Red Sox end rough road trip, fall to Rays, 9-1

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Red Sox end rough road trip, fall to Rays, 9-1

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Not since the first week of the season have the Red Sox had such a poor road trip. At least back in April, they still had the rest of the season in front of them.

With the season winding down, the Sox suffered their fifth loss in a row Sunday, absorbing a 9-1 pounding by the Tampa Bay Rays, who finished off a weekend sweep of the Sox. Boston completed its seven-game road trip with a 1-6 mark.

The setback cut the Red Sox' lead in the wild card chase to just three games in the loss column with 16 games remaining.

Jon Lester lasted just four innings after needing 43 pitches to get out of the first, when the Rays took a 3-0 lead. Lester lost for the first time in more than a month, having won his previous five decisions.

James Shields fell two outs shy of his 12th complete game this season, allowing a run on seven hits before being lifted with one out in the ninth.

B.J. Upton, who reached base in each of his five plate appearances, belted a grand slam off Matt Albers in the fifth, putting the game out of reach.

The lone run for the Red Sox came in the third when Marco Scutaro led off the inning with his sixth homer of the season.

In their six losses on the road trip, the Red Sox were outscored 41-22.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

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Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

Forget that cryptic Tweet to the Globe. David Ortiz isn't walking through that door, fans. At least not as a player.

"My playing time has already expired," Ortiz told ESPN Deportes. "Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, 'I'll play tomorrow.' Baseball is something that carries a lot of sacrifice, a lot of preparation, and there is a reason why we train the entire year to play it, practice every day, especially during the season, because it is a sport of consistency."

No one really thought he was contemplating a comeback, but last week he Tweeted this . . .

. . . and that raised hopes that he'd changed his mind.

Not so.