Red Sox 5, Rays 3: Cody Ross Leads Boston To Series Split In Tampa Bay

Cody Ross belted a solo home run and drove in four runs -- all with two outs -- to help lead the Boston Red Sox past the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-3, in the series finale of a brief two game set at Tropicana Field on Thursday evening in Tampa Bay.

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Red Sox Extras: Cody Ross Does It Again, Sox Spilt Series With Rays

Red Sox Extras is a postgame feature providing analysis for each game. Boston defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-3, on Thursday evening at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, Florida.

On a team with sluggers like David Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis and even Dustin Pedroia, who would have thought Cody Ross would have the second most home runs on the team? Well, it's looking more and more like the Sox got a good one in Ross.

Ross was 2-for-3 with a solo home run and four RBI -- all of which came with two outs -- helping push the Red Sox past the Rays, 5-3, to force a series split in the two game set.

Boston plated one run in each of the first three innings while giving up a pair of runs in the third and fourth, giving the Red Sox a 3-2 lead. Neither team would score again until the eighth, when the Sox scored twice and the Rays added one run, capping off the scoring.

Ross scored the Sox' first run on a bases loaded walk in the first inning. Marlon Byrd hit a solo home run, his first in Boston, and Ross connected for a two-out homer in the third, his seventh long ball of the season. Jeff Keppinger and Rich Thompson both had RBI singles in the third and fourth innings for Tampa Bay. Ross burned the Rays again in the eighth, slapping a two-run single to center, bringing Pedroia and Ortiz around to score. An RBI-single from B.J. Upton in the bottom half of the inning would bring Tampa Bay within two.

Felix Doubront lasted 5.2 innings on the mound for Boston, surrendering two runs (one earned) on six hits and had four walks and seven strikeouts. Doubront, who picked up his fourth win, now has a 4.09 ERA. Vincente Padilla allowed the only other run to Tampa Bay, giving up one earned on a hit in one inning. Rich Hill, Scott Atchison, Andrew Miller and Alfredo Aceves all pitched scoreless ball, and Aceves picked up his eighth save in the win. Matt Moore (1-4) got the loss, allowing three earned runs on five hits over six innings.

Boston heads north to join the Boston Celtics in the City of Brotherly Love as they face old friend Jonathan Papelbon and the Philadelphia Phillies in a three-game weekend series.

GAME NOTES: Mike Avilies was ejected in the in the top of the seventh inning after arguing balls and strikes ... Thursday night's announced attendance at Tropicana Field was 19,842 (55 percent capacity) ... The game was completed in three hours and 16 minutes.


Final - 5.17.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston Red Sox 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 5 7 1
Tampa Bay Rays 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 3 8 0

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Red Sox Vs. Rays Final Score: Boston Splits Series With 5-3 Win Thursday

The Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-3, on Thursday night to split their two-game series. Mike Aviles was ejected for the first time in his career after arguing a called third strike in the seventh inning. He finished 1-for-4 at the plate with a run scored in the first. Felix Doubront started 5 2/3 innings, giving up six hits but just one earned run with seven strikeouts.

The Red Sox tagged Rays' starter Matt Moore with three runs in his six innings on the mound. Moore gave up just five hits and struck out eight, but he also allowed solo home runs to Marlon Byrd and Cody Ross in the second and third innings, respectively. Ross finished with four RBIs on the night, batting in Aviles in the first, and Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz on a single in the eighth.

Tampa Bay's first two runs came on a Jeff Keppinger single to left in the third inning and a Rich Thompson single to center in the fourth. The third came on a B.J. Upton single in the eight inning off Alfredo Aceves, but Vicente Padilla got tagged with the earned run after allowing Thompson and Matt Joyce on base before being relieved with two outs.

The Red Sox begin a three-game road series with the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night at 7:05 p.m ET.


Final - 5.17.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R
Boston Red Sox 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 5
Tampa Bay Rays 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 3

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Red Sox Vs. Rays Lineup: Aviles Leads Off, Middlebrooks Bats Fifth

Mike Aviles will bat leadoff and star rookie Will Middlebrooks will bat fifth as the Boston Red Sox (17-20) look to avenge Wednesday's loss to the Tampa Bay Rays (24-12) in game two of the series on Thursday night (7:10 p.m. EST). Here are the lineups and pitchers.

