Red Sox lose, season ends after Rays walk-off win

Red Sox lose, season ends after Rays walk-off win

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam

BALTIMORE -- Capping a night of incredible drama, the Red Sox blew a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, losing to the Baltimore Orioles, 4-3. Minutes later, the Rays' Evan Longoria hit a walk-off home run -- his second of the game -- in the bottom of the 12th inning to vault the Rays into the postseason, and seal the Red Sox' fate.

Robert Andino lashed a line single to left that Carl Crawford couldn't quite hold onto as Nolan Reimold's, who had smacked a game-tying double, scored from second.

Until Wednesday night, the Red Sox had been 77-0 in games in which they led after eight innings.

The Red Sox scored single runs in the third, fourth and fifth, with Dustin Pedroia knocking in two of the runs -- on an RBI-single in the third and another on a solo homer in the fifth.

Marco Scutaro, who doubled in the fourth and took third on a groundout, scored the other run on a balk from Alfredo Simon.

Jon Lester, pitching on three days' rest, limited the Orioles to two runs on four hits.

J.J. Hardy hit his 30th homer of the season, a two-run shot in the third, to account for the only Orioles' runs of the night.

Alfredo Aceves, Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon each contributed a scoreless inning of relief.

Scutaro should have scored an insurance run in the eighth, but he inexplicably broke back to second for an instant when Carl Crawford doubled to the left-center gap.

The split second reversal cost Scutaro when he was thrown out in close play at the plate.

The Sox had the bases loaded with one in the ninth but couldn't push across a run.

The game featured an 86 minute rain delay in the middle of the seventh inning, during which the Tampa Bay Rays erased a 7-0 deficit, tying the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and sending their game with the New York Yankees into extra innings, leaving the Sox uncertain of their fate -- until just after they had lost.

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

Red Sox secure playoff with 6-4 win over Rays

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Red Sox secure playoff with 6-4 win over Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Dustin Pedroia hit his fourth career grand slam to help Rick Porcello get his major league-leading 22nd win, and the Boston Red Sox clinched a playoff berth by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 Saturday night for their 10th consecutive win.

Boston maintained a 5 1/2-game lead over Toronto for the division title and ensured no worse than the AL's second wild card. While the Red Sox technically have a magic number of one, the Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles play each other three times in the season's final week - meaning only one of them can win match Boston's 91 wins.

Among the other wild-card contenders, only Detroit can reach 91 victories.

Pedroia stopped an 0-for-17 skid with a single in the sixth and gave Boston a 6-3 lead with a seventh-inning drive off Danny Farquhar.

Porcello (22-4) gave up three runs, eight hits and struck out nine over 6 1/3 innings. He just missed getting his 12th consecutive start of seven or more innings and three runs or fewer, which would have moved him past Cy Young (1904) and Pedro Martinez (2000) for the longest stretch during the same season in franchise history.

Craig Kimbrel, the fifth Boston reliever, reached 30 saves for the sixth straight season despite allowing Logan Forsythe's solo homer in the ninth.

Brad Miller hit a two-run double in a three-run second that put Tampa Bay up 3-1 and gave him 80 RBIs.

Tampa Bay threatened in the second but failed to score due to two nice defensive plays. Pedroia made a throw from just in front of the outfield grass at second base on Mikie Mahtook's grounder to get Corey Dickerson at the plate. Third baseman Brock Holt made a solid play along the line on Alexei Ramirez's grounder and threw him out at first to end the inning.

Farrell: Sandoval could possibly return to Red Sox for postseason

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Farrell: Sandoval could possibly return to Red Sox for postseason

Thought to be lost for the season after shoulder surgery this past spring, Pablo Sandoval could possibly return to the Red Sox for the postseason, Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters Saturday.

Sandoval joined the team in St. Petersburg, where the Red Sox are playing the Tampa Bay Rays. Farrell said Sandoval had played in instructional league games in Florida and was "well ahead of schedule."

He could be an option to be activated if another player is injured. 

“One of the things I put in my mind that I have to work,” Sandoval told Boston Herald. “I learned a lot of things about this surgery so I had to work hard to be on the field as soon as possible.

“There are a lot of things I’ve been doing, working out, doing things so I can get better and better everyday.”

Sandoval, 30, is in the second year of a five-year, $95 contract. He lost his starting third base job to Travis Shaw in spring training and in April an MRI revealed he needed surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder, which was to have ended his season.

He appeared in only three games this season and hit .245 with 10 homers and 47 RBI in 126 games in 2015.