Game 104: Boston 7 Rays 5 — Postgame News and Notes
Boston won a see-saw battle against the Rays on Friday, beating Tampa Bay 7–5. The Rays (51–53) dropped the first of a six-game road trip, after allowing six two-out runs.After the Rays took a 5–4 lead in the top of the seventh, the Red Sox took it right back in the bottom of the frame against Jake McGee. The lefty retired the first two batters, but David Ortiz walked in an 11-pitch battle and then Mike Napoli hit the sixth pitch he saw, a 2–2 offering into the Monster seats in left field to put Boston ahead to stay.
The Rays had surged in front before McGee entered. Joey Butler walked on four pitches against Robbie Ross Jr to start the frame, and then after the next two batters were retired, Ross hit Mikie Mahtook to put a second runner aboard. Junichi Tazawa entered and pinch-hitter John Jaso drilled a two-run double off the center field wall for the 5–4 lead.
Boston had taken a one-run lead in the fifth when Brock Holt led off the home fifth by beating out a soft grounder to short for an infield hit. Holt advanced to second on a Xander Bogaerts single. David Ortiz struck out for the second out, but Mike Napoli walked, just the second walk allowed by starter Erasmo Ramirez in the last 83 batters faced. Alejandro DeAza followed with a single to right-center field for a 4–3 advantage.
Ramirez did not allow a run thereafter, as he went six innings. Ramirez walked two and fanned six and was charged with four runs, just one earned, on five hits. He left on the winning side of the ledger, but then McGee allowed two runs in the seventh.
The Rays had a chance to regain the advantage in the eighth, as Steven Souza Jr and Evan Longoria singled. However, Logan Forsythe lined to right and Butler grounded into a 6–4–3 double play. Boston tacked on another two-out run in the eighth when Brandon Gomes uncorked a two-out wild pitch. Koji Uehara allowed a leadoff walk, but then retired the next three hitters for the save. The Rays had runners on base in each inning.
Tampa Bay initially took a 1–0 lead in the first inning against lefty Eduardo Rodriguez when Joey Butler beat out a potential double play ball to second with the bases loaded and one out. However, after Erasmo Ramirez got the first batter in the bottom of the inning, Forsythe and Tim Beckham committed errors on the next two plays. Boston took advantage, scoring three unearned runs on a single to right field by Alejandro De Aza and a two-run bloop single to left by Blake Swihart.
The Rays countered, adding runs in the second and third innings to draw even. Mikie Mahtook doubled to left with one out off the Green Monster, and scored on Souza’s infield hit toward third where Josh Rutledge pulled Miike Napoli off the first base bag. In the third, Asdrubal Cabrera singled off Rodriguez, and scored on a two-out single by Mahtook.
Game two of the three-game series is on Saturday as Matt Moore pitches opposite Joe Kelly. Coverage on the Rays Radio Network begins at 1 p.m.,and Dave and Andy will have the call with first pitch at 1:35. Join us at Crown Honda for a Rays Watch Party.