Red Sox Live Blog: Rays Hang On, Top Sox 6-5


Red Sox Live Blog: Rays Hang On, Top Sox 6-5 Final, Rays 6-5: Following such a long wait to get any kind of result, we have two Red Sox losses in a span of about four hours. The Sox have little time to dwell on a pretty dismal day, however, as these two clubs are back here for a 1:35 p.m. game Sunday.

Off to the clubhouse to get a sense of the frustration level for the 4-7 Red Sox. Back in a bit to wrap things up.

Mid 9th, Rays 6-5: At least the Sox will have the right guys up to do this. Dustin Pedroia, Victor Martinez and Kevin Youkilis are due up against Rays closer Rafael Soriano, who already has a save Saturday.

End 8th, Rays 6-5: For all the noise the Red Sox made in the seventh inning, they still will only have three outs to work with in order to salvage something from this day. They get runners on first and second with one out in the eighth but once again can't do anything to get them in. Boston would be lost if not for the home run ball,. All six of its runs over the last 30 innings have come via the longball.

Adrian Beltre pinch ran for Mike Lowell in the eighth. As pointed out by's own Evan Brunell, that was the first time Beltre has been a pinch runner in 1,692 career games. Hard to imagine.

Mid 8th, Rays 6-5: Ramon Ramirez works a perfect eighth. Mike Lowell leads things off to start the bottom of the inning against Dan Wheeler.

This is the only game going on in the country right now. San Diego? Los Angeles? Oakland? Seattle? All done. The 20-inning affair in St. Louis? Done.

End 7th, Rays 6-5: James Shields got the first two outs of the seventh. The next four batters went single, home run, single, home run.

Ramon Ramirez is on to try to keep this a one-run deficit.

Bottom 7th, Rays 6-5: Kevin Youkilis does his best Dustin Pedroia immitation with a two-run shot into the same neighborhood. Andy Sonnanstine is out. Randy Choate is in. The Red Sox are suddenly alive.

Bottom 7th, Rays 6-3: There is life at Fenway. Dustin Pedroia (who else?) rockets one into the Monster seats for a two-run homer. It is his fifth of the season, making him the first Red Sox second baseman ever to hit that many in the first month of the year. James Shields is taken out one batter later in favor of Andy Sonnanstine.

Mid 7th, Rays 6-1: Scott Atchison threw an absolute meatball to Evan Longoria with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Longoria usually knows what to do with those.

The ball Longoria hit bounced about halfway up the light tower over the Green Monster and back onto the rain-soaked field. I'm not even sure if anyone in the stands even noticed.

End 6th, Rays 5-1: The highlight of the sixth is Mike Lowell getting a single to right. That's it.

Mid 6th, Rays 5-1: Moments after Marco Scutaro hit a solo shot to get the Sox on the scoreboard, he bobbles a B.J. Upton grounder for his team-leading third error. After the requisite stolen base by Upton and then a wild pitch by Scott Atchison, the Rays get their fifth unearned run of the game on a double by catcher John Jaso.

With some rain still falling and the Red Sox offering little to no resistance, this is about as dead as you will see Fenway midway through a game. I could count the fans in the bleachers if I wanted to.

End 5th, Rays 4-1: Marco Scutaro hits his first home run in a Red Sox uniform with two outs in the fifth to get Boston on the board. That is two solo homers in 26 innings for the Sox. Nothing but zeroes in every other frame.

Dustin Pedroia follows with a double off the Green Monster. After a long at-bat, Victor Martinez lines out to center.

Mid 5th, Rays 4-0: That ought to do it for Clay Buchholz, who deserved a better fate. If in fact he is done after throwing 108 pitches, he allows four unearned runs and just three hits in five innings while striking out seven.

It looked like Scott Atchison warming in the Red Sox bullpen.

The Mets and Cardinals are tied at 1-1 in the 19th. If you get a chance to check out the box score, please do.

End 4th, Rays 4-0: All you David Ortiz haters may not have noticed that he has now doubled in four straight games and in five of his last six. He leads the club in that category.

