It’s the same story and I don’t feel like telling it again. The Red Sox came back with a clutch homer from Rafael Devers to push the game to extras. The big relief arms did well to keep the game tied and extended it long enough for Mitch Moreland to give Boston the lead in the top of the eleventh. Then Josh Smith came in for the bottom of the inning. He only faced two batters, but that was all that was needed for the Rays to go home winners.
As the Red Sox were looking to bounce back from an eleven-inning loss on Friday and do a better job of playing spoiler against their division rivals, their offense had a tough task on their hands. Boston was going up against Tyler Glasnow, who has shown himself to be one of the more electric pitchers in the American League when healthy this season. That last part was sort of the saving grace in terms of pregame optimism, because Glasnow is just coming off an injury. As the Red Sox learned in this game he has come back as effective as ever, but the Rays are limiting his workload.
It was a struggle for the few innings he was in the game, though. Glasnow came out firing in the first inning, working around a two-out double from Xander Bogaerts for a scoreless inning that included a pair of strikeouts. The Rays righty would toss two more innings before being lifted, striking out the side in the second before allowing just a single with two more strikeouts in the third. In all, he struck out seven in three scoreless innings of work. It’s not ideal that he’ll be in the American League East for at least the next few years.
On the other end, the Red Sox didn’t quite have the same talent on the mound to say the least. Boston was going with a bullpen game, starting things off with Travis Lakins in the first. He did his job, to be fair, issuing a one-out walk but nothing more in the opening frame. The righty got into a bit of trouble in the second when he gave up a double before Marco Hernández, who had a rough day in the field, made an error to put runners on first and second with just one out. Lakins got a big ground out for the second out of the inning before Bobby Poyner came in to finish the frame with a strikeout and keep the score knotted as zero.
Mike Shawaryn would then get the call for the third, and the score would not stay tied up for long. The inning started with another tough play for Hernández, though this one was ruled a hit. After getting a strikeout, Shawaryn then issued a walk before Travis d’Arnaud came through with a base hit to knock in the first run of the game. He’d get the second out of the inning after that, but couldn’t finish things off as he hit Matt Duffy to extend things. That ended his day, bringing Colten Brewer into the game. He didn’t get the job done either as Joey Wendle smacked a base hit into right field. The Rays would get one on the play but Mookie Betts came up firing and Duffy was tossed out at the plate for the final out of the inning. Still, it was a 2-0 lead for the Rays.
The good news is the Red Sox answered back in the fourth. Glasnow was out of the game at this point, and Yonny Chirinos was in. Like Glasnow, Chirinos had a very strong first half but has recently missed time with injury, making his first appearance off the IL here. Bogaerts was the second batter he faced, and the second pitch he threw was a breaking ball that stayed up in the zone. Bogaerts was all over it, sending it out to left field for a solo shot to cut the deficit in half.
From there, the Red Sox pitching staff did settle down. Or, more accurately, Ryan Weber came on and settled things down. The righty was perfect in both the fourth and the fifth. The righty came back out for the sixth as well, and after two quick outs he allowed an infield single (to Hernández), and that ended his evening with Josh Taylor coming on in relief. The lefty didn’t even throw a pitch before getting out of it by picking Wendle off at first.
Unfortunately, the Red Sox offense was totally stagnant while all of this was going on, so when Taylor came back on for the seventh it was still 2-1 in favor of the Rays. Willy Adames would make it three to one when he took a middle-middle fastball and hit an absolute moonshot to straightaway center field for a solo homer. Taylor and Ryan Brasier would combine to finish off the inning without any more runs.
So, now the Red Sox had six more outs trailing by two. Betts got things started here with a one-out single in front of Rafael Devers. The third baseman has scuffled a bit to close out this season, but he came through here. Devers smashed one the other way out to left-center field, and just like that this game was all tied up at three.
With the score suddenly even, Andrew Cashner came on for the bottom of the eighth. He needed just eight pitches in a perfect inning. Matt Barnes then came on and struck out the side in the ninth, and we were heading for a second consecutive extra inning game.
Also for a second straight night, the tie was broken up in the eleventh inning. This time, however, it was in the top half of the frame. We did get a bit of a flashback to Friday, though, with Mitch Moreland being the hero. After hitting a pair of clutch homers the nigt before, he smashed a no-doubter out to right field to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead.
So, now it was all up to Josh Smith to finish this one off, with Brandon Workman having worked the tenth. Guess what happened next. d’Arnaud started it off with a double that just got by a diving Jackie Bradley Jr., bringing Nathan Lowe to the plate. He crushed one way out into the seats, giving Tampa a walk-off win and making me sad even though I knew it was coming. Eight more of these to go.
The Red Sox will continue this series in Tampa Bay on Sunday. They’ll have Nathan Eovaldi on the mound while the Rays counter with Ryan Yarbrough. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM ET.