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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- In each of the first two games of this series, the winning starting pitcher tossed a complete-game shutout.
Thursday night, in the series finale, it wasn't that simple.
Clay Buchholz was forced from the game after five innings because of lower back stiffness and the Red Sox had to piece together things over the final 20 outs with their bullpen.
Alfredo Aceves gave up a run in the sixth, but the duo of Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon combined to get the final 2 13 innings as the Sox won the game, 4-2, and with it, the series.
Papelbon, who hadn't pitched since last Friday, recorded his 13th save, but not before putting the potential tying run at first with no out in the ninth.
With Boston leading by a run in the top of the ninth, Adrian Gonzalez lined a homer into the seats in right, his 14th of the season, giving his team a bit of a cushion.
The victory enabled the Red Sox to finish their three-city nine-game road trip with an 8-1 record. That's the best nine-game road trip since 1977 when the Sox were a perfect 9-0 from July 29 through Aug. 7. Since dropping their first seven games away from home this season, the Sox are now 21-7 on the road.
The Sox jumped on Tampa starter David Price for a run in the first and two in the second.
David Ortiz drew a bases-loaded walk in the first. In the second, Darnell McDonald, getting his first start since April 29, singled home one run and Dustin Pedroia doubled home another.