BOSTON RED SOX (17-20)

  1. Mike Aviles, SS
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. David Ortiz, DH
  4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  5. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
  6. Cody Ross, RF
  7. Daniel Nava, LF
  8. Marlon Byrd, CF
  9. Kelly Shoppach, C
Starting Pitcher: Felix Doubront, LHP (3-1, 4.46 ERA)

TAMPA BAY RAYS (24-12)

  1. Ben Zobrist, RF
  2. B.J. Upton, CF
  3. Luke Scott, DH
  4. Jeff Keppinger, 2B
  5. Carlos Pena, 1B
  6. Sean Rodriguez, 3B
  7. Elliot Johnson, SS
  8. Chris Gimenez, C
  9. Rich Thompson, LF
Starting Pitcher: Matt Moore, LHP (1-3, 5.31 ERA)

For more Boston Red Sox coverage, visit our team page and blog, Over The Monster.

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Red Sox Vs. Rays: Boston Aims For A Split On Thursday Night

The Boston Red Sox had their five-game win streak snapped with by a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.

The Sox will need to do better at the top of the order after getting just one hit out of 19 at-bats for the first five hitters on Wednesday. Tampa Bay, which is an MLB best 14-3 at home, won the game despite going 0-12 with runners in scoring position.

On Thursday night in Tampa, Boston will be looking for a split in the two game set with the Rays. Felix Doubront (3-1, 4.46 ERA) will take the hill for Boston while Matt Moore (1-3, 5.31 ERA) gets the start for Tampa Bay. Doubront has won three of his last four outings. Moore's last outing was his career-worst, just 4 1/3 innings against the Orioles. His defense which has committed the fifth most errors in baseball (32) committed five behind him in that start.

Game Information:

TV/Radio: NESN/MLBN, WEEI

Time: 7:10 p.m.

Venue: Tropicana Field

For more Red Sox coverage, visit Over the Monster. For more on the Rays, check out DRays Bay.

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Red Sox Extras: In Best Outing, Clay Buchholz Gets Bad Result

Red Sox Extras is a postgame feature providing analysis for each game. Boston fell to the Tampa Bay Rays, 2-1 Wednesday night in Tropicana Field.

Clay Buchholz has had an odd season to date. Going 3-1 in his first six outings despite allowing at least five earned runs every time, Buchholz has settled down in his last two starts, giving his best performance of the young season Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Red Sox lost, and Clay was saddled with the decision.

Making things even more curious was how the runs came across. The first one came around to score on a two-out balk. The other when, with Andrew Miller in the game and two inherited runners on base, Cody Ross misplayed what likely should have been an unproductive fly ball, turning it into a sacrifice fly instead. The second run would likely have scored anyways, given the single that followed, but Buchholz managed to strike Jose Molina out after the balk, ending the inning. But for an awkward turn to first, this could have been a very different game.

So what was different for Clay on Wednesday? It likely didn't hurt that he finally had a decent outing behind him, taking some of the pressure off and providing him with some confidence that, yes, he was capable of recording outs without surrendering runs. Looking purely at the pitching, however, what was really different for Buchholz tonight was his ability to use both his change and curve with decent frequency and consistency. With Clay still unable to paint corners, it kept batters from sitting on easy fastballs in the zone. Buchholz is the sort of pitcher who will live or die with his off-speed stuff, so it's nice to see him finally living for once.

The problem for the Red Sox was that the offense just didn't do its job--in particular the top of the order. Only Dustin Pedroia managed a hit amongst the first five Boston batters. It's a change of pace for a bunch that's been putting up hit after hit of late, but for Will Middlebrooks it's actually more of the same. Over the last few games its become clear that the league has more or less figured him out, leading to plenty of uncomfortable at bats and strikeouts. It's up to him now to adjust to fill the holes in his game and get back to producing.

Finally, viewers last night were shown the distressing scene of Will Rhymes collapsing to the ground at first base after being hit by a pitch. It's the sort of thing that inspires the worst kinds of fears, but word from the Rays is that it was just an adrenaline rush, and X-rays were negative, so all seems to be as well as could be hoped for there.


Final - 5.16.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston Red Sox 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 0
Tampa Bay Rays 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 X 2 8 0
WP: Jeremy Hellickson (4 - 0)
SV: Fernando Rodney (12)
LP: Clay Buchholz (4 - 2)

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Red Sox Vs. Rays Final Score: Sox Winning Streak Ends With A 2-1 Loss

The Red Sox lost to the Rays 2-1 Wednesday night, leaving their winning streak snapped at five games thanks largely to a balk.

Despite Clay Buchholz pitching by far his best game of the year, the Sox would break their recent habit of getting ahead early. Hellickson managed to survive some early innings with loud contact thanks to good fielding and fortune, allowing the Rays to strike first.

Sadly, the run would come by way of the aforementioned balk. A single and hit by pitch put Clay Buchholz in a bad place to start the third, but a double play ball gave him two much-needed outs, giving him a chance to escape the inning unharmed. Buchholz would walk Will Rhymes, but get Jose Molina watching strike three to end the frame. Generally that would be enough to keep the run off the board, but sadly before striking Molina out, Buchholz ended up making an ill-advised throw to first without fully stepping off. The call was a balk, and a run-scoring one at that.

