Tampa Bay added four more runs in the top of the fourth to take a lead they would never surrender. Credit Matsuzakas shaky performance and some patient, intelligent Rays hitting with that. Two walks issued to Matt Joyce and Dan Johnson were followed by a fielders choice from B.J. Upton in which Matsuzaka failed to throw out Joyce at third. Another walk by Jason Bartlett scored Joyce, followed by a Jaso strikeout for the first out of the inning. A base hit by Ben Zobrist scored Johnson and kept the bases loaded for Carl Crawfords two-RBI double to put a big dent in the Red Sox hopes of a repeat of the previous evenings performance.
If you thought four runs in a frame was nice, how about six? Rays fans only had to wait 'til the next inning? Matsuzaka got the first two hitters out but let Upton get aboard with an infield single. This was followed by a Bartlett home run that drove Dice-K from the game. Reliever Dustin Richardson didnt fare much better, allowing walks to Jaso and Zobrist that would come back to haunt him with when Crawford reached base with an infield single, scoring Jaso; Zobrist moved to third and Crawford to first on a throwing error by Richardson. This prompted another pitching change, putting Robert Manuel in the line of fire. Apparently Evan Longoria got tired of striking out with runners in scoring position and took his frustration out on a 1-0 pitch, hitting it over the Monster and into the parking lot. Ill bet it felt good after his recent punch-outs with men on and I know it felt good to be sitting up 12-2 over Bahstahn through five innings
It must not have felt like enough, however, as TB put up two more in the sixth frame. Solo home runs by Johnson and Upton added further insult to hemorrhaging Boston pitchers that were practically bleeding runs. The BoSox scored three more runs against the Rays in the bottom of the eighth, apparently too stupid to admit defeat. A solo home run from Darnell McDonald made one; Lars Anderson walked and scored on Jarrod Saltalamacchias double for the second tally. Saltalamacchia scored on Jed Lowries ground-rule double to cap the scoring.
How sweet it is! Five men in the lineup with home runs. You almost hope they saved some for Wednesdays outing. It was a very satisfying game after losing three in a row by wide margins. Price was solid if not dominating, yielding two runs on two hits and walking four men while striking out two. Jeremy Hellickson pitched an inning and two-thirds in relief and allowed three hits and those three Boston runs.
[image-1]Matt Garza (14-7, 3.46 ERA) is scheduled to pitch Wednesday for Tampa Bay, facing off against aging knuckle-baller Tim Wakefield (3-10, 5.19). Originally, Boston ace Clay Buchholz was expected to pitch on three days rest, so what are the implications of this pitching change? Could it mean Boston manager Terry Francona is throwing in the towel on the season and the last clinging gasp of the Red Sox post-season hopes?