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This is why they play the game. After the Red Sox rolled over the Rays the night before, Tampa Bay, with their ace Matt Garza on the mound, was ready for some payback. Working Daisuke Matsuzaka for 29 first inning pitches was an ominous start, but Dice-K buckled down, allowing just three runs over his six innings – good enough for a quality start.
Having fallen from the AL East lead to third place, the Rays needed a big night. Despite the typical Dice-K outing filled with base runners, the Rays were largely held in check as Matsuzaka allowed only three runs and four hits to go along with four walks and seven strikeouts. Scott Atchison pitched a scoreless seventh but the wheels fell off in the eighth inning when Manny Delcarmen allowed five runs without recording an out.
Unfortunately, the Red Sox big inning was also in the eighth, after the Rays had expanded their lead to eight runs. After allowing just one run through seven innings, Matt Garza ran into some trouble at the start of the eighth, and his bullpen didn’t help him out of the jam, allowing both Red Sox base runners to score.
Big Papi is back. Ortiz hit two doubles and drove in three of the Red Sox’ runs.
Delcarmen gave up five runs without recording an out, continuing the struggles of the right-handed reliever whose ERA and WHIP are up to 4.59 and 1.41 respectively.
W: Matt Garza (9-5)
L: Daisuke Matsuzaka (5-3)