Recap: Boston vs. Tampa Bay

 

The Sports Network

Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Yunel Escobar hit a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays completed a doubleheader sweep of the Boston Red Sox with a 6-5 win on Thursday night.

Escobar hit Koji Uehara's second pitch over the Green Monster in left field and out of the stadium and Grant Balfour pitched out of trouble in the bottom of the ninth after giving up a leadoff double to Shane Victorino and a two-out walk to Grady Sizemore.

Balfour froze Xander Bogaerts with a 2-2 slider for the game-ending strikeout to earn his sixth save.

The Rays won the opener of the doubleheader 2-1 in the afternoon to snap a three-game losing streak.

They also got a two-run homer from Sean Rodriguez and a solo shot from Desmond Jennings in the nightcap. They tied the game on James Loney's sliced RBI single to left field off Junichi Tazawa in the eighth inning, which scored Rodriguez, who had doubled with two outs for one of his three hits.

"I'm so proud of our guys, the way they handled the entire moment," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "Nobody complained about anything. They just went out and played really good baseball for 18 innings. It was pretty astounding to watch the whole thing play out."

The Red Sox scored all five of their runs in the fifth inning after finally solving Rays righty Chris Archer.

Jake McGee (2-0) picked up the win after pitching out of trouble in the eighth inning. Bogaerts hit a leadoff double but was stranded at third base.

The Red Sox left 10 runners on base after stranding 11 in the first game.

"Seemingly it was the story of the day considering the number of opportunities we gave ourselves," said Red Sox manager John Farrell.

Boston left-hander Felix Doubront allowed four runs -- three earned -- in six innings, giving up five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Archer motored through the Boston lineup through four innings, giving up just one hit -- Victorino's double in the first -- and two walks.

But things came apart in Boston's five-run fifth, even after Rodriguez made a leaping catch at the Green Monster to rob A.J. Pierzynski with a runner on first.

Archer walked the bases loaded with free passes to Bogaerts, Will Middlebrooks and Jackie Bradley Jr. and hit Victorino with two outs to force in a run. David Ortiz followed with a two-run single and Mike Napoli and Sizemore added RBI hits to give Boston a 5-2 lead.

Sizemore's hit came off Brad Boxberger and the run was charged to Archer, who left after giving up three hits and five walks in 4 2/3 innings.

The Rays pulled within 5-4 on Rodriguez's two-run blast off a left-field light tower in the sixth. The homer scored Evan Longoria, who had reached after his leadoff pop-up fell safely behind third baseman Middlebrooks (who got the error) and the shortstop Bogaerts.

Earlier, Rodriguez hit a one-out double in the second inning and scored on Loney's single through the right side to give the Rays a 1-0 lead.

Jennings made it 2-0 with his one-out blast in the third inning, knocking a 3-1 fastball into the seats on top of the Green Monster in left field.

Game Notes

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