The Boston Red Sox produced a big hit in a big spot to earn a big win.
The Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 in 10 innings Friday night at Tropicana Field. Brock Holt delivered an RBI single in the top of the 10th to propel Boston to its 33rd victory of 2015.
GAME IN A WORD
The stars were aligned for yet another disappointing loss, as the Rays threatened in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied at 3. The Red Sox wiggled out of trouble, though, then captured a victory in the first extra frame.
Boston was — dare I say? — clutch, for a change.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
Holt knocked in Mookie Betts to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead.
Betts led off the 10th with a double down the left field line, and Holt drove him in with a single into left field three pitches later.
ON THE BUMP
— Rick Porcello couldn’t fully exorcise his demons.
Porcello, who has imploded in key spots this season, allowed two runs in the sixth inning before departing. It blew an opportunity for the right-hander to snap a six-start winless streak.
Overall, Porcello gave up three earned runs on nine hits over six innings. He used a double-play ball to escape trouble in the fifth but fell right back into trouble in the sixth. Admittedly, it could have been worse for Porcello, but his inability to provide one more clean frame speaks to his woes.
The Rays had two men in scoring position just three pitches into the sixth, as Joey Butler singled and Evan Longoria doubled. David DeJesus plated Tampa Bay’s second run — its first of the inning — with a sacrifice fly to right field that also allowed Longoria to take third base. Longoria scored the tying run moments later when Porcello uncorked a wild pitch.
— Junichi Tazawa recorded the final out of the seventh inning and worked around a leadoff single for a scoreless eighth.
— Craig Breslow and Alexi Ogando worked through trouble in the ninth.
Asdrubal Cabrera opened the inning with a double down the left field line off Breslow. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval was hugging the line but still couldn’t make a play on the hot-shot ground ball.
Breslow intentionally walked Jake Elmore with first base open before striking out Curt Casali, who failed to drop down a bunt. Kevin Kiermaier then bounced out to second base, which allowed both Cabrera and Elmore to advance a station.
Ogando entered to face Butler with two outs. He retired Butler on a fly ball to right field.
— Koji Uehara earned the save with a scoreless 10th inning. He struck out two.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Mike Napoli reached base four times. He also stole two bases, including home plate. Seriously.
Napoli walked three times and scored two runs. He scored Boston’s first run in the second inning when Alejandro De Aza doubled to left field. DeJesus dived in an effort to make the catch, but he was unsuccessful, and the ball rolled all the way to the wall.
Blake Swihart sent Napoli from first to third with a single in the fourth after the slugger opened the inning with his second walk of the contest. Swihart then took off for second base as part of a double steal, and Rays catcher Curt Casali paid no attention to Napoli, who streaked for home. Casali fired right through to second base, enabling Napoli to score the Red Sox’s third run of the game.
Napoli’s second stolen base also was a product of Casali paying him no mind.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. plated De Aza in the second inning with a sacrifice fly to left field. Bradley also singled in the seventh, giving the outfielder three hits in his first two games back with the Red Sox.
— Mookie Betts’ indecisiveness cost him in the seventh, though he obviously atoned for his mistake in extra innings.
Betts, who reached on a forceout that retired Bradley at second base, took off for second with one out and Holt batting. Casali’s throw traveled into center field, at which point Betts popped up and thought about taking third base. Betts ultimately decided to retreat, but it was too late. The moment of hesitation gave the center fielder enough time to nab Betts at second base as he attempted to dive back into the bag.
Betts extended his hit streak to 13 games with his double in the 10th inning.
— Holt’s game-winning hit marked his first and only knock of the contest.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Cool as a cucumber.
Everything Brock Holt does is flawless. vine.co/v/eJZeMBZQzM5—
Austin Eich (@Eich_AJ) June 27, 2015
The Red Sox and Rays will pick things up Saturday with a late afternoon affair. Wade Miley will face Matt Andriese in a game scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
Powered by WordPress.com VIP