But Ortiz's latest two-bagger was just the precursor to another spoiled opportunity for Boston. The hit put runners at second and third with just one out. Mike Lowell popped to right. J.D. Drew grounded to first. One run in 26 innings for the Sox.

Mid 4th, Rays 4-0: Six of the last 11 Rays hitters have struck out. Clay Buchholz is cruising right along. However, that lengthy first inning has his pitch count up to 94. It looks like another five-inning effort for the righty.

End 3rd, Rays 4-0: The Sox make James Shields work a bit, but remain off the board. Mike Cameron doubled with one out and moved to third on a drive by Jeremy Hermida that was caught against the short wall in the right-field corner. After a walk to Marco Scutaro, Dustin Pedroia grounded out.

Mid 3rd, Rays 4-0: Clay Buchholz has quietly set down seven straight, four of them on strikeouts. Remember, he should've been out of the first inning with a zero on the board.

End 2nd, Rays 4-0: That's a seven-pitch inning for James Shields. The Red Sox have now scored one run in their last 24 innings. That one run was Jason Varitek's solo shot Friday night.

Mid 2nd, Rays 4-0: Clay Buchholz looks a whole lot better in the second inning. He strikes out Ben Zobrist to end an easy 1-2-3 inning, and didn't seem to be staring at the mound to check on where his foot was landing, as he did repeatedly in the first.

End 1st, Rays 4-0: The Sox respond to an atrocious top of the first inning with two strikeouts and a groundout in the bottom of the frame.

Great play by Evan Longoria to get Dustin Pedroia for the second out.

Ubaldo Jimenez just threw a no-hitter for Colorado. Just thought you might like to know. Also, last I looked, the Mets and Cardinals were in the 16th still scoreless. Crazy night in baseball.

Mid 1st, Rays 4-0: There are boos and then there are boos, the kind that come from deep down and are delivered with some meaning. That's the kind we heard in the top of the first inning after Mike Cameron allows a two-out line drive to glance off his glove in center and a run to come in from third. We heard them again when Pat Burrell lined a three-run double to right, tacking three more unearned runs on Clay Buchholz's line.

Cameron may have lost track of the ball or it tailed on him. Not sure. What is clear is that it was a play any center fielder should make, especially a Gold Glover. And when he didn't, it allowed Carl Crawford to score the game's first run and added to the Red Sox' misery.

That's four errors in the last three games. But if you recall the first part of Friday's game, there were two misplays ruled as hits. Adrian Beltre lost a flare to third in the lights and Jeremy Hermida let a lazy fly to left fall about five feet away from him. The defense has been pathetic of late.

Now, Buchholz should've been out of the inning, but he didn't do anything to pick up Cameron. He walked the next man before Burrell's double and then walked another before striking out Sean Rodriguez to end it. That turned the boos into sarcastic cheers.

Burrell has five RBI in two games in about an hour.

9:01 p.m.: Mike Lowell will be at third base in the second game. Here are the complete lineups for both teams:

Red Sox
Marco Scutaro SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Victor Martinez C
Kevin Youkilis 1B
David Ortiz DH
Mike Lowell 3B
J.D. Drew RF
Mike Cameron CF
Jeremy Hermida LF

Jason Bartlett SS
Carl Crawford LF
Ben Zobrist RF
Evan Longoria 3B
Carlos Pena 1B
B.J. Upton CF
Pat Burrell DH
John Jaso C
Sean Rodriguez 2B

8:51 p.m.: Not surprisingly, 99 percent of those at the park went for shelter and got something to eat or drink after the last out, preventing me from bullying my way to hear from Joe Maddon on his defensive tactics in the 11th. But we did get the word from Terry Francona. Here is a sampling.

On the bottom of the 11th and failing to come up with a run: "We had a great opportunity. I mean you can't get a better opportunity. We needed to elevate something and we couldn't. A cutter to David, breaking balls to Adrian. Middle of the order, bases loaded, that's about as good an opportunity as you are going to get."

On Daniel Bard, who struck out two in two perfect innings: "He was tremendous. He was really good. … He was efficient enough in the first inning that we could send him back out in the second with no qualms. He was terrific."

On Manny Delcarmen serving one up to Pat Burrell: "Got behind in the count. Gave him too much to hit."

