Can the Sox play spoilers once again? Or will they help the Rays complete their recovery process? We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Rays 5, Red Sox 2, End 8th -- The bottom and top of the Red Sox lineup--which frankly just looks like any other team's bottom of the order--goes down in order with two more strikeouts.
Rays 5, Red Sox 2, Mid 8th -- Andrew Miller takes over with one out, and while he hits Carlos Pena, manages to get the other two he faces without much fuss.
Rays 5, Red Sox 2, End 7th -- Danny Valencia manages to reach first on an error, but all that does is enable David Price to strike out the side by getting Che-Hsuan Lin on three pitches behind him.
Rays 5, Red Sox 2, Mid 7th -- A double play ball gets Scott Atchison around a pair of singles and through a scoreless seventh inning, but it's too late to just prevent runs for the Red Sox.
Rays 5, Red Sox 2, End 6th -- As if to punctuate that fact, David Price induces a double play ball to wipe out a Dustin Pedroia single that in an ideal world would have keyed a Boston rally.
Rays 5, Red Sox 2, Mid 6th -- That hard contact? This time it leads to hits. Three of them, in fact, with the last one blasted off the wall by Jose Molina to score a pair. This puts this decidedly in bad night territory for Buchholz, and makes the Sox a long shot to come back against David Price and keep the Rays down in the playoff race.
Rays 3, Red Sox 2, End 5th -- And hopefully David Price does not do the same, though for all the world it looks like he will now. Pedro Ciriaco strikes out to end his most recent successful inning. The question is whether or not the Sox have wasted their only chance in the earlier innings.
Rays 3, Red Sox 2, Mid 5th -- Ben Zobrist gets back on the basepaths against Buchholz, doubling with two down on a fastball. It's not the only significant contact against him in the inning, but the Red Sox starter survives none-the-less. Hopefully he can continue to do so to keep the Sox in the game.
Rays 3, Red Sox 2, End 4th -- David Price responds in kind, getting through the middle of the order 1-2-3 with
Rays 3, Red Sox 2, Mid 4th -- Buchholz goes back to the 1-2-3 inning for the first time since the first, striking out Jose Molina in the process.
Rays 3, Red Sox 2, End 3rd -- Another promising inning results in just one run, but the Sox are lucky to get even that. One-out singles from Pedro Ciriaco and Daniel Nava should have set up Dustin Pedroia for an RBI double into right-center field. Instead, it sets him up for a two-out double thanks to Pedro Ciriaco running into an out trying to steal third. The Sox do manage to get the run when David Price balks in Nava from third, but Cody Ross strikes out to end it there.
Rays 3, Red Sox 1, Mid 3rd -- A much cleaner inning for Buchholz--not that that's a high bar to set--who works around an Evan Longoria single to keep the Sox within a pair of runs.
Rays 3, Red Sox 1, End 2nd -- The Sox get one back, but it perhaps could have been more. After two singles start the inning, putting runners on the corners, a one-out single from Danny Valencia helps plate Cody Ross from third, and also helps end the inning early, as Valencia is caught rounding first and finds himself in a rundown. Che-Hsuan Lin grounds out behind him, and a promising inning comes to a premature end.
Rays 3, Red Sox 0, Mid 2nd -- In the blink of an eye, good Clay Buchholz becomes awful Clay Buchholz. Eight of ten pitches to Evan Longoria and Luke Scott go for balls, and with Jeff Keppinger coming to the plate, Buchholz is just trying to get one over for a strike. Keppinger doesn't wait around. Swinging at pitch number one, he hits a shot right over the Monster, and just like that the Sox are behind 3-0. A couple more baserunners in the inning don't lead to any more runs, but they certainly don't inspire any more confidence in him for the next few innings.
Red Sox 0, Rays 0, End 1st -- The Sox mimic the Rays' inning, complete with Daniel Nava going down on strikes for out number two. Surprisingly, though Nava took seven pitches to retire, it's Price who gets ahead in the pitch count early, needing just 12 pitches to retire the side to Buchholz' thirteen.
Red Sox 0, Rays 0, Mid 1st -- Clay Buchholz looks much like he did in his last impressive outing against the Tampa Bay Rays. The top three go down in order, with B.J. Upton falling victim to the strikeout on a well-placed fastball. Buchholz didn't exactly pile up the Ks in that last game, but he didn't need to to keep runs off the board. Adding a few more in certainly can't hurt.