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Red Sox 5, Rays 9: Late life, but not enough

Make it three in a row to the Rays.

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

For most of this game, it looked like pretty much a total disaster through and through. In fact, my original plan was to post a garbage truck gif and move along. Things did get better later, but the hole was too big as Zack Godley had a terrible start with three homers allowed. He also wasn’t helped by his defense — Michael Chavis was particularly rough with the glove — or luck — Kevin Pillar lost a ball in the lights that could have ended the inning but instead led to a home run. But he dug the team in an 8-0 deficit. They did get a great mop up performance from Ryan Weber and they had a five-run rally in the eighth, but it just wasn’t enough.

The early parts of this game were, frankly, a disaster. Zack Godley was on the mound and actually was carrying some momentum into this game, but it did not last through this one. The righty had a terrible night and was not helped by the baseball gods nor his own team. In the first, he gave up a one-out single before an error by Michael Chavis at first put runners on the corners. After a walk loaded the bases, he got another grounder to first. This time Chavis made the stop and had a play at the plate for the force out, except his webbing wasn’t together properly and the ball got stuck. It was the most 2020 Red Sox play imaginable, and it gave the Rays their first run of the game as all Chavis could do was step on the first base bag for the out there.

That was all they’d get in the first, but then Godley started giving up some gopher balls. Willy Adames led off the second with an opposite field homer. Godley got a couple outs after that, and should have had another. Instead, Kevin Pillar lost a routine fly ball in the lights for a base hit. That allowed Brandon Lowe to come to the plate, and of course he launched a two-run homer to give Tampa four runs on the night. They’d get another two-run shot in the third before scoring two more in the fourth, and Godley’s day ended without recording any outs in the fourth and allowing eight runs.

Things weren’t really going well on the other side, either, with Blake Snell on the mound for Tampa Bay. The southpaw seems to always have his way with the Red Sox, and that was certainly the case here. They couldn’t get solid wood on anything, and frankly never really threatened. They had one inning against Snell with two baserunners where they got a strikeout that went to the back stop and a single, but no runs were scored.

In fact, the Red Sox would not score or even threaten to score through seven innings. One of the few bright spots in this game for most of it was Ryan Weber, who came on after Godley after getting called up earlier in the day. The Red Sox apparently didn’t want to use him in this one — why they called up a guy they didn’t want to use is beyond me — but he came in and looked very good. He did allow a couple of inherited runs in the fourth, but it came on a double play. In all, he tossed five scoreless innings.

It was nice to see, of course, but while it was happening it was hard to think too much of that performance other than the fact that it allowed them to not have to burn through a ton of pitchers again in this game. Except, well, the Red Sox finally turned it on in the eighth. They weren’t exactly piling up big swings, but they were keeping the line moving. Starting with a little infield single, they had five consecutive base hits — including one from Pillar, who had four in the game — to give them their first run and bring J.D. Martinez to the plate with nobody out.

They finally got their first extra base hit here, and it was as big as it gets. Martinez jumped all over a first pitch slider that stayed middle in and sent it way out to left field for a grand slam. Suddenly, against all odds, the Red Sox were within three. Unfortunately, they also sat both Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers to “get them off their feet,” according to Guerin Austin on the broadcast. Though, to be fair, their replacements — Tzu-Wei Lin and Jonathan Araúz — did have hits in the eighth. Boston would eventually get the tying run to the plate, too, with Jackie Bradley Jr. coming up with two on and two out. He hit one into the shift, though, and the inning was over.

Now that the Red Sox had some momentum, you’d think the Red Sox would use the chance to get some fresh arm in. Instead, they tried to stick with the hot hand in Weber, and it didn’t work out. Austin Meadows led things off and put one into the Red Sox bullpen for a solo homer, giving the Rays a little insurance and extending the lead back to four. The defense, and specifically Chavis, would strike again for another base runner and a botched double play, but Weber did get out of it with just the one run.

That gave Boston one more chance to rally back trailing 9-5. They did not rally, but instead went down in order to finish another loss.

The Red Sox will look to avoid the sweep Thursday as they send Kyle Hart out for his first career start matched up against Tyler Glasnow. First pitch is at 4:30 PM ET.