The Sox would make up the run in the fourth, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia hitting a two-out double and then scoring on a Daniel Nava single. The Rays responded within two inning, however, putting runners on the corners against Clay Buchholz to start the sixth on a pair of ground balls, leading Bobby V. to turn to his bullpen in a hurry. Andrew Miller would do a decent job, but a fly ball to right field ended up going for a sacrifice fly when Cody Ross stumbled making the catch, allowing Matt Joyce to break for home. The subsequent single would have scored the run anyways, however.

For the rest of the night the Sox' offense just couldn't get going, wasting a baserunner here or there but generally not showing up for Clay Buchholz to support his solid night of pitching. The bullpen was able to hold things down (though Franklin Morales made a show of it, and Will Rhymes passed out in frightening fashion at first base after getting hit in the arm with a mid-90s fastball), but with no more runs coming in, the game was already decided.


Final - 5.16.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston Red Sox 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 0
Tampa Bay Rays 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 X 2 8 0
WP: Jeremy Hellickson (4 - 0)
SV: Fernando Rodney (12)
LP: Clay Buchholz (4 - 2)

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Will Rhymes Injury: Rays 2B Collapses After Being Hit By Pitch Against The Red Sox

Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Will Rhymes collapsed on his way to first base in the eighth inning of Wednesday night's game against the Boston Red Sox. Rhymes was hit by a pitch in the right forearm

Rays first base coach George Hendrick had to help Rhymes as he folded near first base. He then had to be carted off the field for emergency medical attention.

The 95 mph fastball made a gruesome sound when it hit Rhymes in the arm. At this point it is still unknown what caused him to collapse. It was a frightening moment in the game.

Rhymes left the game 1-for-2 with a walk. The Rays lead by a score of 2-1 heading into the ninth inning.

For more Red Sox coverage, visit Over the Monster. For more on the Rays, check out DRays Bay. For updates on Rhymes and everything else around the majors, visit Baseball Nation.

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Red Sox Vs. Rays Live Blog: Inning By Inning Updates For Game 1

The Red Sox and Rays are set to go at it in Tampa Bay, with each side looking to extend a winning streak.

For the Rays, this is a chance to possibly grab sole possession of the top spot in the AL East as the Baltimore Orioles take on Kansas City. For the Red Sox, it's all about necessity. After such a terrible start to the season, the team simply can't afford to lose momentum.

We'll keep you up-to-date with all the action as it goes down in Tropicana Field.

Rays 2, Red Sox 1, Final -- A two-out baserunner is all the Sox get as the winning streak comes to an end. On a balk, no less...

Rays 2, Red Sox 1, End 8th -- Scary stuff in the eighth, as Will Rhymes collapses at first after being hit in the arm with a fastball. It's not clear what exactly caused his collapse, other than that it was presumably connected to the hit by pitch. He would be carted off the field.

Another pair of balks from Morales helped move a runner to third with one out, but Scott Atchison managed to strike out Jeff Keppinger on three pitches, and got a ground ball from Elliot Johnson to end the inning.

Rays 2, Red Sox 1, Mid 8th -- The Sox just saw their best chance go wanting, with Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, and Adrian Gonzalez going down in order. They'll have to make something happen with the bottom half of the lineup if they want to keep their winning streak alive.

Rays 2, Red Sox 1, End 7th -- Matt Albers allows a very long fly ball to B.J. Upton, but Marlon Byrd makes a nice play, racing back and twisting around to make the grab as he banged into the wall in center field. A two-out walk to Matt Joyce gets Albers out for Franklin Morales, who gives up the second balk of the game before striking out Carlos Pena to end the threat.

Rays 2, Red Sox 1, Mid 7th -- The Sox get a baserunner in the form of Mike Aviles against Jake McGee, but he's quickly erased as Mauro Gomez, pinch hitting for Ryan Sweeney, grounds into a double play on the first pitch he sees.

Rays 2, Red Sox 1, End 6th -- The Sox concede the lead, but it could have been a much bigger inning. A couple of ground ball singles are all it takes for Bobby Valentine to turn to the bullpen--Andrew Miller in this case. A fly ball wasn't likely to score Matt Joyce from third, but Cody Ross stumbles a bit at the end and gives him a chance to break for home on the sacrifice and score. Miller ends up loading the bases, but strikes out Elliot Johnson to end the inning without further damage.

Red Sox 1, Rays 1, Mid 6th -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia stays hot with a two-out single, but Cody Ross goes down to end the inning.

