ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Rays relieved some of their offensive frustrations on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field. The Boston Red Sox didn't do much to stop them.
All but eliminated from postseason contention because of a woeful offensive production during their recent slide, the Rays erupted for seven runs in the sixth inning off four relievers to wallop Boston 13-3.
New York's two wins on Wednesday dropped the Rays 6 1/2 games behind the American League East and the wildcard.
The Red Sox issued three bases-loaded walks in the game, two by reliever Andrew Miller in the sixth and committed two costly errors. Desmond Jennings tripled home two runs in the inning - he scored on the play on a throwing error - as the Rays sent 11 batters to the plate and matched a season-high for runs in a game. They averaged 2.85 runs in seven losses in their last eight games. Tampa Bay out-hit the Red Sox 15-5.
Rays rookie Chris Archer (1-3), who before the game was honored as the organization's top minor league pitcher, struggled early but was good enough to last five innings and earn his first major league win.
The Rays took a 5-3 lead in the fourth off Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, who had seven career losses against the Rays entering the game and hadn't beaten them since 2008. Jeff Keppinger (3-for-4, two RBIs) led off the inning with his seventh homer of the season before Matt Joyce singled and Carlos Pena hit his 18th on the first pitch. Matsuzaka allowed five earned runs on nine hits in three full innings.
Reliever Jose Aceves fared almost as badly, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks to ignite the Rays' decisive sixth.
Boston had taken a 3-1 lead in the third when Jacoby Ellsbury followed a lead-off walk to Jose Iglesias and a single by Pedro Ciriaco with an RBI single. Ciriaco scored on a Dustin Pedroia groundout.
The Red Sox led 1-0 lead in the first when Ciriacio led off the game with a single, stole second and scored on an Ellsbury single.
The Rays tied the game 3-1 in the second by producing more hits - three - than in all of a 7-5 loss on Tuesday, but needed a bases-loaded walk by Matt Joyce to score. Tampa Bay cut the deficit to 3-2 in the third on a Ben Zobrist single, which scored Jennings (2-for-5), who had singled and stole his 28th base of the season.
NOTES: Rays manager Joe Maddon said he thinks starter David Price (18-5, 2.54 ERA) should win the American League Cy Young Award but said if the left-hander, who starts for the Rays on Thursday, can reach 20 wins, "that'll be icing on the proverbial Cy Young cake" considering his "body of work." Maddon said Price will make all of his remaining starts if healthy, regardless of the Rays' playoff prognosis. Price is tied for the AL lead in wins and leads the majors in ERA. ... Maddon said hitting coach Derek Shelton should not be held responsible for the team's prolonged offensive problems. He said players underperformed. ... Red Sox pitcher John Lackey, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, threw 30 pitches of batting practice at Tropicana Field on Tuesday. ... Boston's scheduled starter for Thursday, Clay Buchholz, has allowed three runs or fewer in 10 of 12 career starts against the Rays. ... 3B Ciriaco is 15-for-15 on stolen base attempts, including one in the first that led to a run on Wednesday.