BOSTON — The Red Sox had a chance to win their season series over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, but instead they crumbled in a promising game
Boston started off hot, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning, and starter Wade Miley seemed to be on top of his game. However, one bad inning from the left-hander gave the Rays the lead, and Tampa Bay’s pitching shut the Red Sox down through the end of the ninth inning.
The 4-2 loss gave the Rays the win in this series, and they took a 10-9 win in the season set.
Let’s take a look at how it unfolded.
GAME IN A WORD
That’s what it came down to in this game. It seemed as though the Red Sox would have the upper hand when David Ortiz hit a two-run home run off Rays starter Erasmo Ramirez in the first inning, and Miley pitched well through five. However, things turned around in the sixth, and it was the Rays’ pitching that held onto the lead.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
The sixth inning happened.
Miley had been pretty dominant through five innings, but the left-hander unraveled in the sixth and gave up three runs to give the Rays a 3-2 lead. The Red Sox didn’t score after that, and Miley went home with the loss.
ON THE BUMP
— Miley was solid for the Red Sox — until he wasn’t, of course. The left-hander pitched his way through five scoreless innings, giving up just two hits. But things took a turn when the sixth inning came around.
The lefty gave up a solo home run to Evan Longoria with two outs, before allowing a single and two straight RBI doubles to give the Rays a 3-2 lead. Miley started the seventh inning by giving up another homer to Kevin Kiermaier and was yanked after Luke Maile hit a one-out double. Heath Hembree ended the inning with a groundout and a lineout.
Miley finished the night with four earned runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and a walk over 6 1/3 innings.
— Matt Barnes came on in the eighth and gave up two hits. He gave up a leadoff single to Longoria, but Logan Forsythe grounded into a double play. Barnes gave up another single to Asdrubal Cabrera before striking out Steven Souza Jr. to end the inning.
— Alexi Ogando started off the ninth by giving up a single to Kiermaier, but he was bailed out when the center fielder was caught stealing second after a challenge by interim manager Torey Lovullo. Ogando struck out pinch hitter James Loney, and Maile grounded out to end the inning.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— It was a poor offensive night for the Red Sox, to say the least. They got things going early but couldn’t muster up much after that and finished with five hits.
— Ortiz was the one to get the offense going, smacking a two-run homer into the Monster seats to put Boston up 2-0 in the first inning. The home run was Ortiz’s 36th on the season and the 502nd in his career. He went 2-for-4 on the night.
Big Papi also has 101 RBIs this season, making it his ninth with 100-plus and tying him with Ted Williams for the most 100-RBI seasons in Red Sox history. It’s also his sixth season with 35-plus home runs and 100-plus RBIs, which passed Jimmie Foxx and Manny Ramirez for the Red Sox record.
— Mookie Betts continued his on-base streak for the 27th game with a single in the first inning. It was his only hit of the night, however, as he went 1-for-4.
— Dustin Pedroia also added a hit in the sixth inning. The play originally was called an error by Forsythe, and the change allowed Pedroia to go 1-for-4, too.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a single in the eighth inning to no avail and finished 1-for-3.
The Red Sox take on the Baltimore Orioles on Friday for their final series at Fenway Park. The O’s will send Kevin Gausman to the mound to take on lefty Rich Hill, who has a 1.93 ERA and a whopping 20 strikeouts in just two starts for Boston.
Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images