The Red Sox are ready to close out the home portion of their schedule with one last game against the Tampa Bay Rays. We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as the Red Sox bid farewell to Fenway Park for the year.
Rays 4, Red Sox 2, End 8th -- 1-2-3 go the Sox against Joel Peralta, leaving them three outs away from a short-series sweep at the hands of the Rays.
Rays 4, Red Sox 2, Mid 8th -- Mark Melancon puts on an impressive show in the eighth inning, striking out the Rays around an infield single back to the mound by Ben Zobrist. Not bad work against the best portion of the lineup.
Rays 4, Red Sox 2, End 7th -- Wade Davis enters the game and deals with the Sox in short order, striking out Daniel Nava and Pedro Ciriaco both in a 1-2-3 inning.
Rays 4, Red Sox 2, Mid 7th -- Just when the Sox pull within one, the Rays push it right back to two. Clayton Mortensen lasts just the one batter, surrendering a quick single, and then Rich Hill follows suit by allowing a single of his own to Carlos Pena. Hill manages to strike out the next two batters to get close to an escape, but can't quite finish the job, surrendering a ground-rule double to Jose Lobaton that brings the run home.
Rays 3, Red Sox 2, End 6th -- The Sox grab one back from the Rays' bullpen in the bottom of the sixth, courtesy of the best part of their lineup in Dustin Pedroia and Cody Ross. Pedroia gets it started by drawing a walk, snags second base (his 100th career stolen base) while Ross is at the plate, and then scores when the Boston right fielder gets a ground ball into right field for the RBI single.
Rays 3, Red Sox 1, Mid 6th -- Jon Lester bounces back, striking out two in the sixth and working around a double to the wall in left to make his outing meet the quality start threshold. Whether or not it's actually quality is up to interpretation.
Rays 3, Red Sox 1, End 5th -- Alex Cobb has an easy time providing a shutdown inning after being given the lead, facing the combo of Jose Iglesias, Pedro Ciriaco, and Scott Podsednik to get his three outs with no trouble.
Rays 3, Red Sox 1, Mid 5th -- And the game takes a decidedly Red Sox turn. After no-hitting the Rays for four innings, Lester gives up a line drive single to Jeff Keppinger and then turns to watch as an outside fastball blasted off the bat of Carlos Pena drops into the stands in center field for an emphatic home run. The pitch to Pena wasn't too bad, frankly, but Lester follows it up with a cutter floating over the middle of the plate to Ben Francisco, and just like that it's two long balls in the inning, this one making its way into the monster seats.
Red Sox 1, Rays 0, End 4th -- The double play ball hurts the Red Sox this time. While Ryan Lavarnway was saved by a double play thanks to Jarrod Saltalamacchia's baserunning in the second, this time he's the victim, being erased after his one-out single as Daniel Nava grounds into the 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Red Sox 1, Rays 0, Mid 4th -- 12 up, 12 down now through four innings for Jon Lester. Desmond Jennings is the most recent strikeout victim of the bunch, giving Lester his third to kick off the fourth.
Red Sox 1, Rays 0, End 3rd -- The Red Sox get their walk and single again, but this time they come in the wrong order, with Scott Podsednik hitting the one-out single and Cody Ross drawing the two-out walk, making for two stranded runners this time instead of one stranded and one run in.
Red Sox 0, Rays 0, Mid 3rd -- Jon Lester gets Jose Lobaton swinging to end the third. Once through the lineup, and he's faced the minimum, albeit thanks to the double play in the second.
Red Sox 1, Rays 0, End 2nd -- A fortunately-timed hit-and-run keeps Jarrod Saltalamacchia out of a double play with Ryan Lavarnway hitting a ground ball at the plate behind him, and allows the Red Sox to push across the run. While Salty would have been out number three at second base, he beats the diving flip from Ben Zobrist and instead scores when Daniel Nava slaps a base hit into right field.
Red Sox 0, Rays 0, Mid 2nd -- Given how Clay Buchholz' night went on Tuesday, the leadoff walk to Evan Longoria was the perfect way to inspire fear in the hearts of Red Sox fans. Luckily, however, Jon Lester was not about to replicate the full awful inning of work, quickly striking out Jeff Keppinger--the man what took Buchholz deep last time--and inducing a ground ball for a double play that ended the inning
Red Sox 0, Rays 0, End 1st -- Dustin Pedroia, fresh off being named to the All-Fenway team, gives the Red Sox their only baserunner in the bottom half of the first inning, drawing a two-out walk before Cody Ross popped up to second to end the frame.
Red Sox 0, Rays 0, Mid 1st -- It's a good start for Jon Lester. 1-2-3 go the Rays in the top of the first, with just 10 pitches needed to retire the side. We know after last night just how much that's worth, however. There's still plenty of innings to go, and a good first hardly means a good second.