Red Sox-Rays Live: Jose Lobaton Launches Walk-Off Home Run to Give Rays 5-4 Win, Force Game 4 in ALDS

Mike NapoliFinal, Rays 5-4: Koji Uehara was asked to send Game 3 into extra innings. Amazingly, he didn’t get the job done.

Jose Lobaton launched a two-out walk-off home run to right-center field in the ninth inning, and the Rays have extended the series with a 5-4 win in Game 3. It was the first home run surrendered by Uehara since June 30.

The Red Sox jumped out to a 3-0 lead Monday, but Evan Longoria tied things up with one swing of the bat. Longoria hammered a three-run homer in the fifth inning, making him the second player in MLB history to homer in a postseason game on his birthday.

The Rays grabbed a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning when Delmon Young hit an RBI groundout with the bases loaded. The Red Sox kept fighting, though, and tied the game in the ninth inning on an RBI groundout from Dustin Pedroia. Minutes later, Lobaton sent the Rays fans home happy.

Game 4 is scheduled for 8:37 p.m. Tuesday. Jake Peavy will square off with Jeremy Hellickson.

Good night, everyone.

Mid 9th, 4-4: The Red Sox aren’t done fighting.

Boston pushed across a run in the ninth inning, and we’re all tied up at four apiece.

Will Middlebrooks opened up the ninth inning with a five-pitch walk against Fernando Rodney. He was then lifted for a pinch runner in Xander Bogaerts.

John Farrell opted not to bunt with Jacoby Ellsbury at the plate, and it proved to be the right move. Ellsbury blooped a single into left field to make it first and second with no outs.

Shane Victorino dropped down a sacrifice bunt to make it second and third, and Dustin Pedroia knocked in the tying run with a groundout to short. Joe Maddon decided to play the infield back and pitch to Pedroia with first base open.

Mike Carp pinch hit for Quintin Berry, who was in the DH spot after pinch running for David Ortiz. Carp struck out looking to strand Ellsbury at third base.

The Red Sox have stayed alive in Game 3, though. Koji Uehara will now enter the game.

End 8th, Rays 4-3: The Red Sox are on the verge of letting this one slip away. The Rays grabbed a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning.

Brandon Workman took over for Franklin Morales with two on and one out, and Yunel Escobar hit a ground ball up the middle. Stephen Drew and Dustin Pedroia both went after it. Drew went into a slide while Pedroia went into a dive, and the two collided behind second base. Drew ended up with the ball, but he was unable to record an out anywhere. That loaded the bases.

Delmon Young pinch hit for Jose Molina, and he wasted no time giving the Rays their first lead of the game. Young smoked a ground ball to first base. Mike Napoli, who was playing in on the grass, made a diving stop, but he was unable to go home with it. Instead, Napoli stepped on first base for the second out as Sam Fuld — who pinch ran for James Loney — scored the go-ahead run.

Sean Rodriguez flied out to left-center field to end the inning, but the Rays are now three outs away from winning Game 3. Fernando Rodney will come on in search of his first career postseason save.

10:03 p.m., 3-3: The Rays are threatening in the eighth inning.

James Loney walked to lead things off, and Desmond Jennings followed with a bunt up the first base line. Franklin Morales snagged the bunt, but Mike Napoli vacated first base to go after it as well. Dustin Pedroia was late getting to first base, and everyone was safe.

Matt Joyce tried to drop down a bunt, but popped it up behind the plate. Jarrod Saltalamacchia raced back to make an excellent sliding catch before banging into the wall.

Brandon Workman will now take over for Franklin Morales with one out and runners at first and second.

Mid 8th, 3-3: The Red Sox squandered a scoring chance in the eighth inning.

David Ortiz led off with a walk. He fouled off four pitches in a row before laying off an outside fastball.

Ortiz was lifted for a pinch runner in Quintin Berry. Berry moved up to second base via a steal, although he was clearly out. The missed call brought Joe Maddon out of the Rays’ dugout for an animated conversation with second base umpire Mike Winters.

After Mike Napoli grounded to short, John Farrell once again turned to his bench and called upon Jonny Gomes to pinch hit for Daniel Nava. Gomes was intentionally walked to make it first and second with one out.

