ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Twice lost, in the 14th inning, the Red Sox finally found victory.
Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia supplied run-scoring singles in the top of the 14th and Franklin Morales, the eighth Boston pitcher of the night, made the lead stand up, giving the Red Sox a marathon 10-8 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Sox improved to 4-1 in extra-inning games this season. The game was the longest since the Sox won a 17-innning contest in Baltimore last May 6.
After racing to a 6-0 lead before the home team could record a single out, the Sox saw the Tampa Bay Rays chip away all night, finally tying things on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth.
The Sox then took the lead a second time with a two-run single from Saltalamacchia, putting them up 8-7 in the top of the 10th.
But Andrew Bailey yielded a solo homer to Jose Lobaton in the bottom of the tenth inning -- the fourth by the Rays in the game -- before walking in the tying run.
The game also featured a bench-clearing brawl in the sixth when Red Sox started John Lackey drilled Matt Joyce in the back. Joyce jawed with Lackey as he went to first and engaged in a shoving match with Saltalamacchia as the benches emptied and both dugouts were warned by home plate umpire Tom Hallion.
The Red Sox had teed off on Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb, with the first eight hitters of the night reaching safely as the Sox built a 6-0 in the first. Dustin Pedroia and Mike Carp each had two-run singles to lead the early scoring.
But almost immediately, the Rays began their comeback effort. They got solo homers from Joyce and Evan Longoria in the bottom of the first, then added runs in the third (fielder's choice) and another in the fourth (run-scoring single from Ben Zobrist).
James Loney's solo homer in the seventh off Andrew Miller brought the Rays to within a run before Escobar (double) scored from third in the eighth on a wild pitch by Junichi Tazawa.
STAR OF THE GAME: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Beyond the demands of catching 14 innings, Saltalamacchia collected four hits and knocked in three runs -- two in the 10th when the Red Sox thought they had the game won for a second time, and again in the 14th when his RBI single followed Daniel Nava's go-ahead single.
HONORABLE MENTION: Dustin Pedroia
Pedroia had a single to score the first two runs in the first, but didn't collect another hit for the next 13 innings. Still, he made two stellar plays in the field -- snaring a pop-up at the mound in the eighth and fielding a bunt attempt in the 10th, both of which were game-savers.
GOAT OF THE GAME: Cesar Ramos
Like Uehara, Ramos had been used the day before, throwing 45 pitches. Unlike Uehara, he wasn't effective on his second day, allowing five hits and two runs in his three innings of relief work.
TURNING POINT: Andrew Bailey blew a two-run lead in the 10th, but after loading the bases with no outs, managed to keep the game tied by getting Evan Longoria to hit into a double-play before ending the threat by retiring Sam Fuld on a bunt to Dustin Pedroia.
BY THE NUMBERS: Had the Red Sox lost, it would have been the first time they lost a game in which they scored six runs in the first since 1981.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "A lot of stuff happened in that game that you usually don't see." -- Dustin Pedroia