Final, Rays 4-3: The Red Sox made some noise in the ninth inning. Fernando Rodney successfully closed the door, though, and the Rays salvaged a game in the three-game series.
The Rays scored runs in three straight innings from the second through the fourth. Wil Myers delivered an RBI single in the second, James Loney ripped an RBI double in the third and Desmond Jennings blasted a solo homer in the fourth. The Red Sox’ only run in that span came when Jarrod Saltalamacchia smacked his 12th home run of the season in the fourth inning.
The Red Sox kept fighting, though, and Jake Peavy battled his way through six innings despite not having his best stuff. David Ortiz pulled Boston within a run with a home run to lead off the sixth inning, and Stephen Drew tied the game later that inning with an RBI double down the right field line.
Myers struck once again in the eighth, though. Evan Longoria greeted Rubby De La Rosa with a ground-rule double, and Myers drove in the Rays third baseman with a line drive that landed just fair down the right field line.
The Red Sox put two on with one out in the ninth inning. Stephen Drew reached on an infield single up the third base line and Mike Carp worked a walk. But Fernando Rodney retired Will Middlebrooks on a lineout to third and got Dustin Pedroia to hit a pop up in the infield to end the ballgame.
The Red Sox now return home for their final homestand of 2013. They’ll kick off the nine-game stretch with three tilts against the Yankees, starting on Friday. John Lackey and Hirkoki Kuroda will square off in Friday’s series opener.
Good night, everyone.
End 8th, Rays 4-3: Matt Thornton had a lengthy battle with Jose Lobaton upon entering, but he eventually won. Lobaton grounded to third base, and we’ll head to the ninth inning with the Rays leading 4-3.
Rays closer Fernando Rodney will enter the game. He’s scheduled to face Jonny Gomes, Stephen Drew and Xander Bogaerts.
My guess is that we’ll see Mike Carp bat for Bogaerts in the ninth. We shall see.
10:12 p.m., Rays 4-3: Want to predict what is going to happen next? The MLB PrePlay app allows you to predict every play of every game. By correctly selecting the outcome of every at-bat in real time, you’re able to earn points.
10:11 p.m., Rays 4-3: The Rays have grabbed a 4-3 lead and they’re threatening for more.
Drake Britton recorded the first out of the eighth inning before handing the ball to Rubby De La Rosa.
Evan Longoria greeted De La Rosa by launching a ball into the left-center field gap. The ball kicked up over the fence for a ground-rule double.
De La Rosa picked up the second out of the inning when Matt Joyce hit a pop up into foul territory along the third base line. Xander Bogaerts made the play over near the seats while battling the bullpen mounds.
Wil Myers made sure that the Rays didn’t squander their scoring chance, though. He lifted a fly ball down the right field line that landed just fair and just beyond Daniel Nava’s reach. Longoria scored from second base.
Desmond Jennings reached on a fielding error by shortstop Stephen Drew, and the Red Sox will turn to Matt Thornton with runners at the corners and two outs.
Mid 8th, 3-3: Jake McGee reared back and fired his usual heat in the eighth inning.
McGee touched 98 mph on the radar gun while sitting down the Red Sox in order.
David Ortiz grounded out for the first out. McGee then struck out Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to slap a bow on an impressive inning.
Napoli and Saltalamacchia both went down swinging on high 98 mph fastballs.
In the words of Eck, we saw some nasty high cheese from McGee in the eighth.
End 7th, 3-3: The Red Sox capped the seventh inning with a double play.
Drake Britton took over for Jake Peavy after six innings from the starter. It wasn’t Peavy’s best night, as he had control issues at times, but it’s hard to complain too much about the overall product.
Delmon Young pinch hit for David DeJesus with one out in the seventh, and Britton walked him on four pitches.
It didn’t take long for Britton to work through his mistake. Ben Zobrist grounded back to the mound to kick off an inning-ending, 1-6-3 double play.
Jake McGee will be the new Rays pitcher in the eighth inning. Sam Fuld, who pinch ran for Young in the seventh, will stay in the game and play left field.
Peavy gave up three runs on four hits in his six innings. He walked five and struck out four while throwing 107 pitches (60 strikes).
Mid 7th, 3-3: Jamey Wright was very impressive in the seventh inning.
Wright generated plenty of swings and misses. He struck out the side, and all three hitters went down hacking.
Wright struck out Jackie Bradley Jr. with a curveball. He then went to the cutter to sit down Dustin Pedroia and Daniel Nava.
End 6th, 3-3: Jake Peavy was struck by a line-drive comebacker in the sixth. Fortunately, he was OK and stayed in to finish off the inning.