Jake McGee exited the inning by retiring Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Stephen Drew. Saltalamacchia struck out swinging, and Drew popped out to Evan Longoria in foul territory.

Franklin Morales will be the new Red Sox pitcher in the eighth inning.

9:41 p.m., 3-3: The word is that Wil Myers exited because of cramping in both of his legs. Sounds uncomfortable.

9:32 p.m., 3-3: Wil Myers is coming out of this game.

Myers appeared to hyperextend his leg while fouling off a pitch in the seventh inning. He took the field before the eighth inning, but then limped off alongside the Rays trainer.

Matt Joyce, who has been serving as the designated hitter, will head out to right field. Sean Rodriguez, who pinch hit for David DeJesus in the seventh inning, will remain in the game as the left fielder.

Since Joyce is shifting from the DH spot to right field, the Rays will be operating with a National League-style lineup. The pitcher will be part of their lineup, batting fourth (Myers’ spot).

End 7th, 3-3: Junichi Tazawa recorded two big outs upon entering in the seventh inning.

Tazawa first retired Evan Longoria on a popup to the left side. Will Middlebrooks called off Stephen Drew while battling the Tropicana Field dome and made the play.

Longoria’s at-bat wasn’t without some added pressure, though, as Tazawa tossed a wild pitch that allowed Ben Zobrist to move up into scoring position. It was actually a play that Jarrod Saltalamacchia probably should have made.

Tazawa struck out Wil Myers to end the inning. Myers chased a splitter down and out of the zone. The rookie is now 0-for-12 in the series.

9:17 p.m., 3-3: Craig Breslow started the seventh inning. He faced two hitters.

Sean Rodriguez popped out to Will Middlebrooks in foul territory, and Ben Zobrist singled into left field.

Junichi Tazawa will now enter to face Evan Longoria.

Mid 7th, 3-3: Joel Peralta handled the top of the Red Sox’ order in the seventh inning.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia failed to make any noise against the right-hander.

Ellsbury lined out to second base, Victorino flied out to left field and Pedroia flied out into foul territory in right field.

Craig Breslow will be the new Red Sox pitcher in the seventh inning after six innings from Clay Buchholz.

Buchholz gave up three runs on seven hits in his six innings of work. He struck out five, walked three and threw 104 pitches (64 strikes). The big blow, of course, was the game-tying three-homer from Evan Longoria in the fifth inning.

End 6th, 3-3: Clay Buchholz came back strong in the sixth inning.

Buchholz induced three straight popouts in the sixth to keep the Rays off the scoreboard an inning after Evan Longoria tied the game with a three-run homer.

Matt Joyce and Jose Molina popped out to Will Middlebrooks at third base, and Yunel Escobar popped out to Mike Napoli at first base.

Buchholz has thrown 104 pitches, so that might be the end of his night. Rays starter Alex Cobb was taken out after five innings.

Cobb gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits over his five innings of work. He struck out five, walked two and threw 94 pitches (61 strikes).

Mid 6th, 3-3: Joe Maddon turned to his bullpen in the sixth inning after five innings from Alex Cobb.

Alex Torres took over, and the left-hander worked around a one-out single to keep the Red Sox off the scoreboard.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled with one down after Daniel Nava struck out to lead off the inning. Torres fed Nava five straight fastballs before pulling the string with a changeup.

Stephen Drew hit a flair to the left side that looked like trouble, as both Yunel Escobar and Evan Longoria converged on it. Escobar called for it at the last second, though, and the shortstop made the running catch.

Torres struck out Will Middlebrooks looking to end the inning. Torres caught the outside corner with an 0-2 fastball, and Middlebrooks didn’t off at it. The third baseman wasn’t too happy with the call.

Clay Buchholz will come back out for another inning.

End 5th, 3-3: Evan Longoria is a stud.

Longoria has a knack for coming up with big hits, and he just delivered the biggest hit of the series for the Rays. Longoria smacked a three-run homer to tie the game at three apiece.

Yunel Escobar started the inning with a ground ball back up the middle. Stephen Drew cut across the infield grass to make the play, but Escobar beat out his throw.

David DeJesus followed up with a one-out double into right-center field. Escobar was held at third base, but the Rays were finally cooking with gas.

Clay Buchholz bounced back to retire Ben Zobrist on a popout into shallow left field. The right-hander couldn’t put away Longoria, though.

