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Clay Buchholz pitched well in his first outing since his recent stint on the disabled list, but the bullpen couldn’t hold off the Rays’ offense. A seventh inning rally gave the Rays the 4-3 lead and BJ Upton added a home run to seal the 5-3 victory.
The game started off as a pitchers duel as Buchholz was matched by Tampa Bay starter David Price. The Rays struck first in the third inning. Desmond Jennings and Jose Molina hit back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners with no outs. Sean Rodriguez then hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Jennings and give the Rays the 1-0 lead.
The Red Sox answered in the top of the fourth inning. With David Ortiz on base, two outs, and with two strikes, Will Middlebrooks hit his 11th home run of the season, giving the Red Sox the 2-1 lead. However, in the fifth inning the Rays tied the game after a fielding error by shortstop Mike Aviles allowed Jeff Keppinger to score from third base. Cody Ross forced the Rays into an error of their own in top of the sixth inning. With Aviles at the plate Ross faked a steal of home from third. The fake drew the attention of Price who throw over to third base. The throw went past third baseman Jeff Keppinger, allowing Ross to score and give the Sox the 3-2 lead.
The seventh inning spelled trouble for the Red Sox. Buchholz walked Luke Scott and hit Keppinger with a pitch. Desmond Jennings then laid down a sacrifice bunt and moved the runners to second and third. Matt Albers then came into relieve Buchholz. Hideki Matsui was intentionally walked to load the bases. Albers then unintentionally walked Jose Lobaton, allowing the tying run to walk home. Elliot Johnson then hit a sacrifice fly to center, which gave the Rays the 4-3 lead.
Andrew Miller came onto pitch in the eighth inning and gave up a towering home run to BJ Upton. The 5-3 lead was more than enough for Rays’ closer Fernando Rodne. Following a lead off single from Aviles, Rodney struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Brent Lillibridge. Daniel Nava then popped out to end the game.
Tags: Andrew Miller, B.J. Upton, Brent Lillbridge, Clay Buchholz, Cody Ross, Daniel Nava, David Ortiz, David Price, Desmond Jennings, Fernando Rodney, Hideki Matsui, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jeff Keppinger, Jose Lobaton, Jose Molina, Luke Scott, Matt Albers, Mike Aviles, Sean Rodriguez, Will Middlebrooks