The Red Sox fell to the Rays, 5-3 on Saturday night thanks to a late stumble from the pitching staff.
The Rays would get out to the early lead when they ended a back-and-forth pitchers' duel in the third by picking up a pair of leadoff singles and then pushing the lead runner around to score. The Sox would respond immediately in the fourth, however, when David Ortiz singled and Will Middlebrooks turned on a fastball in his wheelhouse for a two-run shot to left-center.
The lead would only last for one inning for Boston, with the Rays quickly striking back in the fifth after a leadoff double. Once again, however, the Sox would pull the lead right back as Cody Ross drew a one-out walk in the sixth, moved to second on a passed ball, third on a ground out, and home on an errant throw to third by David Price.
Clay Buchholz, meanwhile, had put together a very good game in his return from the disabled list, striking out eight batters while allowing just three hits and two runs through the first six. In the seventh, however, he seemed to tire, giving up a pair of free passes and a sacrifice bunt to start the inning before being pulled for Matt Albers.
While Albers has put together a season of strong results so far, he just wasn't locked in tonight. After an intentional walk put Hideki Matsui on first, an unintentional walk brought home the tying run, and a sacrifice fly was enough to make it 4-3. With a B.J. Upton homer adding on a run in the eighth, the Sox faced too large of a hole to climb out of. With Fernando Rodney recovering from a leadoff Mike Aviles single with a pair of strikeouts and a Daniel Nava fly ball, the Rays evened the series at 1-1.
|Final - 7.14.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Boston Red Sox||0||0||0||2||0||1||0||0||0||3||7||1|
|Tampa Bay Rays||0||0||1||0||1||0||2||1||X||5||5||1|
|WP: David Price (12 - 4)
SV: Fernando Rodney (26)
LP: Clay Buchholz (8 - 3)