Buchholz, who struck out Longoria with a gutsy changeup on the inside corner in the fourth inning, went to the well one too many times. He tossed Longoria another changeup, and the birthday boy hammered it into the left field seats.

Longoria is the second player in MLB history to hit a home run in the postseason on his birthday.

Mid 5th, Red Sox 3-0: The Red Sox’ aggressive baserunning was mentioned earlier in this live blog. It was on display in the fifth inning.

Jacoby Ellsbury ripped a hard ground ball down the first base line with one out. James Loney made a diving effort, but the ball kicked off his glove. Ben Zobrist raced over the track down the ball as Ellsbury motored into second base with a double.

Ellsbury took third base when Shane Victorino hit a chopper into the hole on the left side. Yunel Escobar put a glove on it, at which point the ball popped up into the air. Escobar corralled it and tossed to third base, where Ellsbury was ruled safe standing up. It was a bang-bang play, and Ellsbury might have actually been out. It was close.

Ellsbury scored when Alex Cobb uncorked a wild pitch with Dustin Pedroia batting. The ball took a hard bounce off the backstop and shot back at catcher Jose Molina. Molina’s throw to Cobb, who was covering home, sailed wide, though.

Victorino moved up to second base on the run-scoring wild pitch, and he moved up to third base when Dustin Pedroia grounded out. Victorino scored when David Ortiz beat the shift with a single through the left side.

End 4th, Red Sox 1-0: We had our first catwalk run-in in the fourth inning.

Ben Zobrist hit a popup behind the plate. The ball hit the B-ring catwalk in foul territory, making it a dead ball. As a result, Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s catch didn’t matter. Zobrist grabbed his bat, dug back in and walked to lead off the fourth inning.

Clay Buchholz struck out Evan Longoria and Wil Myers following Zobrist’s walk, so it looked like the whole catwalk fiasco wouldn’t matter. Longoria went down looking on a gutsy changeup on the inside corner, and Myers fanned on a fastball.

But the Rays refused to go away easy with two outs. James Loney singled into right field, and Desmond Jennings walked to load the bases.

Buchholz stepped up when he needed to, though. He struck out Matt Joyce to end the inning and keep Boston’s one-run lead intact.

The long inning was a grind for Buchholz. He has now thrown 74 pitches through four innings.

Mid 4th, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox threatened in the fourth inning, but did not score. Alex Cobb escaped a first-and-third jam.

David Ortiz led off with a walk. Ortiz entered the game having walked six times in 11 career plate appearances versus Alex Cobb, and he has walked twice in this contest thus far.

Mike Napoli followed with a single to make it first and second with no outs. It also prompted a mound visit to settle Cobb down a bit.

Daniel Nava flied to center field for the inning’s first out, but it wasn’t before a lengthy battle. Nava saw nine pitches before flying out, and Ortiz tagged up and advanced to third base on the play.

Cobb escaped the jam by striking out Jarrod Saltalamacchia and getting Stephen Drew to hit a soft ground ball. Cobb scooped Drew’s grounder, and took it to the first base bag himself to end the inning.

Cobb has thrown 71 pitches through four innings.

End 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: Clay Buchholz had no problem keeping the Rays’ offense in check in the third inning.

Buchholz enjoyed his first 1-2-3 inning of the game in the third. Yunel Escobar, Jose Molina and David DeJesus went down in order.

Escobar grounded to third base, and both Molina and DeJesus struck out. Molina went down swinging, and DeJesus was called out on strikes.

Molina almost put the Rays on the board and tied the game with a big fly to left field. His home run bid traveled just foul, though.

Mid 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: Alex Cobb was sharp in the third inning.

Cobb struck out two hitters while retiring the side in order. He has now retired eight straight, with three outs coming via the strikeout.

Jacoby Ellsbury, who led off the game with a single and scored the lone run thus far, flied out to left field in the third inning.

Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia both struck out in the third.

End 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox flashed some leather in the second inning.

James Loney led off with a double to left field. The ball traveled over Daniel Nava’s head and one-hopped the wall.

Loney was quickly wiped off the bases when Mike Napoli made a very nice play. Desmond Jennings hit a line drive to the right side, and Napoli snagged it. While on the run, Napoli tossed to second base to double-up Loney, who had strayed too far from the bag.

