Rays outlast Red Sox in nightcap, 6-5

Rays outlast Red Sox in nightcap, 6-5
May 1, 2014, 11:00 pm
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BOSTON - Not even Koji Uehara is immune to the Red Sox' spring troubles.

Entering a tie game in the top of the ninth, Uehara was tagged for a massive solo homer by Yunel Escobar, handing the Tampa Bay Rays a 6-5 win and a sweep of their day-night doubleheader with the Red Sox.

Tampa Bay won the afternoon game, 2-1.

It was the second homer allowed by Uehara in his last three outings. He also yielded a homer to Jose Bautista last Saturday in Toronto.

The Sox got a leadoff double from Shane Victorino in the bottom of the ninth and a two-out walk from Grady Sizemore, giving them the potential go-ahead run on base but couldn't finish off the comeback as Xander Bogaerts looked at a called third strike.

Tampa Bay had used a two-out double from Sean Rodriguez and a single by James Loney off reliever Junichi Tazawa to tie the game at 5-5 in the top of the eighth.

Almost all of the Red Sox offense came in one big inning - and with a lot of help from Tampa Bay starting pitcher Chris Archer.

Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth and having scored just one run in their first 13 innings of the day, the Sox took advantage of three walks, a wild pitch and a hit batsman from Archer to erupt for five runs.

After Victorino was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the first run, David Ortiz laced a single to right to plate two more.

Run-scoring singles from Napoli and Sizemore followed.

Felix Doubront, who allowed solo runs in the second and third, gave up a two-run homer to Rodriguez after the Sox had gotten him five runs in the inning before.

In six innings of work, Doubront allowed five hits, but four were for extra-base hits -- two homers and two doubles.

 

STAR OF THE GAME: Sean Rodriguez

Rodriguez had three hits and all three were for extra bases - a homer and two doubles -- while knocking in two runs. His sixth inning two-run homer helped negate a big inning from the Red Sox in the bottom of the fifth and his eighth-inning double resulted in him scoring the  tying run.

HONORABLE MENTION: Yunel Escobar

Escobar drove an 0-and-1 pitch from Kojki Uehara over everything in the ninth, providing the margin of difference.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Will Middlebrooks

Middlebrooks couldn't get the go-ahead run in from third base with one out in the eighth and earlier in the game was charged with a costly error.

TURNING POINT: The error by Middlebroooks -- on a ball that should have called by Xander Bogaerts -- set the stage for a two-run homer by Sean Rodriguez which brought the Rays back to within a run.

BY THE NUMBERS: The homer allowed by Koji Uehara was his first allowed at Fenway since last June 30.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "It's just not happening, but we've got to keep pushing, keep grinding.'' Mike Napoli on the team's struggles with runners in scoring position.