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Red Sox Late Rally Falls Short; Rays Walk Off in 11th

Red Sox, Rays (Photo by Steven Kovich/Getty Images)

Down 5-3 in the ninth inning and armed with a 2-7 record in September, the reeling Red Sox were in desperate need of a comeback.

The Red Sox got exactly what they needed when Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jacoby Ellsbury each delivered solo home runs off Rays closer Kyle Farnsworth to tie the game 5-5. After Dustin Pedroia doubled and Adrian Gonzalez walked, David Ortiz grounded into a critical, rally-killing double play to end the 9th.

Jonathan Papelbon was absolutely dominant in the bottom half of the 9th, and when the Sox failed to score in the 10th, he pitched another perfect inning of relief in the bottom of the 10th. He did not come out for the 11th inning…

After the Red Sox failed to score in the top of the 11th, Terry Francona called upon Daniel Bard, who subsequently allowed a leadoff triple to Desmond Jennings on a ball that barely fell between Ellsbury and Darnell McDonald. After BJ Upton grounded out, Evan Longoria laced a game-winning walkoff single to center field to give the Rays a 6-5 win and bring them within 4.5 games of the Red Sox for the Wild Card lead.

Rookie Kyle Weiland started for the Red Sox and allowed three runs in 4.0 innings. Alfredo Aceves pitched the next 4.0 innings and allowed two runs on three hits. Aceves was on the hook for the loss until the Red Sox bailed him out in the ninth.

Sox Stud of the Game: Jacoby Ellsbury

Ellsbury has come up big all season, and did so again Saturday night. Down by one run in the 9th, Ellsbury hit a no-doubt home run to right field to tie the game. He now has 26 (!!) home runs this season.

Sox Dud of the Game: Daniel Bard

It’s hard to totally blame Bard, but he did allow Jennings’ triple and Longoria’s single to take his seventh loss this season.

Game Notes:

W: Brandon Gomes (2-1)
L: Daniel Bard (2-7) 

  • Gonzalez homered and drove in two runs to give him 108 RBIs, second in the AL behind Curtis Granderson.
  • Kevin Youkilis did not play after being diagnosed with hip bursitis and a hernia injury. He will not be available until Tuesday at the earliest.
  • Jon Lester and James Shields will duke it out in the series finale on Sunday.

About KC Downey - @kc_downey

KC is the "head coach" of the Sports of Boston, LLC blog network. Follow him on Twitter: @kc_downey

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