Rays beat Sox, 4-3, three games out of Wild Card

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Rays beat Sox, 4-3, three games out of Wild Card

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen

BOSTON -- Jon Lester and the Red Sox couldnt capitalize on the good karma Josh Beckett initiated Friday, as they fell to the Rays, 4-3, Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park.

After Beckett helped to stop the Sox franchise-worst six-game losing streak to the Rays on Friday, Lester gave up two runs in the first inning, walking Rays lead-off batter Desmond Jennings on four pitches and giving up a two-out home run to Ben Zobrist.

The Rays added another run in the third when Jennings doubled, took third on B.J. Uptons groundout to Marco Scutaro at shortstop, and scored when Lesters fourth ball to Evan Longoria was a wild pitch.

The Sox got two runs back in the bottom of the inning. Carl Crawford led off with a single to center and scored on Mike Aviles double off the wall. Scutaros sacrifice bunt moved Aviles to third and Jacoby Ellsburys sacrifice fly scored Aviles.

In the fifth inning, Evan Longorias single to right drove in Brandon Guyer, who singled and went to third on Uptons single to center, for the Rays fourth run. It was Longorias seventh RBI in the first three games of the four-game series.

The Sox closed the deficit to one in the seventh when Crawford and Aviles led off the inning with a single off Rays rookie Matt Moore, with Crawford scoring on Ellsburys groundout.

But that was as close as the Sox would get.

Lester took the loss, falling to 15-8, with a 3.15 ERA. Jeff Niemann earned the win, improving to 11-7, with a 3.95 ERA.

The loss cuts their lead over the Rays in the American League wild card race to 3 games.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen.

Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10

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Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Dustin Pedroia used nifty baserunning to score from first base on David Ortiz's double in the 10th inning and the AL East-leading Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Sunday for their 11th consecutive win.

Pedroia singled off Eddie Gamboa (0-1) to start the inning. The relay throw on Ortiz's hit to right center beat Pedroia to plate but he avoided Luke Maile's first tag. Pedroia's momentum carried him past the plate and when he went back to touch it, Maile was charged with an error when the ball dropped out his glove on another tag try.

Pedroia hit a solo homer and Mookie Betts extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single for the Red Sox, who secured at least an AL wild-card spot Saturday night. Boston's magic number to clinch the division title dropped to two.

Joe Kelly (4-0) went 2 2/3 scoreless innings for the win.

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out a career-high 13 in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander and Heath Hembree combined to strikeout 11 consecutive batters to establish a major league-record. The New York Mets held the previous mark when Tom Seaver struck out 10 in a row against San Diego on Apr. 22, 1970.

Boston also set a club record by striking out 21 through nine. Kelly added two more in the 10th.

There was a moment of silence before the game for Miami pitcher Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident early Sunday. Fernandez played high school baseball in nearby Tampa, Florida after defecting from Cuba.

The Rays planned to honor Ortiz before his final game at Tropicana Field but canceled the ceremony at Ortiz's request after Fernandez's death. He had three hits in five at-bats and moved past Frank Thomas for 107th place on the career list with 2,469 hits.

Ortiz has 35 homers and 90 RBIs at Tropicana Field, which is the most of any visiting player. Alex Rodriguez is next with 30 homers and 73 RBIs.

HONORING BIG PAPI

Rays 3B Evan Longoria and RHP Chris Archer informally presented Ortiz with an oil painting of his 500th home run, which he hit at Tropicana Field last season. Ortiz was also given 34 special handmade Diamond Crown Maximus cigars and $5,000 donations in his name to the Miracle League of St. Petersburg, Florida and the University of South Florida Latino scholarship program.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: Ortiz will play at Yankee Stadium for the final time during a three-game series against New York that starts Tuesday night. "Playing baseball in New York is something that is very special," Ortiz said. LHP David Price (17-8) will start for the Red Sox Tuesday night.

Rays: LHP Drew Smyly (7-11) will face White Sox RHP James Shields (3-11) Monday night in the first of four games in Chicago.

© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.