BOSTON (AP)—From seven runs down to seven runs up, just like that.
Mike Lowell had four hits and Kevin Youkilis delivered a bases-loaded triple during a six-run sixth inning Tuesday night as the Boston Red Sox rallied from a seven-run deficit to beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 16-10.
“It didn’t start out looking that great; 8-1 is not really the formula,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “But we made them go to the bullpen, and then we made them continue to go to the bullpen. We didn’t abandon what we were trying to do, and we were rewarded for it.”
Pitching against a team he has dominated throughout his career, Tim Wakefield was tagged for seven runs in three-plus innings as the Devil Rays jumped ahead. But Boston scored four in the fourth and three in the fifth before taking the lead in the sixth and making it 16-9 in the seventh on solo homers by David Ortiz and J.D. Drew.
“It was exciting to be a part of,” said backup catcher Kevin Cash, who snapped an 0-for-12 slump with a two-run single in the fourth and had a career-high three RBIs. “It was a big game for us to win.”
Bryan Corey (1-0) tossed a scoreless inning to earn the win in Boston’s biggest comeback victory since 2000. With the season-high 16 runs, the Red Sox maintained a five-game lead over the Yankees in the AL East and made sure they’ll still be in front even if they’re swept by New York in their three-game series this weekend.
“Definitely,” that’s important, Ortiz said. “They’ve been playing good. They’re not messing around.”
Jon Switzer (0-1) got the last out of the fifth but allowed two runs and two hits in the sixth to give up the rest of the lead. Tampa Bay had won three straight and 13 of 17, including Monday night’s 1-0 victory over Boston when Scott Kazmir outpitched Curt Schilling.
“Last night we barely got enough runs to win,” said second baseman Brendan Harris, who homered. “Tonight was the reverse.”
The Devil Rays blew a seven-run lead for the second time this season. They have also lost twice after leading 8-2.
“The Red Sox are playing for a whole bunch of stuff right now and their pro hitters rose to the occasion,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “We have to be able to come into those moments and stop them, and we didn’t do it.”
Carlos Pena also homered for the Devil Rays, who scored four in the second against Wakefield and then chased him with one run in, two on and nobody out in the fourth. Dioner Navarro finished with a career-best four hits, while Pena, Akinori Iwamura and Josh Wilson had three hits apiece.
Wakefield had been 19-2 against the Devil Rays, and he ran off 22 consecutive scoreless innings before lasting just 3 2-3 in his previous start, against Baltimore. The Devil Rays had not scored a run on him in 20 innings before getting four in the second.
It was Wakefield’s shortest start due to ineffectiveness since 2001 (he left other games because of injury and to rest for the playoffs).
Lowell had his sixth game of four or more hits—most in the majors. Drew, a $14 million-a-year free agent, was booed after he struck out looking to end the first inning but he followed with two singles and a homer—his first home run at Fenway Park since April 22.
Ellsbury has hit in all 11 games since being called up from the minors, and he now has three homers in the majors after hitting just two in 436 minor league at-bats this season.
Harris’ second-inning homer was his 11th of the season, but his third in the last six games. … Pena’s fourth-inning homer was his 39th of the season and his 13th in his last 22 games. … Tampa Bay has not won a series in Boston since 1999 (0-18-4). … Ortiz’s 218th homer as a designated hitter tied Don Baylor for fourth on the career list. … Devil Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine had won three straight, allowing only four earned runs in 19 innings. He gave up five runs in 3 1-3 innings against Boston. … The Red Sox hit for the cycle as a team in the sixth inning.