Tonight's matchup saw Alex Colume take the mound for the second time since coming back from pneumonia, this time squaring off against Justin Masterson. While El Caballo wasn't as dazzling as last time out, he still worked his way through five plus innings on his way to his second win of the season, thanks to a little help from his friends.
The Rays drew first blood in the third. Brandon Guyer got things started by turning around a one-out, first pitch fastball, and depositing it into left field for a double. After a Rene Rivera strikeout and Kevin Kiermaier walk, Guyer would score on a Logan Forsythe single past a diving panda. And then James Loney followed that up by hitting one past Dustin Ped -- oh, wait
I don't care if he does play for the Sox, that was a damn fine play. Besides, we won anyway. So, golf claps for you, Dustin!
The Red Sox responded quickly in the bottom of the frame with a back-to-back doubles by former future greatest Red Sox ever Xander Bogaerts and future future greatest Red Sox ever Blake Swihart. Swihart would eventually score on a Dustin Pedroia sac fly, and Alex Colume had given the lead right back quicker than you can say James "Big Game" Shields. And you wondered if this was going to be one of those nights.
And Now For Something Completely Different
Hey, remember when Longo hit the dinger on Opening Day?
No, that clip wasn't from April. That one actually happened tonight. No, really! In the top of the fourth. Tie game, 2-2.
The Butler Does It Again
The Rays took their second lead of the game -- the one they would not relinquish -- in the fifth. It started innocently enough with a one out James Loney single. But then, as sometimes happens with Mr. Masterson, he couldn't find the zone. Compounding his problem was that his manager couldn't find the bullpen phone. A wild pitch, a five-pitch walk to Longoria, and an eight pitch walk to David DeJesus later, and Masterson was still pitching to Joey Butler while Edward Mujica hurriedly got loose. Butler laid off the first two offerings, then served a soft liner into right, scoring Loney and Longoria and putting the Rays up 4-2. Mujica then came in to retire Asdrubal Cabrera (of course) and Brandon Guyer, but it was not a very good piece of managing by John Farrell.
Things Get Dicey
Not that it was all smooth sailing from there. Kevin Jepsen gave up the obligatory bomb to Mookie Betts (thanks, Brian Andersbott) which pulled the Red Sox within one. He then sweated through an agonizing rest of the inning thanks to an incredibly shrinking strike zone (he struck out Mike Napoli twice, on four pitches, before eventually giving up a single to him). But with one out and the bases loaded, Jepsen got Daniel Nava to ground sharply to Loney, who forced Luis Jimenez (pinch running for David Ortiz) at home. He followed that up by getting Brock Holt to ground softly to Loney to end the inning and the threat with the lead intact.
This is pretty.
Longo should do this more often. 5-3 in favor of the good guys.
Boxy Shuts the Door
Brad Boxberger came on to work a sometimes-shaky scoreless ninth, but ultimately got the job done, giving up a hit and walk while striking out one, with a wild pitch thrown in for good measure. All in all, not a bad way to wrap up a series win.
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