Final — Rays 8, Red Sox 5: The Red Sox didn’t go down without a fight, but the losing streak has officially reached double digits.
Pierzynski started off the inning with his second double of the afternoon, a gap shot to right center field. After Sizemore flew out to center and Herrera struck out swinging, Holt lined a two-out single to right field.
Bogaerts then laced a two-RBI single into center field, narrowing the lead to 8-5 and knocking reliever Josh Lueke out of the game in favor of closer Grant Balfour.
Balfour shut the door, getting Pedroia to ground out to third base to end the contest.
The Red Sox are now 20-29 after sitting atop the American League East at 20-19 just under two weeks ago. It is the first time since 1994 that Boston has lost ten games in a row.
End 8th, Rays 8-3: Mujica made quick work of the Rays in the eighth inning, striking out Jennings and inducing fly outs from Longoria and pinch-hitter Ryan Hanigan to retire the side in order.
We’re on to the ninth, where the Sox have some catching up to do.
Mid 8th, Rays 8-3: The Sox offense was unable to respond in the eighth, as Juan Carlos Oviedo came on in relief for the Rays and retired the side in order.
Oviedo struck out Ortiz swinging and got Carp and Nava to fly out to center. The Sox will have their work cut out for them in the ninth.
End 7th, Rays 8-3: Things just got wild and ugly for the Red Sox at the Trop.
The Rays scored five runs in the seventh to break a 3-3 tie, and a benches-clearing brawl broke out late in the inning as things started to unravel for the Sox.
It all started when Craig Breslow allowed a three-run homer to pinch-hitter Sean Rodgriguez after a leadoff walk to pinch-hitter Desmond Jennings and a single to Evan Longoria.
Tampa Bay kept the rally going when Escobar lined a two-run RBI double to left after back-to-back singles from Loney and Guyer, giving the Rays an 8-3 lead.
Escobar then stole third base uncontested, which appeared to ruffle the feathers of several players in the Sox dugout. Escobar began jawing and gesturing towards the Sox dugout, prompting both benches to empty onto the field.
Jonny Gomes, who came in from left field to give a shove to Escobar, was ejected from the game in the ensuing tussle. Escobar and Rodriguez were ejected as well. Carp moved to left field to replace Gomes, while Jonathan Herrera entered the game at first base.
Edward Mujica relieved Breslow and was able to stop the bleeding by getting Jose Molina to ground out, but not before an eventful five-run inning for Tampa Bay.
Mid 7th, 3-3: The Red Sox desperately needed a spark. Who better to give it to them than Jonny Gomes?
Pinch-hitting for Jackie Bradley Jr. with one out in the seventh, Gomes launched a two-run bomb to left field off relief pitcher Joel Peralta to tie the score at 3-3.
Pierzynski got things started when Yunel Escobar failed to make a play on a high chopper, allowing the big catcher to lumber into second for a leadoff double.
After Peralta struck Sizemore out swinging, Gomes came up huge.
Holt grounded out to first before Bogaerts attempted to keep the rally going by lacing a two-out double down the left field line. He then advanced to third on a wild pitch from Peralta, but Pedroia flied out to right to end the inning.
The final line on Odorizzi: six innings, four hits, one earned run, one walk and five strikeouts.
End 6th, Rays 3-1: The book is closed on Workman, as righthander Alex Wilson has come on in relief.
Wilson got Guyer to ground out to third base and Forsythe to fly out to right before walking Escobar on four pitches. Molina then grounded out to second to end the inning.
Workman lasted five full innings, allowing three runs on five hits while walking three and striking out three. He threw 88 pitches.
Mid 6th, Rays 3-1: Odorizzi responded with a quick 1-2-3 inning, getting Ortiz to fly out to deep center before striking out Carp and inducing a ground ball to first base from Nava.
Odorizzi needed just 10 pitches to retire the side and is now up to 108 pitches through six innings.
End 5th, Rays 3-1: Wil Myers’ speed gave the Rays an insurance run in the fifth inning, but he nearly gave them two.
After getting Molina to pop out to Carp at first base for the inning’s first out, Workman allowed a double to DeJesus and a single to Longoria before walking Joyce to load the bases with one out.
Myers then chopped a potential double-play ball to third base but used his wheels to beat out Pedroia’s relay throw to first, allowing DeJesus to score from third and extending the Rays’ lead to 3-1.
Loney followed up with a grounder to short, where a charging Myers beat Bogaerts to the second base bag and was initially ruled safe. After manager John Farrell challenged the play, though, the call was overturned and the Red Sox escaped trailing by just two runs.
Mid 5th, Rays 2-1: The Sox got their leadoff man on base for the third consecutive inning but failed to score yet again.
Sizemore led off the inning with a double after Guyer just missed making a diving catch on his blooper to shallow center.
Bradley Jr. moved Sizemore to third on a ground out to first base, but Odorizzi got Brock Holt swinging on an off-speed pitch in the dirt.
Odorizzi then drilled Bogaerts in the left shoulder with a fastball, putting runners at the corners with two outs for Dustin Pedroia.
Pedey was unable to bring Sizemore home, however, chopping an easy grounder to short that Escobar tossed to second base for the fielder’s choice.
End 4th, Rays 2-1: Well, that didn’t take long.
