Carl Crawford had six of the Tampa Bay Rays eight stolen bases to help them to a 5-3 win over the Boston Red Sox in front of 32,332 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL.
The Rays took 3-of-4 from the Red Sox this weekend and improved to 10-15 and helped themselves out of last place. The Red Sox drop to 15-10 on the season.
Brad Penny got the start for the Red Sox and didn’t pitch all that badly. Unfortunately for him, his one bad inning today came on a few lucky breaks for the Rays. Penny went 6 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 8.
Manny Delcarmen finally looked human as he allowed his first earned run of the season on 2 hits and 2 hit batters in just 1/3 of an inning. Hunter Jones continues to look unfazed although he gave up a run on a hit in an inning of work. The perfection of Ramon Ramirez continued as he allowed just a hit with a strikeout in 2/3 of an inning.
The Rays got another good start from James Shields against the Red Sox at the Trop. He went 7 1/3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6. He left to a standing ovation from the crowd. J.P. Howell was tagged for a run on 2 hits and a walk in 1/3 of an inning. Dan Wheeler and Troy Percival shut down the Red Sox over the final 1 1/3 innings.
The tablesetter for the Red Sox today was J.D. Drew who went 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs. Kevin Youkilis added 2 hits, including a 2-run homer. Jacoby Ellsbury added 2 hits and a stolen base while Dustin Pedroia had the other Red Sox hit on the afternoon.
Shields retired Ellsbury on a ground out to start out the 1st inning and Pedroia followed with his only hit of the afternoon. Shields walked David Ortiz, who once again looked awful at the plate. Youk singled to shallow left field to load the bases up and Drew followed with an RBI single to put the Red Sox up 1-0. Shields avoided any further damage by striking out Jason Bay and getting Mike Lowell to fly out.
The Rays got the run back in the bottom half of the inning though.
B.J. Upton grounded out for the first out and then Penny walked Crawford with Evan Longoria at the plate. Crawford promptly stole second and went to third on Varitek’s throwing error. Penny ended up hitting Longoria with a pitch and Carlos Peña followed with an RBI double to tie the game at 1. Penny got out of the inning though as he struck out Pat Burrell and Ben Zobrist.
Burrell flied out to right to start the 4th and Zobrist worked a walk from Penny. Akinori Iwamura followed with a double as Zobrist stopped at third. Jason Barlett gave the Rays the lead with an RBI single. Michel Hernandez then grounded to Pedroia who went to second to get the out with Iwamura crossing the plate to make it 3-1.
Delcarmen took over for Penny in the 7th and got Upton to pop out to start the inning. Crawford singled to right and stole second again with Longoria at the plate. Longoria singled to right with Crawford stopping at third. Delcarmen hit Peña with a pitch to load up the bases and then hit Burrell to force in a run and make it 4-1. Jones bailed him out though by striking out Zobrist and getting Iwamura to fly out.
Ellsbury started the 8th with a single off of Shields and then got Pedroia to ground into a fielder’s choice with Ellsbury out at second. Howell came in and allowed a stolen base by Pedroia with Big Papi at the plate. Ortiz ended up grounding back to Howell with Pedroia going to third. Youk then took a Howell offering and put it over the wall in center field for a two-run homer to cut the lead to 4-3. Drew followed with a single to chase Howell from the game. The Rhode Island native Wheeler came in and walked Bay but got Lowell to fly out.
The Rays got an insurance run in the 8th when Crawford knocked in Bartlett on an infield single.
Not a good showing for the Red Sox at the Trop this weekend but should we have expected this. They have not had really good luck there as of late and I don’t think anyone knows why. Maybe it’s the lack of the wind, who knows but they need to figure it out since they still have 5 more games this season there.
The Red Sox now head to New York for their first look at the new Yankee Stadium in a 2-game set. Jon Lester gets the ball for the Red Sox and will be opposed by Joba Chamberlain. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM, weather permitting.