Door Slams Shut On Rays Season, Fall To Red Sox 3-1

The Tampa Bay Rays season finally came to an end as they were defeated by the Boston Red Sox by a final score of 3-1. The victory went to Craig Breslow and Koji Uehara picked up the save.   Jake McGee took the loss.

The Rays held a 1-0 lead as the game entered the 7th inning but the Red Sox took advantage of a Joel Peralta wild pitch to score the tying run and an infield hit by Shane Victorino to score Jacoby Ellsbury who advanced two base on the wild pitch to take a 2-1 lead.  The Red Sox added a final nail in the coffin with a single run on a Dustin Pedroia sacrifice fly in the top of the 9th inning.

The Rays used a total of 9 pitchers in their quest to overcome a one inning start from Jeremy Hellickson. The Red Sox will move on to take on the winner of the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics series.

Top of 1st: Hellickson Good

There was a moment, albeit brief, that Jeremy Hellickson looked like himself. He retired Jacoby Ellsbury on a fly out to right and Shane Victorino on a pop out to third and Dustin Pedroia on a pop out to shortstop.

Top of 2nd: Hellickson Bad

During some point during the Rays batting in the bottom of the first the good Jeremy Hellickson departed Tropicana Field. The Hellickson that came out to work the top of the second faced just three batter before handing the ball over to Joe Maddon. He walked David Ortiz and Mike Napoli on 8 pitches and gave up a single to Daniel Nava to load the bases.

Top of 2nd: Jamey Wright and Defense To Rescue

Jamey Wright came in with the bases loaded and nobody out and struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia for the first out of the inning.  Stephen Drew followed with a line drive that James Loney snared. His first reaction was to try to beat Nava back to first but seeing that he couldn’t threw back to Yunel Escobar at 2nd to nail Mike Napoli and ended the inning.

Top of 2nd: Double Play #1

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Top of 3rd: Matt Moore Enters Game

Jamey Wright stayed in the game to begin the top of the 3rd inning but walked leadoff hitter Wil Middlebrooks and was removed from the game for Matt Moore.

Moore was pitching on three days rest and received help from the defense as Jacoby Ellsbury hit a ground ball to Ben Zobrist. Zobrist ran Middlebrooks back to first before throwing to James Loney to retire Ellsbury and then Loney fired back to Escobar at 2nd base to nail Middlebrooks for the Rays second double play in as many innings.  Moore Struck out Shane Victorino to end the inning.

Top of 4th: Red Sox Pressure Moore 

Moore remained in the game for the top of the 4th. After retiring Dustin Pedroia to lead off the inning he allowed a single to David Ortiz. He came back to strike out Mike Napoli but walked Daniel Nava to put runners at 1st and 2nd and 2-out.  Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey paid a visit to the mound and afterwards Moore struck out Saltalamacchia to end the inning.

Top of 5th; Alex Torres Enters Game 

Alex Torres came in to replace Matt More and retired Stephen Drew to lead off the inning but allowed a single to Will Middle brooks who was erased on a fielders choice off the bat of Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury moved into scoring position when Torres hit Shane Victorino with a pitch.  With 2-on and 2-out Torres retired Dustin Pedroia on a ground out to 2nd base.

Top of 6th: Alex Torres Remains In Game

Torres remained in the game and worked a 1-2-3 inning retiring David Ortiz on a ground out to second, Mike Napoli on a fly out to right, and struck Daniel Nava out.

Bottom of 6th: Rays Strike First

Yunel Escobar led off the inning with a double, moved to third on a ground ball to second by Jose Lobaton, and came in to score the games first run on a single by David DeJesus.

Jake Peavy would not make it through the bottom of the 6th. He was removed with 2-outs for Craig Breslow who struck out James Loney to end the inning.
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Top of the 7th: Jake McGee Enters Game

With a 1-o lead the Rays turned to the back of their bullpen. Jake McGee who threw 28 pitches (including 4 intentional balls) came in to face Jonny Gomes who was pinch hitting for Jarrod Saltalamacchia and flied out to center. Xander Bogaerts came in to pinch hit for Stephen Drew and walked.

Will Middlebrooks came to the plate anon the year has hit left handed pitching (.273) much better than right handed pitching (.206) but Maddon elected to stick with McGee.   The decision worked out well as McGee was up to the task and struck out Middlebrooks on 8 pitches – all fastballs – and none less than 96 mph.

Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a single to center as Boegarts raced over to 3rd and Joel Peralta was brought in to face Shane Victorino.

Top of the 7th: Joel Peralta’s  Wild Pitch Ties Game – Victorino Infield Single Puts Sox Up 2-1

With Jacoby Ellsbury at 1st and Xander Bogaerts at 3rd and 2-out Joel Peralta entered the game to face Shane Victorino. Peralta’s first pitch bounced past catcher Jose Lobaton and Bogaerts came in to score the tying run and Ellsbury who was stealing on the pitch moved to 3rd base on the wild pitch.

The wild pitch cost the Rays again as Shane Victorino delivered an infield single that scored Ellsbury and puts the Red Sox up 2-1.

Victorino moved to 2nd on a single by Dustin Pedroia but Peralta struck out Ortiz to escape the inning without further damage.

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Top of 8th: Peralta Works Scoreless

Peralta stayed on to work the top of the 8th and did walk Daniel Nava but he was erased on a caught stealing.

Top of 9th: Fernando Rodney Loses Control  

Fernando Rodney came in to work the top of the 9th and issued a leadoff walk to Xander Bogaerts who advanced to 2nd with 1-out on a wild pitch.

Things got worse for Rodney as he walked Jacoby Ellsbury and hit Shane Victorino with a pitch to load the bases.

Top of 9th: Chris Archer Comes In For 1 Batter?

Chris Archer came in and allowed a sacrifice fly off the bat of Dustin Pedroia to extend the Red Sox lead to 3-1. With first base open and David Ortiz due up Maddon went to the mound and brought in Wesley Wright.

Top of 9th: Wesley Wright 

Wesley Wright was able to retire Ortiz on a ground ball to Ben Zobrist in short right field to end the inning.






I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.