Longoria took the first pitch he saw in the fourth inning and cranked it to right center field for a leadoff home run to tie the game at 1-1, then Forsythe added a two-out RBI single to give the Rays a 2-1 lead.
After Joyce flied out to left, Workman walked Myers and retired Loney on a line out to center for the second out of the inning.
Guyer then executed a perfect hit and run by shooting a ground ball through the vacated second base side to put runners on first and third with two outs.
Forsythe made the most of the opportunity, hitting a seeing-eye ground ball through the left side of the infield to put Tampa Bay on top 2-1.
Workman’s pitch count is now up to 63 after cruising through the first three innings.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 1-0: The Sox failed to add another run in the fourth, but they’re putting the pressure on Jake Odorizzi.
The Rays pitcher is up to 79 pitches through just four innings after allowing two more Sox baserunners.
Pedroia got the Sox started with a leadoff single to left field, his first hit of the series. Ortiz then got a hold of an Odorizzi fastball but hit it to one of the deepest parts on the ballpark in right center field, where Guyer hauled it in on the warning track.
Mike Carp was able to work a nine-pitch at-bat into a walk, prompting a mound visit from Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey.
Odorizzi jammed Nava to induce a soft lineout to second base, then Forsythe robbed Pierzynski with a diving catch to his right to end Boston’s threat.
End 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: Brandon Workman is looking pretty impressive so far.
The Red Sox righty made quick work of the Rays in the bottom of the third, getting Yunel Escobar to fly out to center, striking out Jose Molina and inducing a ground out to first base from DeJesus.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: The Sox are on the board!
A.J. Pierznyski got things started by lacing a leadoff line drive to left field to give the Sox their first hit of the day.
Grady Sizemore followed that up by ripping a double down the left field line, as Pierzynski was held at third base with nobody out.
Jackie Bradley Jr. wasted a great opportunity by striking out on an off-speed pitch low and away.
Holt was able to get the job done, though, driving a sacrifice line drive to right field that allowed Pierzynski to cross the plate with Boston’s first run and Sizemore to advance to third.
Bogaerts stranded him there by flying out to right field.
One run isn’t exactly ideal when you have runners on second and third with no outs, but at this point the Red Sox will take whatever they can get.
End 2nd, 0-0: The Rays threatened with their first baserunner of the afternoon, but a nice play by Dustin Pedroia allowed the Sox to escape unscathed.
Workman got Wil Myers and James Loney to fly out to start the inning but ran into trouble when he walked Brandon Guyer on four straight pitches. Guyer stole second base on Workman’s next pitch, putting him in scoring position for Logan Forsythe.
Forsythe ripped a one-hopper to second base, but Pedroia made a nice play to snag the ball and throw to first to record the out. We’re still scoreless after two at the Trop.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: That’s six in a row retired by Jake Odorizzi to start this game.
David Ortiz grounded right into the shift, as Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe fielded the ball in shallow right field to throw him out.
Mike Carp swung at the first pitch and flied out to center, and Odorizzi struck out Daniel Nava looking in his first at-bat since rejoining the team.
End 1st, 0-0: Brandon Workman is off to a strong start at the Trop.
Workman put the Rays down in order in the first, striking out David DeJesus on an outside fastball and Evan Longoria on a sharp breaking ball before getting Matt Joyce to ground out to second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
DeJesus almost put the Rays on the board on the third pitch of the inning with a towering fly ball down the right field line, but the ball sailed just foul.
Mid-1st, 0-0: The Red Sox bats went quietly to start the series finale.
Brock Holt led off the game for the Sox and put a charge into a line drive to left-center field, but center fielder Brandon Guyer was able to track it down.
Odorizzi got Xander Bogaerts swinging on a fastball on the outside corner, and Dustin Pedroia grounded out softly to second base to end the inning.
1:40 p.m.: Jake Odorizzi’s first pitch misses high for a ball, and we’re underway in St. Pete.
12:30 p.m.: We’re just over an hour away from the first pitch as the Red Sox hope to snap a nine-game losing streak in the final game of a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Boston’s hopes will rest on the shoulders of starting pitcher Brandon Workman, who was just recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to start in the place of injured pitcher Felix Doubront. Workman has made three starts in his MLB career and has fared quite well, allowing no more than two earned runs in at least six innings in all three outings.
Workman will square off against Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi, who has allowed just three earned runs in his last three starts after struggling earlier in the season.
Odorizzi will face a Red Sox lineup weakened by injuries after right fielder Shane Victorino and first baseman Mike Napoli were both placed on the 15-day disabled list this weekend. Boston will have a little extra firepower in David Ortiz, who returns to the batting order in the designated hitter spot after being out of the linuep on Saturday.
First pitch from Tropicana Field is scheduled for 1:40 p.m. ET. Make sure you check out this blog during the game for live updates and play-by-play.
Here are the full lineups:
Boston Red Sox (20-28)
Brock Holt, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Carp, 1B
Daniel Nava, RF
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Grady Sizemore, LF
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Brandon Workman, RHP (0-0, 1.42 ERA)
Tampa Bay Rays (22-28)
David DeJesus, DH
Evan Longoria, 3B
Matt Joyce, LF
Wil Myers, RF
James Loney, 1B
Brandon Guyer, CF
Logan Forsythe, 2B
Yunel Escobar, SS
Jose Molina, C
Jake Odorizzi, RHP (2-4, 4.98)