BOSTON - David Ortiz snapped a 4-4 tie with a sixth-inning RBI double, his seventh straight hit over two days, and Mike Aviles led off the seventh with a home run to power the Red Sox to a 6-4 victory over the Rays on Sunday, Boston's third straight weekend win over Tampa Bay.
Boston, winning on the 65th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's debut in the major leagues, goes for a sweep of the four-game series Monday morning, in the annual 11 a.m. Boston Marathon Day game.
The Red Sox left Toronto Wednesday night with a 1-5 record, having scored eight runs in a three-game series. They have since scored 31 runs on 39 hits against the talented Tampa Bay pitching staff.
Boston blew a 4-0 lead built on a three-run homer by Cody Ross and an RBI double by Kelly Shoppach, but Red Sox starter Felix Doubront gave up three runs in the fifth and one in the sixth. Luke Scott homered for the second straight day to tie the game 4-4.
But Ortiz (who had hits in his last four times up Saturday and first three Sunday) and Aviles, the latter with his second homer (the Red Sox' seventh) in as many days, came through to make a winner of reliever Vicente Padilla (1-0). Juan Aceves worked the ninth for his second save.
Rays starter Matt Moore (0-1) gave up all six runs in the loss.
In the second inning, Kevin Youkilis singled and took third on Ortiz's fifth straight hit, a double. Ross then drilled another mammoth homer to make it 3-0.
Doubront got a break in the third when, with a man on first, Desmond Jennings drilled a ball to right-center that bounced into the bullpen, keeping Matt Joyce from scoring. Doubront then struck out Carlos Pena and got Evan Longoria to bounce out.
Doubront got another break in the fourth when, with a man on second and two out, a diving Mike Aviles kept Sean Rodriguez's hit in the infield and Jeff Keppinger was caught rounding third too far to end the inning.
In the fifth, Pena hit what would have been a three-run homer right down the right field line. It was ruled foul and held up on review. But Pena then doubled in two runs and scored when Ross misplayed Longoria's shot to right into a double. Doubront then caught Ben Zobrist looking and left Longoria on third, where he had gone on a wild pitch.
NOTES: In honor of the Robinson anniversary, Ralph Branca, the last living Robinson teammate and the father of Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, threw out the first pitch. He remembered Robinson coming into the Dodger clubhouse to join the team for the 1947 opener and said, "I walked over and shook his hand and said, 'Welcome aboard.' All I could think was, can he help us win the pennant? Can he help us win games? I didn't even think about the color of his skin because I lived on a block that was the United Nations of all." . . . Boston added outfielder Jason Repko and utility player Nate Spears from Pawtucket. Repko started in centerfield, where the Sox are expected to be without Jacoby Ellsbury (shoulder) for 6-8 weeks. Righty Michael Bowden and outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin were deleted and Bowden and minor league catcher Luis Esposito were designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Repko and Spears. ... The Rays recalled catcher Chris Gimenez from Durham and he started, with catcher Jose Lobaton hitting the disabled list (shoulder). ... The Rays' 13-5 loss Saturday ended their streak of winning 32 straight games when scoring five or more runs, the longest current streak in the majors and matching the club record. I was also the longest such streak in the majors since the Braves went 42 straight in late 2009