Middlebrooks first Red Sox player to record extra-base hit in first 3 games

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Middlebrooks first Red Sox player to record extra-base hit in first 3 games

BOSTON -- Will Middlebrooks returned to the Red Sox lineup on Sunday, after being a late scratch on Saturday with a hamstring cramp. And if it wasn't for him, perhaps the Red Sox wouldn't have played a 17-inning marathon. They may have lost a whole lot earlier than that.

Middlebrooks hit his first career Major League home run in the fifth inning, and it was a grand slam shot that ended up on the rooftop parking lot on Lansdowne Street.

"It was probably the biggest rush of my life," said Middlebrooks after loss. "The Not only was it a home run but it was a grand slam and it tied the game up, which was huge."

The grand slam tied the game at 5-5, and was the second grand slam for the Red Sox this season, as Kevin Youkilis has the other.

Middlebrooks finished the day 2-for-7 and became the first Red Sox player ever to record an extra-base hit in each of his first three Major League games.

Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Notes, quotes and stars from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Rays:

QUOTES:

* "There's not much I can do about it now. It's kind of a waiting game and hopefully, the tests come back clean.'' -Andrew Benintendi, on the uncertainty surrounding his knee injury.

* "Sometimes, I like that, sometimes I don't because I'd kind of take a couple of quick outs in place of those to get a couple of more innings out there.'' -Drew Pomeranz on his career high 11 strikeouts.

* "That's probably the spot that looms the largest. Jackie's become more aggressive early in the count, but at the same time, that aggressiveness can work against you.'' -Farrell on Jackie Bradley Jr. swinging at the first pitch following a walk with the bases loaded.

NOTES:

* Drew Pomeranz recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts

 * Since moving to the leadoff spot, Dustin Pedroia has a slash line of .397/.418/.460 in 16 games.

* Pomeranz has yielded two runs or fewer in five consecutive starts.

* On the just-completed road trip, the Red Sox led in all but one game.

* Thursday's loss was the fourth this season in which the Sox allowed two runs or fewer.

 * The past 18 Red Sox losses have come by a combined 37 runs.

* Until Thursday, the Red Sox had won 20 of their past 31 day games.

* The bottom third of the makeshift Red Sox lineup combined to go 2-for-12.

* The Sox missed out on a chance to have an eight-win road trip, which would have been their first since 2011.

STARS:

1) Jake Odorizzi

The Rays started, facing a depleted Red Sox lineup, limited the Sox to a single run over seven innings, allowing just five hits and getting out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam by allowing just one run.

2) Mikie Mahtook

Mahtook was 0-for-34 when facing Drew Pomeranz in the seventh inning, but that didn't stop him from doubling home Steven Souza Jr with what proved to be the winning run.

3) Dustin Pedroia

The Sox couldn't generate much of anything at all offensively, but don't blame Pedroia. The leadoff hitter had three hits and a walk and was on base four times for the Sox.