With the bases loaded and two out in the 9th and the Sox trailing 3-1, Jon Middlebrooks took a 100 MPH heater from Fernando Rodney and then drove the next pitch, a changeup, into left field past Tampa leftfielder Matt Joyce for a double that cleared the bases, which lead to a 4-3 Boston win.
The win, combined with a Yankees’ loss, moved the Sox to within one game of New York.
Rays’s closer Fernando Rodney opened the 9thby walking Pedroia.
Then Ortiz, who was 3-12 against Rodney, patiently drew a walk and Ciriaco ran for him.
Mike Napoli struck out, whiffing weakly with a one-handed wave.
Nava worked a walk to load the bases.
Drew struck out on a Rodney changeup.
On a 1-2 count, Middlebrooks stayed back on an 85 MPH changeup, turned on it and doubled past Matt Joyce in LF.
The Sox scored three runs on one hit and three walks.
In the home half of the ninth Luke Scott lead off with a single off Sox reliever Junichi Tazawa and gave way for pinch runner Sam Fuld.
Boston SS Stephen Drew snagged a line drive on one knee off the bat of Ben Zobrist for the first out.
Evan Longoria fell behind 0-2, then swung late on a 94 MPH fastball from Tazawa for the second out.
Yunel Escobar shot a single past Drew at SS, but former Sox first baseman James Loney, started the game leading MLB with a .379 BA, hit the 0-2 pitch to Drew at SS for the game’s final out.
In the previous inning Shane Victorino may have saved the Sox chances by making two spectacular playes:
He made a running grab of a fly ball hit deep by Jose Lobaton.
He made a Willie Mays’ over-the-shoulder catch on a hard hit shot by Desmond Jennings.
Sox starter allowed two runs in 5 innings and Mortensen allowed the third Ray run; then Miller and Breslow shut things down until Tazawa shut down the Rays in the 8th and 9th for the win.
Tampa starter Cobb went 6.1 innings and surrendered one run; then McGee and Peralta held off the Sox and handed the ball to closer Rodney, who blew up the game in the ninth and was pinned with the L.
|Peralta, Jo(H, 10)||1.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.96|
|Rodney(BS, 3)(L, 1-2)||0.2||1||3||3||4||2||0||5.28|
The Sox are now 1-12 when leading after 8 innings.
Andrew Bailey is expected to be back in the Boston bullpen on Monday night, when the Red Sox open a three-game series against the White Sox in Chicago.
Closer Joel Hanrahan’s days with the Red Sox may be over; he underwent surgery on Thursday to repair his flexor tendon and also had Tommy John surgery and he will not pitch again this season and becomes a free agent. Bone spurs were also removed.
Both procedures were deemed successful, according to Hanrahan representative.
Hanrahan had a 9.82 ERA in nine games.