Red Sox 8, Devil Rays 4
BOSTON (AP)—While the big bats were silent, the bottom of Boston’s batting order delivered Tuesday night.
“You’ve got to get the hits when it matters, and we did that tonight,” said Youkilis, who has driven in eight runs in over the past three games. “We started to string together some two-out hits, and that’s what you have to do to win games. We’re pretty tough all the way down the lineup, and opposing pitchers can’t relax after the top of the order.”
Bronson Arroyo (5-8) allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings, striking out six and walking two. He’s won three of his last four decisions after losing six straight from May 27-June 27.
“Bronson’s given us a quality start every time he’s pitched,” Kevin Millar said. “We’ve had trouble hitting the ball when he’s on the mound, but he’s as tough a fifth starter as there is in the big leagues right now.”
Manny Ramirez started in left field and went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts after missing three straight games because of the flu. He batted third for just the second time this season.
Tampa Bay was looking to win two straight on the road for the first time since July 6-7 at Baltimore. Jorge Sosa (3-1), a converted outfielder in just his fourth season as a pitcher, started with four perfect innings but wound up giving up seven runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.
“They’ve got a good offensive club,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. “Sosa was coasting along for four innings nicely, and then they finally got to him in the fifth and it continued in the sixth. They got some good two-out hitting.”
Jose Cruz Jr.’s sacrifice fly put the Devil Rays ahead in the fourth, but Boston took a 3-1 lead in the fifth with a two-out rally keyed by Varitek’s RBI double, Cabrera’s run-scoring grounder and Mueller’s RBI single.
Rocco Baldelli’s two-run triple tied the score in the sixth, but Varitek hit a go-ahead single with two outs in the bottom half and Cabrera’s run-scoring single chased Sosa.
Mueller greeted Bobby Seay with another RBI single, and Youkilis hit a two-run double off the wall in left-center.
“I was locating my pitches well early, but then I had no control and couldn’t throw the ball where I wanted to,” Sosa said.
Boston reliever Scott Williamson is to have another MRI exam of his swollen right forearm Friday. … Curtis Leskanic (right shoulder tendinitis), who went on the disabled list on July 25, threw 20 pitches in the bullpen before throwing a 15-pitch simulated game. … Baldelli was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle. … Aubrey Huff had his fourth consecutive multihit game for the Devil Rays.