The Red Sox fell to the Rays in convincing fashion Wednesday night as Daisuke Matsuzaka and the bullpen suffered a middle-innings collapse of epic proportion leading to a 13-3 rout.
While the Red ox took the lead in the first on a pair of hits from Pedro Ciriaco and Jacoby Ellsbury and Daisuke worked through a scoreless frame, things would change before long. Daisuke was up to his old tricks in the second, walking in a run before getting an opportune double play to escape a bases loaded situation, leaving the game tied through two.
The Sox would regain the lead in the third on a walk and two singles to start the frame, with Pedro Ciriaco and Jacoby Ellsbury again doing the work, but that was the last time they would have momentum on their side. The rest of the game was all Rays.
After getting one run back in the bottom of the third, the Rays exposed Daisuke in the fourth. Three hits, including homers from Jeff Keppinger and Carlos Pena, quickly made it a 5-3 game in favor of the Rays. Daisuke would stay in to give up another double before being pulled, still with no outs in the inning.
While Alfredo Aceves would manage to hold the line in the fourth, and then again in the fifth, it would all come crashing down in the sixth. Coughing up a walk, single, and triple-turned-homer by an errant throw into third which allowed Desmond Jennings to scamper home, Aceves quickly saw three runs come in. Like Matsuzaka before him, Aceves was left in to allow another double before Daniel Bard was called upon
Bard, unfortunately, proved no less broken then he had in any other recent game, giving up three walks, a single, and a sacrifice fly. Even the usually solid Andrew Miller could not slow the bleeding, walking in two straight runs. Amusingly, Scott Atchison would finally put an end to it with just one pitch, getting a double play ball with his first offering of the night, but only after seven runs were in, making it 12-3 Rays.
That was only the sixth inning, but it would be all she wrote, more-or-less. The Rays added another run as each side made wholesale substitutions, and the Sox left after nine thoroughly beaten.
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