Matt Joyce lifted a fly ball to shallow left field with two outs, and Nava charged in to make a sliding grab.

Mid 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: Alex Cobb has ended each of the first two innings with some spectacular defense.

Cobb, who made a diving stop to end the first inning, came off the mound and made a nifty barehanded play to end a 1-2-3 second inning.

Cobb struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia to begin the second inning. The right-hander went upstairs with a fastball to complete the K.

After Stephen Drew flied out for the second out, Will Middlebrooks hit a little dribbler up the third base line. Cobb stormed off the mound, picked it up with his bare hand and delivered a strong, off-balance throw to first base to record the third out.

End 1st, Red Sox 1-0: David DeJesus’ leadoff single was the only blemish of the first inning for Clay Buchholz.

DeJesus dropped a blooper over Stephen Drew’s head and into left-center field to kick off the bottom of the first. Buchholz retired the next three hitters in order.

Ben Zobrist hit a chopper down to first base with one out. Mike Napoli, who was about a foot from the bag, opted to go to second base for the out there. Stephen Drew’s relay throw back to first base was a tad late.

Evan Longoria flied out to center field for the second out, and Wil Myers — who wasn’t forced to endure any “My-ers! My-ers!” chants at the friendly confines of Tropicana Field — grounded to second base to end the inning.

Mid 1st, Red Sox 1-0: Ben Zobrist has had a rough few days.

Zobrist fired an errant throw in the fourth inning of Game 2 that led to a Red Sox run. The second baseman made another poor throw in the first inning of Game 3.

Alex Cobb found himself in some trouble right away. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the game with a single through the left side, and Shane Victorino was hit on the shoulder with a pitch.

Dustin Pedroia hit a ground ball to third base that should have resulted in a 5-4-3 double play. Instead, Zobrist’s relay throw to first base was off the mark. Ellsbury scored as Pedroia headed to second base.

Victorino went in with a hard takeout slide at second base that definitely disrupted Zobrist. Victorino made a similar play in Game 2, and it may have been in the back of Zobrist’s mind as The Flyin’ Hawaiian came in hot.

David Ortiz walked with one out to keep things going, but Cobb escaped the inning by retiring Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava. Nava, whose at-bat was the first of his playoff career, hit a grounder back to the mound that Cobb made a diving play on before tossing to first.

6:10 p.m.: Jacoby Ellsbury fouls off Alex Cobb’s first pitch. We’re underway in Game 3.

5:58 p.m.: We’re just minutes away from Game 3, and it couldn’t come any sooner. Sunday’s off day seemed like an eternity.

It probably seemed even longer for those actually playing in the series. John Farrell noted before the game that the Red Sox are ready to roll.

“Eager. Kind of chomping at the bit, even with the off days, whether it was prior to the series opening up or even on the off day yesterday.  Guys are eager to get back on the field,” Farrell said. “And their focus is about the one game. It’s not about the end result of a series. It’s about tonight, and certainly not getting far ahead of ourselves in any way.”

5:36 p.m.: Jake Peavy has only been with the Red Sox a little more than two months. He still fits right in, though.

Peavy spoke about his short time in Boston before Saturday’s game, and his comments further highlighted the Red Sox’ amazing clubhouse camaraderie.

“I’ve had some incredible experiences, and I couldn’t ever think of feeling any more like a family, or like I belonged in San Diego, because that was all I knew.  I was raised as a kid, drafted by that organization, and felt so close to everybody there, and played so long there and achieved some cool things,” Peavy said. “And even in Chicago had some great teams, great teammates, coaching staff and great memories. But the day I walked in this clubhouse I felt like I was home. I felt like this is where I was meant to be. I belong with this group of players, with this group of coaching staff and front office and with this group of fans. This is where I belong. I’m a Boston Red Sox now. I know I’ve only been here two months, but I’m as emotionally attached and tied to this group of guys and this fan base and front office coaches and I’ll forever be. This is what baseball is about, and I’m honored to play here.”

Peavy will start Game 4 on Tuesday if the Rays win Game 3.

5:20 p.m.: It’s clear that there’s something special about this year’s Red Sox team. Joe Maddon certainly recognizes it.

