The Red Sox have, for the sixth time, entered a game at .500 and left it with a losing record, today as the result of a 4-3 Rays win courtesy of a blown save from Alfredo Aceves.
The game began as an impressive pitchers duel, which is about the last thing you would expect from Clay Buchholz these days. Commanding his curveball and changeup as well as we've seen so far this year, Buchholz allowed only a pair of weak singles in his first three innings of work. Jeremy Hellickson responded by surviving rather harder contact, and also headed into the fourth without a run to his name.
Clay Buchholz finally allowed a big hit in the fourth, as Matt Joyce took him into the right field corner for a double. Unfortunately, with Adrian Gonzalez playing out there, it quickly turned into three bases, as the first baseman out of water missed his cutoff man. The mistake would prove costly, as a ground ball out allowed Joyce to come in the back door, though given the ensuing Luke Scott single it's entirely possible the run would have scored anyways if everything had otherwise gone the same.
The Red Sox would not respond until they were down two in the seventh, but then they did so in a big way. David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis led off the inning with a walk and a single, bringing Adrian Gonzalez to the plate. After taking the first pitch for a ball, Gonzalez reached out for a changeup and dropped it into the Monster seats just to the right of the foul pole for a three-run shot that put the Sox up 3-2.
The lead would last for just the one full inning. After Franklin Morales and Vicente Padilla held down the fort with aplomb, striking out two and getting a ground ball in a clean eighth, the Sox turned to Alfredo Aceves, who after three full days off just didn't have it. A leadoff walk brought the winning run to the plate, and after a Luke Scott pop-up, Sean Rodriguez converted it, hitting a home run over everything in left to give the Rays the lead. With the weakest part of the lineup due up, the Sox made no noise in the bottom half, leaving them once again below .500.
|Final - 5.27.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Tampa Bay Rays||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||0||2||4||9||0|
|Boston Red Sox||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||0||0||3||7||1|
|WP: Jake McGee (2 - 1)
SV: Fernando Rodney (16)
LP: Alfredo Aceves (0 - 2)