A lack of late game offense and shaky bullpen performances eliminated the Red Sox’ bid for sweep of the Rays on Wednesday.
This appeared to be a game the Sox would be able to take as they were due to face the scuffling, former rookie of the year, Jeremy Hellickson. Instead they were unable to muster any punch and let Hellickson walk away with the win. The only runs the Sox were able to score were in second and fourth, thanks to doubles from David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Jonny Gomes picked up both RBIs on the night thanks to a bit of luck on his part. Both of his hits actually found a part of Evan Longoria’s glove, but the Ray’s third baseman was unable to recover and make a play both times.
Ryan Dempster was actually fairly solid in his 15th start of the year, allowing only three runs in six innings of work, picking up his fifth straight quality start, despite an ugly 4-8 record on the year. Dempster got off to an atrocious start to the night, as he allowed the second batter of the game, center fielder Desmond Jennings, to homer over the Green Monster. But after allowing a second run to cross in the first, Dempster dug in and pitched decently for the rest of the game. Though he struggled to keep Rays off the bases (8 hits and 2 walks) Dempster held the Rays’ bats in check until the fifth when Jose Molina would lumber home on a flare to center by Ben Zobrist and a poor throw from Jacoby Ellsbury to break the tie and put Tampa Bay up by one.
Dempster’s work was ruined after he departed for Craig Breslow in the seventh. Breslow was one strike from putting away Longoria to finish the inning when Longoria smacked a wall ball single to score Jennings from first. Former Sox first baseman James Loney continued to swing a hot bat with a double to left to put two men in scoring position. Breslow was then replaced by Alex Wilson who pitched effectively, but did give Wil Myers a pitch to hit which he drove to center for a two-run double burying the Sox in their final 6-2 hole.