Maddon said before Monday’s game that the Red Sox have great makeup and character. The Rays skipper even said that he finds that to be the most “formidable” aspect of this year’s Red Sox.

“I think right now what you’re seeing, which you saw this year, is them flipping their culture back based on a lot of personalities right there,” Maddon said. “We’re facing a different kind of foe particularly right now, I believe, than we had in the past, even though they were very, very good.  This group presents a little bit differently.”

4:50 p.m.: The Red Sox’ offense is clicking right now. And it isn’t just because of the team’s ability to swing the bats.

Excellent baserunning remains one of the most underrated aspects of Boston’s success. The Red Sox are extremely aggressive on the basepaths, and it has put a lot of pressure on opposing teams, including the Rays in this series.

“Baserunning is an integral part of our maybe diverse approach to try to score runs.  How we create runs, pressure we’ll put on the opposition, it was a building block in Spring Training as we approached the start of the regular season, something that was a strong emphasis from Day 1 in camp,” John Farrell said Sunday. “At the outset we weren’t afraid to make mistakes in Spring Training.  We had to find our limits.  And once we found the limits of the individual players, then we could kind of work and adjust accordingly.

“But we’ve got complete buy‑in from every guy in uniform, and they understand the importance of it that we have as a staff. I can’t stress enough the work that Torey Lovullo, Brian Butterfield and Arnie Beyeler have in that and contribute in their own way.

The Red Sox have stolen 42 bases in a row without being caught. It’s a modern-day record and a very impressive feat, but the Red Sox’ emphasis on baserunning has also showed up in the team’s ability to go first to third.

3:35 p.m.: The lineup cards have been posted. Check them out below.

Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Will Middlebrooks, 3B

Clay Buchholz, RHP

Rays
David DeJesus, LF
Ben Zobrist, 2B
Evan Longoria, 3B
Wil Myers, RF
James Loney, 1B
Desmond Jennings, CF
Matt Joyce, DH
Yunel Escobar, SS
Jose Molina, C

Alex Cobb, RHP

3:04 p.m.: The Red Sox are obviously in great shape. But they also seem to understand that they can’t afford to get ahead of themselves.

The Rays have had their backs up against the wall before, and they’ll undoubtedly come out swinging Monday. Boston thus needs to control its emotions and take care of business in a workmanlike manner — much like the Red Sox have done all season.

“Well, we have no idea what the outcome of the day is going to be,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said Sunday. “I know our guys are eager to get on the field and look forward to the first pitch [Monday]. And I think that’s been a consistent approach that we’ve taken throughout the course of the year. We haven’t gotten ahead of ourselves. We haven’t carried on a thought or a feeling of what has taken place the night or the series before. And I think everyone is eager to get back on the field [Monday].”

8 a.m.: The Red Sox have put themselves into a great position. Now, it’s all about sealing the deal.

The Red Sox enter Game 3 of the ALDS with a commanding 2-0 series lead after posting impressive offensive performances while taking down the Rays in the first two games at Fenway Park. Jon Lester and John Lackey earned the victories.

Clay Buchholz will take the ball Monday as Boston looks to punch its ticket to the ALDS. He’ll go up against Alex Cobb, who pitched well in the Rays’ wild card game victory over the Indians last week. It should be an interesting pitching matchup between two guys who have had success at Tampa Bay’s Tropicana Field.

Buchholz has just one postseason start on his resume. It came back in 2009, and Buchholz gave up two runs on six hits over five innings in a losing effort. The right-hander doesn’t remember much from that day, though, and he thinks that he has changed a lot since then.

“It was against the Angels, and we didn’t end up winning, that’s about all I got,” Buchholz said Sunday. “It was definitely good to experience it. It’s a different feeling. But it was a couple of years ago. I was a little bit younger, too. I think I’ve matured as a player knowing what I need to do in certain situations. And I can’t take anything for granted or anybody lightly. They’re here for a reason, too. But definitely ready to go and I definitely think that was a good stepping‑stone for me.”

Buchholz, who made four starts down the stretch upon returning for an injury, said that he has no physical limitations going into Monday’s contest. It’s all about going out, treating the start like any other and executing pitches.

Monday’s first pitch is scheduled for 6:07 p.m. Stick around right here. It should be fun.

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