Sox bring bats to Baltimore, win 15-10

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Sox bring bats to Baltimore, win 15-10

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
BALTIMORE -- Go figure.

One night after needing 16 innings to score just one run and eek out a win in a marathon pitching duel, the Red Sox had to out-slug their way to a win which featured 25 runs and 28 hits, holding off the Baltimore Orioles 15-10.

The 15 runs fell one shy of the Red Sox single-game high for the season. The Sox beat Toronto 16-4 on June 11.

After the Sox squandered a 6-2 lead in the 5th inning, the teams were tied 7-7 in the eighth when Dustin Pedroia, who snapped the scoreless tie at Tropicana Field the previous night, drilled an opposite-field double, scoring two.

Kevin Youkilis followed with a two-run single and the inning was extended with a run-scoring single from Carl Crawford and a three -run double from Darnell McDonald.

Six different Red Sox players had multi-hit games, led by Jacoby Ellsbury who had three hits, a walk and a sacrifice fly filling in at DH.

Tim Wakefield, in search of career victory No. 199, was victimized by the long ball in the fifth, surrendering two home runs and a two-run double as he failed to finish the inning.

Dan Wheeler turned in 2 13 scoreless innings in relief of Wakefield, getting the Sox through the seventh and earning the win, his second of the season.

The win was Boston's seventh straight over Baltimore this season after two early-season losses.

STAR OF THE GAME: Dustin Pedroia

It doesn't seem to matter whether it's 0-0 in the 16th or 7-7 in the eighth - Pedroia is a player you want up with
the game on the line.

After stretching his hitting streak to 16 straight games with a third-inning RBI single, Pedroia gave the Red Sox the lead for good with an opposite-field double in the eighth, scoring two.

HONORABLE MENTION: Dan Wheeler

When Tim Wakefield gave up five runs in the fifth, blowing a 6-2 lead, the Sox needed someone to take over and get them into the late innings.

Enter Wheeler, who had been relegated to mop-up work after a rough start to the season. But in perhaps his most important outing of the season, Wheeler pitched scoreless ball for 2 13 innings, buying time for the Red Sox offense to battle back.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Mike Gonzalez.

Gonzalez got the final two outs in the seventh in what was then a tie game. But in the eighth, the veteran lefty unraveled, allowing three of the first four hitters to reach -- two by walk.

That, in turn, led to the big inning in which the Sox scored eight times and pulled away from the Orioles.

TURNING POINT: For the second straight night, a Pedroia at-bat was the key.

Sunday nightMonday morning, that moment came in the 16th. Monday night, with the team dragging after all-night travel, Pedroia got the job done in half the time, slamming a go-ahead two-run double in the eighth.

BY THE NUMBERS: After losing the first two meetings of the season between the teams, the Red Sox have now won the last seven in a row against Baltimore, scoring 61 runs in the process.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "Neither one, to be honest with you." Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, asked whether he would have preferred catching 16 innings in a domed stadium -- as Jason Varitek did Sunday night -- or nine innings in 95-degree heat with stifling humidity, as he endured Monday night.

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

Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'a pitch or two from finishing the job' vs. Rays

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Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'a pitch or two from finishing the job' vs. Rays

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay Rays:

QUOTES:

"Part of that job is, when you miss, you have to miss to the extreme.'' - John Farrell on the role of eighth-inning reliever Clay Buchholz, who mislocated a fastball to Evan Longoria.

"We're putting ourselves in position to close games out and yet we've found ourselves a pitch or two from finishing the job.'' - Farrell on the team's bullpen woes.

"Fastball. I was trying to throw it up-and-away, and I pulled it, more inner-third. That's a spot where he hits the ball a long way.'' - Clay Buchholz on the game-winning homer by Longoria.

 

NOTES:

* The Rays and Sox have played 21 one-run games in the lasr four seasons and four in the last week.

* David Ortiz's sacrifice fly in the sixth was his 26th go-ahead RBI, fourth-best in the A.L.

* Xander Bogaerts collected his 500th career hit, and became the fifth Red Sox player to reach that milestone before turning 24.

* Brock Holt's double in the fifth lifted his average to .337 with two outs.

* Hanley Ramirez's home run was his first against Tampa Bay since May 21, 2011 when he was with the Marlins.

* Ramirez has 19 extra-base hits in the last 27 home games.

* Dustin Pedroia was 1-for-3 and and is now 15-for-his-last-19 at Fenway.

* The Sox dropped to 7-37 when they score three runs or fewer.

* Brad Ziegler was unavailable, suffering from the flu.

 

STARS:

1) Evan Longoria

It wouldn't be a Rays win over the Red Sox without the third baseman doing some damage. Sure enough, he smoked a tape-measure shot over everything in left in the eighth to provide the winning margin for the visitors.

2) Luke Maile

Drew Pomeranz struck him out twice, but Maile more than got revenge in the seventh with a two-run homer into the Monster Seats to tie the game.

3) Hanley Ramirez

The first baseman had a three-hit night, including a solo homer and a run-scoring single, accounting for two of the three Red Sox runs.

 

First impressions: Longoria makes Buchholz pay in Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Rays

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First impressions: Longoria makes Buchholz pay in Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Rays

BOSTON - First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay:

* There's a steep learning curve for a set-up man, as Clay Buchholz discovered.

Although he's pitched out of the bullpen for the last couple of months, most of those appearances weren't of the high leverage variety. More often than not, the Sox had a sizeable lead, or Buchholz was brought in earlier in the game. Or they were behind and he was mopping up.

But Tuesday was different. The Rays had battled back to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh, and after Matt Barnes got the final out in that inning, Buchholz came in to start the eighth.

After getting Kevin Kiermaier on a groundout to lead off the inning, Buchholz threw a four-seamer to Evan Longoria that the Tampa Bay third baseman launched toward the Charles River, clearing everything and putting the Rays up by a run.

It was a reminder that in late innings of close games, one pitch, with missed location, can really hurt.

 

* Hanley Ramirez knocked in two runs. He was sort of lucky.

In the fifth inning, Ramirez hit a twisting opposite-field fly ball down the right field line. It landed just past the Pesky Pole in right, measured at 307 feet, the shortest homer in baseball this season, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

Then, an inning later, Ramirez hit a pop fly that drifted into shallow right. Three Rays defenders converged -- first baseman, second baseman and right fielder -- and somehow the ball dropped in between all three for a run-scoring single.

Two cheap hits, two RBI.

At times, you'll see hitters mash the ball, only to have it hit right at someone for an out. Rotten luck, and all.

Tuesday night, Ramirez got to experience the flip side of that.

 

* Drew Pomeranz had an excellent outing -- until his final pitch of the night.

Through 6 2/3 innings, Pomeranz had allowed a single run on four hits while walking two and striking out eight.

He had retired 10 of the previous 11 hitters he had faced, and while he was approaching his 100th pitch, showed no evidence of tiring.

Then, Pomernaz hung a curveball to No. 9 hitter Luke Maile -- with two strikes, no less -- and Maile hit into the Monster Seats for a game-tying, two-run homer.

It was the first homer on a curveball allowed by Pomeranz in 153 innings this season, and all of a sudden, the outing wasn't so special.