On the quick turnaround: "We're home, we're in a game like that, that's a game we feel we should've won. Now we gotta strap them on pretty quick and go back out and try to get one."

Francona also said that Jonathan Papelbon will be at the park Monday after his wife gave birth Saturday afternoon.

8:37 p.m.: We'll give you Terry Francona's frustrated take on things in a second. Second game will start at 9:05 p.m., provided the weather does not get worse — the rain is light enough right now.

Final, Rays 3-1: Remember Jeremy Hermida's three-run double in the top of the eighth the other day in Minnesota? It was a big hit that helped seal what was a very satisfying win for the Red Sox. Almost nothing has gone right since.

Boston has been outscored 11-1 in two games spread over three nights and now must find a way to get going again in the cold and rain at Fenway Park. The Sox have scored one run in 22 innings since the Hermida hit.

The questions will surround the bottom of the 11th, when the Sox failed to get a runner in after loading the bases with nobody out. We will head down to briefly hear from Terry Francona and then return, fill you in on what he said, and get ready for the originally scheduled game. That will begin in 30-45 minutes.

The official time of this one was four hours, 18 minutes. But we know the truth. It took over a day to add to the Red Sox' woes.

Mid 12th, Rays 3-1: The Sox fail to score a run after loading the bases with nobody out, and then Pat Burrell takes Manny Delcarmen deep with a man on first. That has to hurt in the Red Sox dugout.

It was a 92 mph fastball from Delcarmen.

Rafael Soriano will come on to try to save this one for the Rays.

End 11th, 1-1: With the bases loaded and nobody out after two singles and an error, Rays manager Joe Maddon employs the five-man infield against David Ortiz, bringing right fielder Ben Zobrist in to stand near second base. It works. Ortiz grounds into a 3-2 force at home. Maddon sticks with the strategy with one out against Adrian Beltre. It works. Beltre grounds into a 5-3 double play. Inning over. The Sox blow a golden opportunity to finally end this thing. Instead we head to the 12th with Manny Delcarmen on for the Sox.

Mid 11th, 1-1: In two innings, Daniel Bard threw 16 of his 17 pitches for strikes. Nobody warming in either bullpen as Lance Cormier begins his third inning for the Rays.

End 10th, 1-1: Mike Cameron, who was slated to play in the second game, will get into the first after Victor Martinez bats for Bill Hall. That leaves only Mike Lowell and an injured Jacoby Ellsbury on the bench. Ellsbury will not play, of course.

Daniel Bard is out for his second inning of work.

Mid 10th, 1-1: Here is an interesting observation. The Rays are all wearing different numbers than they were when this game started, perhaps a first in baseball history. On Friday, Tampa Bay was sporting No. 42 on its jerseys in honor of Jackie Robinson Day on Thursday, which was a off-day for the club.

Anyway, Daniel Bard sets the Rays down in order in the 10th, striking out two. His first victim, Pat Burrell, is the Rays' emergency pitcher for either the first or second game, according to manager Joe Maddon.

End 9th, 1-1: This is awkward for all of us, but bear with me. We picked it up in the bottom of the ninth at 7:13 p.m. At 7:14 p.m. David Ortiz hit a bomb down the line in right that nearly went into the books as his 11th career game-winning homer. Alas, it went foul and Ortiz was retired on a grounder to first.

Two more outs and we head to extra innings in a game that started 24 hours ago. Daniel Bard will be on the mound for the Sox.

6:40 p.m.: OK, the tarp is off the field and they are working feverishly to get things ready for 7:10 p.m. While we wait, here is a take from both sides on the Rays' running game, which has wreaked havoc on the Sox (successful on 35-of-39 attempts since the start of 2009).

Terry Francona admitted that the club's 8 percent success rate on throwing out runners this year needs work, but he doesn't want to do too much to alter what his pitcher is doing.

"Some of the things that they do really well, we have not defended well," Francona said. "That's just the way it is. When they have first and second you have to hold a guy at second, it creates some of the holes in the infield. That's what makes them good. Some of the strengths of other teams, you don't want to let it get in the way of what we're doing."

