Tonight Chris Archer faced off in Sean O’Sullivan in what would be thought as a match up that heavily favors the Rays heading into the season. But 2016 has not gone to plan and every game is a battle.
Inning 1: Archer continues first inning struggles. Red Sox 2-0.
Coming into the game Archer had allowed 19 runs in his eighteen first innings good for a 9.50 ERA. Tonight was more of the same. Archer led off the game by walking Mookie Betts where he wasn’t able to able to command the strike zone. Betts would take second base, a theme that would continue throughout the game, before a Dustin Pedroia single to left field to push Betts to third. After getting ahead of Xander Bogaerts 1-2, Bogaerts found the 3B-SS hole to score the first run of the game. David Ortiz popped up in foul territory behind first base for the second out. When Archer looked to be gaining some control he walked Hanley Ramirez on four pitches. Jackie Bradley, Jr. hit a sacrifice fly between RF and CF where Steven Souza, Jr. and Brandon Guyer avoided a major collision and were able to come out unscathed (a first for outfielders this season) and make the out. Ramirez would attempt to steal second, but Hank Conger through behind Bogaerts at third and caught him in a rundown that he was originally called safe, but his slide didn’t hit the third base bag in a timely manner for the third out of the inning after review reversed the call on the field.
Inning 2-3: Rays strike back. Tied 2-2.
With two outs in the top of the second Corey Dickerson “doubled” down the right field line when Betts spiked a throw about 20 feet short of the second base bag that rolled to Bogaerts. Nick Franklin followed with a flair to CF that landed in front of Bradley, Jr. and gifted the Rays their first run of the game. Thanks Betts.
Logan Forsythe led off the top of the third with his eighth homer of the year well over the Green Monster to tie the game at two.
Chris Archer worked two clean innings and retired all six batters he faced.
Inning 4: Red Sox retake the lead. Red Sox 4-2.
David Ortiz led off the bottom of the fourth with a homer that stayed just fair down the right field line to give the Red Sox a 3-2 lead. Archer yanked a fastball that didn’t get inside enough on a pitch that Conger was set up away.
Inning 5: Rays surge back to tie the game, but leave more on the field. Tied 4-4.
Sean O’Sullivan would be scheduled to face the 8-9-1 hitters in the Rays lineup and he has had difficulties with the third time through the order. Franklin led off with a solid line drive single to right field. Franklin proceeded to steal second base for the second time in the game. After Conger moved Franklin to third with a ground ball to third, Logan Forsythe drew a walk. Brad Miller hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Franklin to score the Rays third run of the game. With Evan Longoria batting Forsythe stole second base. Longoria battled a ten pitch at bat that ended with a single off the Green Monster that tied the game at four. Logan Morrison singled and Brandon Guyer followed with his MLB leading eighteenth hit by pitch of the season to load the bases with two outs. Steven Souza, Jr. ground out to third to end the inning.
Inning 6-9: Red Sox tack on two runs and close out the game. Red Sox win 6-5.
In the bottom of the sixth Archer would allow his fifth run of the game as Ramirez singled with one out. Ramirez didn’t spend long on first as he stole second base. After Bradley, Jr. flew out, Bryce Brentz singled on a ground ball to left field to score Ramirez.
After two quick outs in the bottom of the eighth the Red Sox strung together three singles by Jackie Bradley, Jr., Bryce Brentz, and newly acquired Aaron Hill. The dream of the bullpen holding the Red Sox scoreless was put to bed as they added a valuable insurance run.
In the top of the ninth with two outs Evan Longoria hit his eighteenth homerun of the season well over the Green Monster to cut the Red Sox lead to 6-5. Morrison would end the game by flying out to center.
Longoria had a big game as he went 4 for 5 with a homer and two RBI, but it wasn’t enough. The Rays lose another game they could have won. The All Star break can’t get here fast enough.