BOSTON — The Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays have played a lot of close games lately, and the outcomes haven’t been kind to Boston.
The Red Sox lost another nailbiter at the hands of the Rays on Tuesday night, blowing a seventh-inning, two-run lead en route to a 4-3 defeat at Fenway Park.
Four of the last five games between Boston and Tampa now have been decided by one run, with the Red Sox going 1-3 in those four contests.
Here’s how this one went down.
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox were cruising toward another victory until the Rays combined to score three quick runs over the seventh and eighth innings to steal the W.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Evan Longoria crushed a solo homer off Clay Buchholz in the eighth inning.
Buchholz didn’t fare too well in his new role as Boston’s setup man, as Longoria’s massive blast broke a 3-3 tie and proved to be the game-winning score.
ON THE BUMP
— Drew Pomeranz delivered another strong outing that had a rough ending.
The left-hander gave up a run on a pair of hits in the first inning but settled down after that, allowing just three Rays to reach between the second and sixth innings.
With two outs in the seventh, however, Tampa catcher Luke Maile blasted a game-tying, two-run home run off Pomeranz that knocked him out of the ballgame.
Pomeranz allowed three runs on five hits over 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight batters and walking two.
— Matt Barnes entered and walked Logan Forsythe, but catcher Bryan Holaday caught him stealing at second to end the inning.
— Buchholz retired the first batter of the eighth before Longoria launched his 1-2 offering deep into the night.
The converted starter set down the next two Rays he faced, but he now has allowed one run in consecutive appearances and owns a 5.20 ERA.
— Craig Kimbrel surrendered two hits in the ninth but emerged unscathed. He also recorded a strikeout.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Rays starter Jake Odorizzi faced just 12 batters through the first four innings, but Hanley Ramirez finally got to him in the fifth by wrapping a 331-foot solo homer around Pesky’s Pole in right field, his 18th of the season.
— David Ortiz broke the deadlock in the sixth with a sacrifice fly. Ramirez then benefited from more good luck when his high pop up to right field fell in for a base hit, scoring Xander Bogaerts from second to make it 3-1 Boston.
— Ramirez carried the load on offense, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs. He was the only Red Sox player with multiple hits.
— Dustin Pedroia picked up right where he left off after missing two games, tallying a hit in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to seven games. He’s now 12-for-16 over his last three contests.
— Chris Young pinch hit for Brock Holt in the seventh inning. He went 0-for-1, striking out swinging and drawing a ninth-inning walk.
— Sandy Leon pinch hit for Holaday in the ninth with runners on first and second but struck out looking to end the game.
— Bogaerts snapped an 0-for-8 streak with a double in the sixth, giving him 500 career hits. He went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts, though.
— Travis Shaw and Jackie Bradley Jr. had especially brutal nights, going a combined 0-for-7 with seven strikeouts.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
The Red Sox’s bullpen isn’t alone in struggling to shut things down.
Steven Wright will make his second start since returning from the disabled list in Wednesday’s matinee series finale at Fenway. The Rays will counter with left-hander Drew Smyly. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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