Red Sox 1, Rays 1, End 5th -- Shockingly enough, Clay Buchholz just keeps rolling right along, throwing a 1-2-3 fifth inning on nine pitches with a strikeout of Dan Johnson. By far the best game we've seen from Clay all year, at least through five innings.

Red Sox 1, Rays 1, Mid 5th -- The top of the order gifts Hellickson an 8-pitch innings. Not the sort of thing we've grown to expect from them of late.

Red Sox 1, Rays 1, End 4th -- The Rays work their own two out rally, with the bottom of the order picking up back-to-back singles off of Clay Buchholz before he battles back to retire Jose Molina looking at strike three.

Red Sox 1, Rays 1, Mid 4th -- The Sox get their run back against Jeremy Hellickson in the fourth, as his luck runs out a little bit. This time the trouble starts with two outs, as Jarrod Saltalamacchia laces a double down the line in right. A walk from Cody Ross makes it two baserunners, and Daniel Nava ends up making good on one, dropping a flair into left which a diving Matt Joyce can't make the play on, bringing Salty home to score. Mike Aviles works a long at bat behind him, but ends up grounding out to end the frame.

Rays 1, Red Sox 0, End 3rd -- Clay Buchholz settles down in the third, working around a leadoff bunt hit down the third base line with a couple of strikeouts and a ground ball. It's very good to see Clay finally getting some swings and misses, since the strikeout has been almost completely absent from his repertoire this year.

Rays 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 3rd -- A scoring opportunity goes by the wayside in frustrating fashion for the Red Sox, as Jeremy Hellickson allows hard hit ball after hard hit ball and still manages to strand Mike Aviles, at second via a leadoff double, on the basepaths thanks to the defenders being placed perfectly every time. I don't know what percentage of Hellickson's success is owed to his surgically implanted horseshoe and what percent comes from the Rays' defense, but it's not fun to watch for an opposing fan.

Rays 1, Red Sox 0, End 2nd -- Amazingly, the Red Sox have balked in another run. This one came after a walk, single, hit by pitch, and key double play ball left runners on the corners with two outs. Throwing to first without really stepping off the mound, Clay let Carlos Pena come home for free before striking out Jose Molina at the plate.

Red Sox 0, Rays 0, Mid 2nd -- Who is this and what has he done with Jeremy Hellickson? While Saltalalamacchia - Ross - Nava is not exactly the best portion of the lineup, especially when it comes to consistent contact, seeing Hellickson retire all the with strikeouts is not at all encouraging. Hopefully that means he's used up his allotment for the day, but that doesn't tend to be how it works...

Red Sox 0, Rays 0, End 1st -- Clay Buchholz has a very quick start, getting the first two outs on just seven pitches with an easy fly out from Ben Zobrist and ground out from B.J. Upton. Matt Joyce gets ahead in the count, 2-0, but makes it a clean inning with a pop fly for out number three.

Red Sox 0, Rays 0, Mid 1st -- The Sox make Jeremy Hellickson work through some long at bats to get out of the first unharmed. Dustin Pedroia placed a nice ground ball through the left side of the infield for a single to get the Sox their first baserunner, and David Ortiz drew a walk to make it two. A big swing from Adrian Gonzalez sounded good off the bat, but the fly ball died very early in the outfield, and Will Middlebrooks struck out watching a fastball as Hellickson's pitch count brushed 25.

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Red Sox Vs. Rays Lineups: Sox Stick With Usual Nine Against Hellickson

The Red Sox will take on the Tampa Bay Rays in the first game of their short two-game series Wednesday afternoon. First pitch is at 7:00 p.m. EST, with broadcasts on NESN, ESPN, and WEEI.

The Sox come into the game on a five-game winning streak that has them just two games shy of .500. They'll need to pick up their second straight sweep if they're to leave Tampa with an even record.

The Sox will have what is fast becoming their standard lineup on the field against Tampa Bay.

Boston Red Sox (17-19)

  1. Ryan Sweeney, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. David Ortiz, DH
  4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  5. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
  6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  7. Cody Ross, RF
  8. Daniel Nava, LF
  9. Mike Aviles, SS

Tampa Bay Rays (23-14)
  1. Ben Zobrist, RF
  2. B.J. Upton, CF
  3. Matt Joyce, LF
  4. Carlos Pena, 1B
  5. Luke Scott, DH
  6. Sean Rodriguez, 3B
  7. Will Rhymes, 2B
  8. Jose Molina, C
  9. Elliot Johnson, SS
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Red Sox Vs. Rays: Streaking Sox Head To Tampa Bay

The Red Sox will take on the Rays in a short two-game series down in Tampa Bay. Clay Buchholz will get the start Wednesday, hoping to build on an encouraging performance last time out.

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