Peavy walked Wil Myers on four pitches with one out in the sixth inning. The righty just missed off the plate in a couple of instances.
Desmond Jennings, who homered earlier, then drilled a line drive back at Peavy. At first, it looked like it hit Peavy in the thigh area, although he appeared to be showing his wrist in the dugout after the inning.
Jennings’ comebacker actually ricocheted off Peavy and over to Xander Bogaerts, who tossed to second base for a forceout. The most important thing, of course, was Peavy’s health, and he checked out OK after a visit from John Farrell and the Red Sox trainer.
Peavy retired Jose Lobaton on a pop up into shallow center field for the third out. It might also be Peavy’s final out of the night, as he has thrown 107 pitches.
Mid 6th, 3-3: Jamey Wright struck out Jonny Gomes to begin his outing, but Stephen Drew made life much more difficult.
Drew ripped a line drive into the right field corner to score Jarrod Saltalamacchia and tie the game at three all. (Salty walked with one out in the inning.)
Drew’s RBI double marked the Red Sox’ second run of the sixth, as David Ortiz connected for a solo homer off Jeremy Hellickson to begin the frame.
9:12 p.m., Rays 3-2: Joe Maddon will turn to his bullpen.
David Ortiz led off the sixth inning with a solo homer to left-center field.
Jeremy Hellickson walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia with one out, and it ended up being his last batter. The Rays are turning to Jamey Wright.
End 5th, Rays 3-1: Jake Peavy worked around two walks in the fifth.
Peavy issued free passes to Yunel Escobar and David DeJesus to begin his fifth inning of work.
Escobar laid off three straight pitches outside the zone after falling behind in the count, 1-2. DeJesus actually tried to bunt and fell behind, 0-2, before Peavy again started missing outside the strike zone.
Peavy, who has walked four batters overall in this game, did a nice job of bouncing back after the two frustrating walks in the fifth inning.
Ben Zobrist popped out to third base for the first out. The infield fly rule was in effect as Xander Bogaerts made the play. James Loney then flied out to left field for the second out, and Evan Longoria grounded to third base to end the inning.
Mid 5th, Rays 3-1: Dustin Pedroia moved up into scoring position with two outs in the fifth inning, but that was as far as he’d advance.
Pedroia singled with two outs after Xander Bogaerts struck out for the second time and Jackie Bradley Jr. popped out to second base.
Jeremy Hellickson fired a wild pitch with Daniel Nava batting that allowed Pedroia to scamper up to second. Nava, who saw a heavy dose of offspeed stuff, ended up lifting a routine fly ball to center field that Desmond Jennings hauled in.
End 4th, Rays 3-1: Desmond Jennings made it three straight innings with a run for the Rays.
Jennings blasted a two-out homer into the left field seats to extend the Rays’ lead to 3-1. The dinger came just a half-inning after Jarrod Saltalamacchia sliced Boston’s deficit in half with a home run of his own.
Jennings’ homer came after a failed hit-and-run attempt. Jennings whiffed on the first pitch he saw, and Saltalamacchia threw down to second base to nail Matt Joyce, who walked to lead off the inning.
Jennings more than made up for his offensive mishap by sending a 1-2 slider over the fence for his 13th home run of the season.
Mid 4th, Rays 2-1: Jarrod Saltalamacchia chopped Tampa Bay’s lead in half.
Saltalamacchia hammered his 12th home run of the season in the third inning to make it 2-1 Rays.
Jeremy Hellickson otherwise struck out the side. Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew all struck out swinging against the right-hander.
End 3rd, Rays 2-0: James Loney nearly made it two straight games with a home run.
Loney, who tied Wednesday’s game with an eighth-inning homer, drilled a line drive near the top of the right field wall in the third inning. He just missed a round-tripper, but the two-out double knocked in David DeJesus, who walked with one out.
Jake Peavy avoided any additional damage by getting Evan Longoria to lift a fly ball into left-center field. Jonny Gomes and Jackie Bradley Jr. both converged on it, but Gomes made the play.
The Rays have scored in back-to-back innings.
Mid 3rd, Rays 1-0: Jeremy Hellickson enjoyed his first 1-2-3 inning in the third.
Hellickson took care of the top of the Red Sox’ order. Dustin Pedroia, Daniel Nava and David Ortiz went down without a whisper.
Ortiz saw nine pitches, but he foul tipped a 2-2 changeup into Jose Lobaton’s mitt for the third out.
End 2nd, Rays 1-0: Wil Myers is responsible for driving in the game’s first run.
Evan Longoria got into a full count against Jake Peavy before going the other way with a fastball. The ball rolled into the right field corner, where Daniel Nava had a hard time handling it. Nava fell to the ground as the ball scooted past him, and Longoria ended up on third base with a leadoff triple.
