Tampa Bay rode the right arm of Wade Davis and the hot bat of John Jaso to take down the Boston Red Sox by the score of 7-2. Davis introduced a new pitch, a cutter, to the BoSox, and improved his record to 10-8 with his first complete game of the season. Jaso was two for four, scored twice, and knocked in three with a home run in the bottom of the second inning.
Davis was sharp early, setting down the Sox 1-2-3 in the first inning.
After the second inning, he had allowed only one hit, and infield dribbler, to Dustin Pedroia. The Boston second sacker was out at second on a stike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play that ended the frame.
While Davis was hitting his spots and slicing the strike zone with a new pitch in his arsenal, Boston’s John Lackey was struggling to find the strike zone.
In the second, with Johnny Damon aboard on a fielder’s choice, he walked Casey Kotchman. Nibbling around the zone and falling behind, Lackey fell behind Jaso three and one before missing location badly. A pitch that was meant to be low and away ended up low an in, and Jaso deposited it over the wall in right-center for a 3-0 Rays lead.
Tampa Bay would add two more runs in the third. With two out, Evan Longoria singled, and Ben Zobrist walked. Johnny Damon, back in the lineup with healthy legs, beat out an infield hit, and Longoria hustled his way home, scoring from second on a ball that didn’t go much past first base. Matt Joyce then singled Zobrist home to up the Rays lead to 5-0, all the runs being scored with two outs.
Boston’s scoring took place in the top of the sixth. Josh Reddick singled, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled. Jacoby Ellsbury’s infield hit resulted in a run, and Marco Scutaro’s sacrifice fly brought home Saltalamacchia to end the scoring. Davis would only face ten BoSox hitters over the next three innings to close out the game.
Tampa Bay would return the favor in the bottom of the sixth, scoring twice off reliever Scott Atchison, to send the lead back to five runs. Jaso’s 14th double put him on base, and he was promptly knocked in by Reid Brignac, who doubled to center. Evan Longoria finished the scoring, with the Rays’ third double of the inning, a ground-rule rocket that bounced into the stands over the short wall in left.
With the win, the Rays now stand at 5.5 games behind Boston in the race for the American League wild card playoff spot. This evening, Tampa Bay will send Rookie of the Year candidate Jeremy Hellickson to the mound today. Hellickson is 6-5 at home this year, with a 2.27 E.R.A. Boston counters with rookie Kyle Weiland, who has given up nine runs in eleven innings over three starts this season. Game time is set for 7:10 pm. » Continue reading “Davis Cuts Up Red Sox, Rays Take Boston 7-2″