Despite Head To Head Record, Rays & Red Sox Evenly Matched

The Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox will meet up in Fenway Park for a 4-game set beginning tonight. Thus far in 2013 the Red Sox have a very impressive 9-3 head-to-head record versus the Rays but the win-loss record may be a little deceiving as to how evenly matched the teams have been this season.

In taking a 9-3 series advantage the Red Sox have been able to win a handful of walk-off victories and the Rays have failed to take advantage of some late inning opportunities.  Records don’t lie. The Red Sox have defeated the Rays 9 out of 12 games, but the Rays have not been outplayed by a wide margin in many of the losses.

The Rays and Red Sox have 7 games left this year and this 4 game set marks the completion of the games at Fenway Park. The competition between the two teams has been full of animated antics and a benches clearing melee that still has yet to be resolved. The one thing we can be assured of this week is that the series will have a playoff emotion tied to it.

April 13th Rays lose 2-1 in 10 innings.

Brandon Gomes comes in to work the 10th. Jacoby Ellsbury reached on a 1-out single, stole second, and advanced to 3rd when Jose Lobaton‘s throw sailed into the outfield  Even with a 5 man infield Shane Victorino found a crease and delivered the walk off single to give the Red Sox the victory.

April 15th Rays lose 3-2 on walk off double in bottom of 9th

The Rays tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the 9th inning but with 1-out Dustin Pedroia drew a walk and came around to score on a double high off the green monster to give the Sox the 3-2 victory.

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May 16th Rays enter 9th with 3-1 lead, Middlebrooks delivers bases clearing double to give Sox 4-3 victory

The Rays entered the 9th inning up 3-1 and on the verge of taking 2 out of 3 from the Red Sox at Tropicana Field. Fernando Rodney was on the mound to pick up the save. He did not have his best control as he walked the bases loaded around a pair of strikeouts to bring Will Middlebrooks to the plate. Rodney quickly got ahead in the count o-2 but Middlebrooks, who appeared to be sitting on changeup, got a pitch to his liking and delivered a bases clearing double to give the Red Sox the 4-3 lead and eventual victory.

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June 10th, Rays lose 10-8 in 14 innings after missing golden opportunity to walk-off in 10th.

The Red Sox quickly jumped out to a 6-0 lead against Alex Cobb in the first inning but he settled down and the Rays offense pecked away at the leading scoring 2 in the bottom of the 1st and single tallies in the 3rd, 4th, 7th, and 8th to tie the game at 6-6. The Red Sox jumped ahead 8-6 on a 2-out 2-RBI single from Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Like the 6-0 deficit the Rays fought back to tie the game in the bottom of the 10th inning. Andrew Bailey came in to close the door but allowed a lead off homer to Jose Lobaton to cut the lead to 8-7. He then walked Yunel Escobar and Matt Joyce and a single to Ben Zobrist to load the bases. Kelly Johnson drew a bases loaded walk to tie the game at 8-8 and bring Evan Longoria to the plate. Longoria was unable to deliver as he sent a bullet to Will Middlebrooks who stabbed it and threw home for the force out and Jarrod Saltalamacchia threw to first to complete the improbable double play.  Bailey retired Sam Fuld to end the inning with the score tied at 8-8.

The Red Sox scored 2 runs of Cesar Ramos, who was working his 3rd inning of relief,  in the top of the 14th to win the game 10-8.

The game did feature Matt Joyce getting hit by a John Lackey pitch resulting in a benches clearing incident. An incident that still hasn’t been resolved.

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June 12th, Rays offense shut down as Red Sox win 2-1

Alfredo Aceves shut the Rays offense down for 6 innings and the Boston bullpen protected a 1 run lead over the final 3 innings to defeat the Rays 2-1.

Chris Archer started for the Rays and allowed a 2-run homer to Daniel Nava. The remainder of the game included some animated moments from Chris Archer.

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June 18th, Rays tie game in 9th, Gomes delivers walk-off HR in bottom of 9th to give Sox 3-1 victory

Jake Odorizzi worked the first 5.1 innings allowing 1 run and Alex Torres worked 2.1 innings of scoreless baseball. The Rays tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the 9th on a Kelly Johnson solo home run. Joel Peralta came in to work the bottom of the ninth and walked Daniel Nava before allowing a walk-off 2-run homer to Jonny Gomes to give the Sox the 3-1 victory.

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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.