Keeping pace with the New York
Yankees, the Rays rebounded from losing the opener of a crucial weekend
series to win two straight and drop the third-place Red Sox 6 1/2 games
behind in the division and wild card.
Shields (13-11) won for the sixth time
in eight starts, allowing three runs and seven hits over 6 2/3 innings.
He walked one and struck out eight before turning over a one-run lead
to a better-than-expected bullpen that's one of the reasons Tampa Bay
has been able to keep up with the Yankees for the best record in
Pena and Crawford both homered off
John Lackey (12-8). Pena hit a solo shot in the fourth and Crawford
delivered a two-run shot that wiped out a 3-1 Boston lead in the sixth.
Dan Johnson's RBI single snapped the three-all tie later in the sixth. Evan Longoria drove in the final run
charged to Lackey with a two-out single off Hideki Okajima in the
Johnson was the star in Tampa Bay's 3-2 victory Saturday night, hitting a solo homer to win it in the 10th inning.
Reliever Randy Choate got the final
out of the seventh and Joaquin Benoit pitched a perfect eighth before
Rafael Soriano sat the Red Sox down in the ninth to earn his major
league-leading 39th save in 41 opportunities.
Pena has hit an AL-leading 141 homers
since joining the Rays in 2007, one more than New York's Alex Rodriguez.
He has a major league-leading 18 against Boston during the span, five
more than A-Rod and Mark Teixeira.
The Red Sox countered with two runs in
the fifth, with rookie Yamaico Navarro getting his first major league
RBI and Marco Scutaro following with a sharp ground ball that hopped
over the outstretched glove of Longoria, the Rays' third baseman, for a
Shields escaped further damage in the
fifth, getting J.D. Drew to ground into a force play and striking out
hot-hitting Victor Martinez — 8-for-13 with three homers in the series —
to end the inning. Daniel Nava's RBI single put Boston up 3-1 in the
Crawford's home run into the
right-field stands made him the eighth player since 1900 to get at least
100 homers, 100 triples and 400 stolen bases in a career. The others
are Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Lou Brock, Frankie Frisch, Kenny Lofton, Paul
Molitor and Tim Raines.
Johnson's bases-loaded single snapped
the tie, but a terrific throw to the plate by Boston center-fielder
Darnell McDonald stopped Pena from scoring from second and kept the Red
Sox from falling behind by two runs.
Lackey allowed five runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander walked three and struck out seven.
When Martinez singled with one
out in the fourth inning, it gave the Red Sox catcher eight hits in the
series. Tampa Bay had 11 as a team up to that point. … Since allowing
six homers in a loss to Toronto on Aug. 7, Shields has limited one over
his last four starts. He still leads the AL in homers allowed at 29.
… Former Colorado OF Brad Hawpe, signed by Tampa Bay to a minor league
contract, will play his second game for Class-A Charlotte on Monday.
He's expected to join the Rays on Tuesday or Rays.
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