Devil Rays 6, Red Sox 5, 10 innings
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—The Tampa Bay Devil Rays haven’t won consecutive games in seven weeks. They did manage to win a series for the first time since mid-May by taking two of three from the Boston Red Sox.
Marlon Anderson singled with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning Thursday night, giving the Devil Rays a 6-5 victory over the Red Sox, who wasted an opportunity to pull within three games of first-place New York in the AL East.
The Yankees open a four-game series against Boston at home Friday.
“I personally feel like these games hurt worse than losing to the Yankees,” Red Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli said.
“Every once in a while you’re going to lose to these guys. But we’re a team that is supposed to come in here and beat these guys. … When we don’t, we’ve got to go look in the mirror and figure out what went wrong.”
Anderson delivered the game-winning hit off Mike Timlin (3-3) after Aubrey Huff and Travis Lee singled and Al Martin, whose two-run homer off Brandon Lyon tied the game at 5 in the eighth, drew an intentional walk with one out.
Travis Harper (1-4) pitched two scoreless innings for the win. The Devil Rays took two of three from the Red Sox to win a series for the first time since May 16-18 at Baltimore. Both victories over Boston came in extra innings.
“It’s been a while, hasn’t it?” Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said. “It feels good, I can tell you that.”
The win was Tampa Bay’s third against Boston this season. Anderson is batting a team-best .391 (27-for-68) with runners in scoring position.
“Anderson’s really been clutch for us,” said Piniella, whose team hasn’t won consecutive games since May 15-16.
Manny Ramirez homered twice and drove in three runs for the Red Sox. Boston also got homers from David Oritz and Trot Nixon and a strong performance from starting pitcher Tim Wakefield, who departed with a 5-3 lead.
Ramirez hit both of his homers off right-hander Jeremi Gonzalez, a solo shot in the second inning and a two-run, opposite-field shot to right that tied the score 3-all in the fifth. Ortiz homered off the Devil Rays starter four pitches later for a 4-3 Boston lead.
Nixon homered for the second straight night, hitting a 3-0 pitch from Brandon Backe to make it 5-3 in the sixth.
Wakefield gave up three unearned runs in the second to fall behind 3-1, but retired 15 of his last 17 batters before being replaced by Lyon with two outs in the seventh.
The knuckleballer allowed four hits, walked three and struck out six in 6 2-3 innings. He didn’t allow a hit after yielding Carl Crawford’s two-run triple in the second. Tampa Bay’s first run scored on Mirabelli’s passed ball.
The Red Sox appeared to be cruising toward a victory when Lyon retired the first two batters in the bottom of the eighth. But the reliever walked Travis Lee, then gave up Martin’s first homer since Sept. 25, 2001.
“(Lyon) fell behind with two breaking balls and then threw a ball right down the middle. … It’s unfortunate, but it happens,” Red Sox manager Grady Little said.
Lyon was the losing pitcher in Boston’s extra-inning loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, allowing the winning run to score from second base on his throwing error with two outs in the 11th.
“It’s frustrating. … I feel like it was my fault,” Lyon said. “There’s no one else to blame.”
Ramirez led off the second inning with his 18th homer. The next batter, Ortiz, doubled down the right-field line, but the Red Sox didn’t get another hit off Gonzalez until Ramirez went deep again for his first multihomer game this season and the 33rd of his career.
Ortiz followed this time with a towering drive that struck one of the catwalks that supports the roof at Tropicana Field, approximately 100 feet above the playing surface. It was the fifth time this season the Red Sox have hit back-to-back homers.
Gonzalez allowed four runs and four hits in five innings. He walked five, including Nomar Garciaparra before giving up the second home run to Ramirez,who has 21 career homers against the Devil Rays.
Garciaparra went 0-for-4. … The Red Sox were held to six hits, stopping their streak of consecutive games with double-digit hits at nine. … Tampa Bay had not won a series against the Red Sox since Oct. 1, 2001, going 0-7-1 during that stretch. Boston leads this year’s 19-game season series 7-3. … The Devil Rays have made just one error in their last 13 games, the beststretch of 10 or more games in franchise history.