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Rays 6, Red Sox 2: Offense Quiet As Relievers, Defense Sink Sox In Nightcap

The Red Sox dropped the second half of their doubleheader to the Rays, as the offense one again fell silent, scoring just two runs to Tampa Bay's six.

Three hits and a walk can look a lot different depending on when they come. In the day game, the hits came in a row, with the last one--Jacoby Ellsbury's homer--ending up going for three runs. In the night game, while the Sox hit two homers--one from Jason Varitek, and another from Jacoby Ellsbury, repeating his performance from earlier in the day--they came at the wrong time, with the bases completely empty. The difference was just one run in total, but a lot more situationally.

Erik Bedard had the usual fortune he's found with the Red Sox, which is to say none at all. Starting the game with a 1-2-3 first, Bedard entered the second, and gave up a bunt hit and a line drive single. The Rays scored two runs in that inning thanks to a missed connection between Jed Lowrie and Jason Varitek trying to catch Ben Zobrist at home, with Lowrie putting the ball in the dirt and Varitek failing to come up with it. Another groundout would score B.J. Upton. He did receive at least one big play, though. With men on first and second to start the third, Sean Rodriguez hit a ground ball to Jed Lowrie who tagged third, threw to second, and then watched as Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez connected to complete the first triple play the team has seen in 17 years.

Bedard would allow just one more run in the game, giving up a loud Monster-clearing homer to Desmond Jennings, but that would be enough. With the Sox trailing 3-2 and both Bard and Papelbon having pitched in the first game, the Sox tried to stretch Matt Albers for two innings. Usually that's not too bad of an idea, but today it proved a disaster--if not one he was entirely in control of. After a 1-2-3 seventh, Albers allowed three ground ball singles to go through while recording just one out.

In came Franklin Morales, and away went any hopes of the Sox. A pick-off at first allowed a run to come in when, with Zobrist running home and Upton in a rundown, Lowrie again failed to connect with Varitek after Gonzalez fired to third instead of home. It wouldn't end up mattering, however. as Morales quickly gave up another base hit, and allowed the lead to grow all the way to 6-2. With no rally forthcoming, the Sox and Rays left after a long day in Fenway with a split.