Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria crushed a two run shot off of Manny Delcarmen to add some insurance in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Rays went on to overpower the Boston Red Sox 8-5. Carl Crawford and Pat Burrell also knocked home runs for the Rays early on against Josh Beckett, who gave up five runs in just six innings pitched.
Although Beckett’s numbers didn’t show the best results, Delcarmen was the one who walked away with the loss after his dismal showing in the eighth. From there the Tampa Bay bullpen took care of business, shutting out Boston in the final inning.
“It was a good game,” said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. “They scored in the end. That’s usually how it’s been here for us the last a lot of games. We obviously played hard so we’ll come out tomorrow and try to win the series.” The young Clay Buchholz will get the start for Boston tonight against the 7-6 David Price. Game time is scheduled for 7:08 pm at Tropicana Field.
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The Boston Red Sox played consistent all around last night to notch the 8-4 win against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Jonathon Papelbon earned his first career six-out save with help from Jacoby Ellsbury, who made a spectacular diving catch in the eighth inning with the bases loaded. The game marked Papelbon’s 33rd save in his last 36 attempts.
Newly acquired Billy Wagner was more than impressed with the clutch save, saying “I told him I’m glad it’s him and not me. That two-inning thing, that’s for young people, not for me,” said Wagner…”That was a lot of fun to watch. I know the nerves and what’s going on out there. One bad pitch and you look like the goat. But man, he was great tonight.”
Red Sox starter John Lester did his job from the mound as well, letting up just two runs on seven hits in six innings with nine K’s. Boston’s line up posted their runs with the big bats last night; the first homer coming from J.D. Drew in the 4th inning, followed by Jason Bay in the fifth and Youkilis later in the eighth.
The Sox remain 6 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East standings, while staying ahead of the Rangers in the Wild Card race by 3 1/2 games. Tampa Bay with the loss has been pushed to six games behind Boston. “The biggest thing I liked about it was we got a win here – we got a win on the road in Tampa Bay,” said Ellsbury. “It just puts them back another game. Any time you play them head-to-head, those are big games with a month left in the season. It’s nice to come in here and get that first one.”
The 14-5 Josh Beckett will get his start tonight against the Rays for game two of this regular season showdown.
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Gil Meche tossed seven shutout innings allowing only five hits while striking out four Rays en route to Kansas City’s 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. The win was Meche’s eighth on the year and his second consecutive performance where he earned a victory.
The game did not look like it was going to go Meche’s way after he struggled to get out of the first inning throwing 31 pitches in 26 minutes, allowing two of the five hits. He allowed two more hits in the second inning but after that settled down and only allowed two runners to reach base during the rest of his outing.
“He didn’t start off very good, obviously, way too many pitches, having trouble putting hitters away,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said. “It was really impressive to see him make up for it, getting ahead in the count and staying ahead. It took him three to get it going, but he stuck with it once he got it going.”
KC opened up the scoring in the first inning on a sac-fly by Mark Grudzielanek that plated David DeJesus. They struck again scoring three runs in the fourth inning on four hits. Ross Gload knocked in an RBI single to put KC ahead 2-0 and then Joe Buck connected on a two RBI double to increase the lead to 4-0.
Before the game, Meche had promised Buck that he’d toss a gem only if he could shave the catchers head. Buck agreed, and Meche kept his end of the bargain with his performance on the night.
“He was begging to do it, promised me he’d pitch good, and I’m a catcher, I’ll do anything to help a pitcher,” said Buck, who opted to keep his goatee to offset the clean pate. “He kept his promise.”
The Rays were able to score runs in the eighth and ninth inning off of the Royals bullpen cutting the lead to 4-2 but Joakim Soria was able to record the final three outs to earn his 27th save on the season. Maybe the Royals should cut each other’s hair more often.
“I told him after the game, his head’s staying like that for a while,” Meche said. “We’re going to keep shaving that head every fifth day. It was a fun day. I think he looks pretty good like that.”
The win was Kansas Cities’ first in four games after they had been swept by the Detroit Tigers. The loss drops Tampa Bay down to a tie for first in the AL East with the Boston Red Sox. Boston has one more game in the win column at 60. The New York Yankees sit three games behind both teams heading into this weekends three game series with Boston at Fenway Park.
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