The skipper pointed to Josh Beckett as an example. The righty was in such fine form Friday that making him alter his delivery in order to prevent 90 feet of advancement does not always make sense.

"You don't want to get in the way of the way guys are throwing," he said.

Francona had hinted Friday night that he cares about other teams stealing bases, but doesn't need to worry about every single one. He picks and chooses his moments to combat an attempt.

The same goes for Joe Maddon on the other side. He talked at length about the topic.

"That's part of our game," he said. "In regards to taking chances or taking risks, we're always going to be that group, but we're gonna try to do it when the odds are in our favor, not just for the sake of doing it."

Maddon then grabbed his team's game notes for Saturday night and glanced at the upcoming pitchers, reading them off one by one: Lester, Lackey, Danks, Buehrle, Peavy.

"One of the things I've always felt is that when you're facing guys like that, those are the guys you really want to do that against. If you're waiting around for four straight singles or a three-run homer you're going to wait a long time. That's part of our overall philosophy. When you're facing the good pitchers, those are the guys you want to get under their skin because they're not gonna give up big points very readily."

Maddon then stressed running hard in general, pointing to an infield single for Carlos Pena in a recent game that allowed the go-ahead run to score. He said that in addition to mental mistakes, he cannot stand guys not hustling down the line, always wanting to create a reputation as a team that will run hard every time.

"That's what I want out of our group. Pretty simple, really."

6:30 p.m.: The grounds crew has pounced on the tarp here. Fifteen fans are clapping, but they may just be dumping the water. The rain is still rather steady.

5:45 p.m.: Word just passed down from Red Sox officials: Jonathan Papelbon and his wife, Ashley, have just welcomed into the world a baby boy, their second child. Gunner Robert Papelbon came in at eight pounds, eight ounces and 21.5 inches long. Papelbon, who was going to resume the top of the 10th if the Red Sox needed him, will not be at the park tonight. Daniel Bard will pitch the 10th if it comes to that, according to manager Terry Francona.

Here are a few other quick updates, and I'll add some color once I get down a few quotes (Joe Maddon likes to talk):

  • Jacoby Ellsbury is targetting a mid-week return. He took swings and threw Saturday and said it was his best day since the rib injury six days ago.
  • Mike Cameron is expected to play in the second game.
  • Lance Cormier, who was announced as the Rays pitcher just before the tarp was put on Friday night, will be the Tampa Bay pitcher.

As I mentioned, there is plenty to comb through from the clubhouses, including Maddon's take on hooded sweatshirts and Bill Belichick. I'll provide more in a bit.

As far as the weather is concerned, there is a light rain falling and the tarp is on the field. We have no updates from the Sox on if/when the games will resume.

3:13 p.m.: I just meandered through the caverns of Fenway Park and overheard two conversations. One was among a group of women who were arriving for work and how they are going to have to stay at each other's houses to get through the next couple of days without having to commute. The second involved a wager as to when the final out of the second game will be recorded.

We're all wondering how this night will go, but as I sit here the one encouraging thing is a tiny dose of sunshine to the southeast and no rain to speak of. There is wet stuff, including the chance of snow, later on.

We will provide updates on anything weather-related going forward.

Last night there was a lot of talk as to the last time we had seen a game suspended heading into the bottom of the ninth. We don't have that information, but we did learn that the Sox have not had a game suspended since May 3, 1996, when their contest with Toronto at Fenway was halted in the sixth and finished the next day.

Boston won 8-7.

Also, for any of you who were at Friday night's suspended game and want to come back to catch the end of it, your ticket will not be honored. Only those with tickets for Saturday's originally scheduled game will be allowed in the park.

11:20 a.m.: It will be a doubleheader, sort of, when the Red Sox and Rays get together at Fenway Park on Saturday night.

The two teams will finish a 1-1 game that was suspended in the bottom of the ninth Friday night. Boston was about to send David Ortiz to the plate to start the frame.

The originally scheduled contest will begin 30 minutes after the suspended game is completed, just enough time for the Sox to switch from their red to white jerseys.

Clay Buchholz will make his second start of the year for Boston in the second game. James Shields is on the bump for the Rays.

We will follow all the events of what should be a wild night in the rain at Fenway.

Picked For You