back out on the road, is scheduled to start up at 7:10 p.m. Be sure to tune in on NESN, and keep it right here.