Two batters later, Myers knocked in Longoria with a single into center field.
Peavy settled down after Myers’ RBI single. He struck out Desmond Jennings and Jose Lobaton swinging to end the inning.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Jeremy Hellickson kept the Red Sox’ offense in check in the second inning.
Hellickson issued a one-out walk to Stephen Drew, but it didn’t lead to any damage.
Hellickson, who got Jonny Gomes to lift a lazy fly ball to begin the inning, struck out Xander Bogaerts for the second out. Bogaerts chased an 0-2 offspeed pitch down and out of the zone.
Jackie Bradley Jr. grounded to second base for the third out.
End 1st, 0-0: Jake Peavy enjoyed a quick first inning.
Peavy retired the side in order. He induced two flyouts and a groundout.
David DeJesus and James Loney both lifted fly balls to Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field, and Ben Zobrist grounded to Dustin Pedroia at second base.
Mid 1st, 0-0: The Red Sox put a couple of runners on in the first inning before Jeremy Hellickson completed the scoreless frame.
Dustin Pedroia led off with a popout to short, making him 0-for-3 to lead off games.
Daniel Nava singled with one out, and David Ortiz walked on five pitches.
Mike Napoli hit a ground ball that probably would have been a double play if his lumber didn’t shatter. Nava and Yunel Escobar both had to dodge Napoli’s broken bat, although the Rays shortstop made an excellent play. Escobar avoided the splintered bat, made a barehanded pickup and fired to first base to record an out.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, batting with two runners in scoring position, struck out to end the inning.
7:12 p.m.: Dustin Pedroia popped out to short on the first pitch of the game.
One pitch. One out. And one awesome live blog coming in hot.
7:02 p.m.: Thursday’s game marks the end of the Red Sox’ seven-game, eight-day road trip. They’re 5-1 on the trip thus far.
The Red Sox will return home Friday to start up their final homestand of 2013. It’s a nine-game, 10-day homestand, and it’ll start with three games against the Yankees.
6:27 p.m.: While the Red Sox keep rolling, the PawSox are looking for their second straight Governors’ Cup title.
Pawtucket dropped Game 2 of its Governors’ Cup series to Durham — of the Rays organization, by the way — on Wednesday. The series is tied 1-1. Game 3 is Friday night at Pawtucket.
5:58 p.m.: Thursday’s game marks the final regular season contest between the Red Sox and Rays.
Boston leads the season series 12-6. It’s the Red Sox’ most wins over the Rays in a season since 2007, when Boston went 13-5 against Tampa Bay.
5:16 p.m.: It’s time to turn the page on Wednesday’s barn-burner. But before we do, here’s a fun fact.
According to Elias, Mike Carp’s pinch-hit grand slam was the first pinch-hit, extra-inning grand slam in Red Sox history.
Kevin Millar had the last pinch-hit grand slam for the Red Sox back on June 7, 2003.
4:52 p.m.: Xander Bogaerts will be in the starting lineup Thursday. He’ll play third base in place of Will Middlebrooks and bat eighth while Jackie Bradley Jr. rounds out the lineup in the No. 9 spot.
Dustin Pedroia will once again bat leadoff in Jacoby Ellsbury’s absence.
Thursday’s complete lineups are below.
Red Sox (89-58)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Daniel Nava, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Jonny Gomes, LF
Stephen Drew, SS
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Jake Peavy, RHP (11-5, 4.01 ERA)
David DeJesus, LF
Ben Zobrist, 2B
James Loney, 1B
Evan Longoria, 3B
Matt Joyce, DH
Wil Myers, RF
Desmond Jennings, CF
Jose Lobaton, C
Yunel Escobar, SS
Jeremy Hellickson, RHP (11-8, 5.04 ERA)
8 a.m. ET: Another day. Another dramatic win.
The Red Sox once again won in thrilling fashion Wednesday, as Mike Carp drilled a pinch-hit grand slam in the 10th inning to lift Boston past Tampa Bay 7-3. The blast came after the Rays scored a run off Brandon Workman in both the seventh and eighth inning to tie the game.
Carp’s grand salami ensured that the Red Sox would leave their three-game series at Tropicana Field with at least two wins. The Sox will look to complete the sweep Thursday as Jake Peavy goes up against Jeremy Hellickson.
Boston is also seeking its 90th win of the season. When the Red Sox reach the 90-win mark, it’ll be the fifth time in the last seven years that they’ve accomplished the feat. It’ll be their 11th 90-win season in 16 campaigns — only the Yankees have more in that span (13).
Thursday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Tune in on NESN and keep it right here.