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Boston at Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay
W: T. Wakefield (7-8) L: J. Shields (4-2)
HR: BOS - M. Ramirez (24), D. Mirabelli (2), D. Ortiz (28), D. Ortiz (29)   TB - A. Huff (7), C. Crawford (13), J. Cantu (5)

Ortiz helps BoSox avoid sweep to D-Rays with pair of dingers

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Devil Rays could only keep David Ortiz's bat quiet for so long.

Finally breaking through against the various defensive alignments used to slow him down for three days, the Boston slugger hit his 28th and 29th home runs to help the Red Sox avoid a four-game sweep by Tampa Bay with a 12-5 victory Thursday night.

Ortiz hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning and a grand slam in the ninth. He went 2-for-10 with a solo homer and six strikeouts in the first three games, when Tampa Bay played as many as five players in the outfield when he came to the plate.

"Pretty much what they're trying to do is get in my head," Ortiz said. "I've got to stay with the same approach."

The best way to beat such radical tactics, he said, is to hit the ball out of the park.

"I just figured that hitting the ball up there, no way they can catch it," Ortiz said. "They've really been playing some extreme defense, so I've got to stay where the ball is and try to hit it as hard as I can."

Ortiz, who is tied for AL lead in homers with Chicago's Jim Thome, drove in six runs and has six homers in his last six games. The grand slam off Shawn Camp was his second of the season and sixth of his career. It was his first anywhere except Fenway Park.

Manny Ramirez and Doug Mirabelli also went deep for the Red Sox, who led 6-5 before loading the bases with no outs in the ninth on two singles and a walk. Ortiz drilled the first pitch over the wall in left-center for a career-best 82 RBI before the All-Star break.

"I really thought we were going to be able to come back. ... It's just that inning got out of control," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "When you get the bases loaded with that guy in the ninth inning with nobody out, that's a hard spot. And once again, he did not let them down."

Tim Wakefield (7-8), pitching with a sore back, allowed four runs and four hits in five-plus innings to improve to 15-2 lifetime against the Devil Rays, including 7-0 at Tropicana Field. The knuckleballer yielded home runs to Aubrey Huff, Carl Crawford and Jorge Cantu before turning over a two-run lead to the bullpen in the sixth.

Huff's RBI single trimmed Boston's lead to 6-5 in the seventh. Mike Timlin pitched a perfect eighth and Jonathan Papelbon finished up for the Red Sox, who also scored in the ninth on Mirabelli's RBI grounder and an RBI double by Alex Gonzalez.

Ortiz, Ramirez and Mirabelli homered off Tampa Bay starter James Shields (4-2), helping the Red Sox build a 5-2 lead. Mirabelli singled and scored when Gonzalez tripled off reliever Edwin Jackson to make it 6-2 in the sixth.

After falling behind early and losing each of the first three games of the series, the Red Sox got off to a quick start against Shields.

Kevin Youkilis was hit by a pitch to begin the game and Ramirez hit his 24th homer with two outs for a 2-0 lead. It was the All-Star's 223rd home run as a member of the Red Sox -- tied with Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr for sixth on the club's all-time list.

Huff cut into Tampa Bay's deficit with his seventh homer, leading off the fourth. He is 6-for-45 lifetime against Wakefield, however three of his hits off the right-hander have been home runs.

Mirabelli led off the fifth with a homer, and Ortiz's two-run, opposite-field shot to left made it 5-1.

It was the second time in the series, and 39th time overall, that Ortiz and Ramirez homered in the same game.

The Devil Rays chased Wakefield in the sixth when Huff doubled and Cantu followed with his fifth homer, trimming Boston's lead to 6-4.

Shields, who lost his second straight decision after beginning his career with four wins, allowed four hits -- three homers. He walked three and struck out five in five innings.

Despite the loss, the series was a successful start to a difficult seven-game homestand for the Devil Rays, who play three against the Yankees this weekend.

"I'm not upset about a thing right now," Maddon said. "If you said before this series: `How about three out of four?' I think I would have been pretty pleased with that. We're OK."


Boston manager Terry Francona hopes Wakefield's sore back won't keep him from making his next scheduled start. ... Ortiz leads the AL in RBI. His previous best before the All-Star break was 78. ... Ramirez has 38 career homers against the Devil Rays, more than any opposing player. He's hit 23 at Tropicana Field. ... Devil Rays closer Tyler Walker had Tommy John surgery on his right arm by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. His expected recovery time is 12 months.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

A. Huff
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1

D. Ortiz
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2

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Boston Red Sox
Kevin Youkilis, 1B5210023 .304
Mark Loretta, 2B3200211 .305
David Ortiz, DH4226101 .277
Manny Ramirez, LF4122111 .310
    Gabe Kapler, PR-LF0100000 .370
Trot Nixon, RF4000112 .323
Mike Lowell, 3B5010022 .298
Coco Crisp, CF4100111 .254
Doug Mirabelli, C4222110 .173
Alex Gonzalez, SS5132001 .272
2B - Alex Gonzalez (12, Harper)
3B - Alex Gonzalez (1, Jackson)
HR - David Ortiz 2 (29, Shields, Camp), Manny Ramirez (24, Shields), Doug Mirabelli (2, Shields)
RBI - David Ortiz 6 (82), Manny Ramirez 2 (65), Doug Mirabelli 2 (9), Alex Gonzalez 2 (26)
2-OUT RBI - David Ortiz 2 (33), Manny Ramirez 2 (26), Alex Gonzalez 2 (8)
Team LOB - 7
Boston Red Sox
Tim Wakefield (W,7-8) 5444333 4.05
Craig Hansen (H,2) 1.2011220 4.82
Javier Lopez0100000 4.26
Manny Delcarmen (H,5) 0.1000010 4.05
Mike Timlin (H,15) 1000000 2.45
Jonathan Papelbon 1000010 0.42
HBP - Lugo (by Tim Wakefield)
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Wakefield 90-58, Craig Hansen 30-16, Javier Lopez 5-2, Manny Delcarmen 6-4, Mike Timlin 6-4, Jonathan Papelbon 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Wakefield 4-8, Craig Hansen 2-1, Mike Timlin 2-1
Batters Faced - Tim Wakefield 23, Craig Hansen 7, Javier Lopez 1, Manny Delcarmen 1, Mike Timlin 3, Jonathan Papelbon 3
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Julio Lugo, SS3100100 .298
Carl Crawford, LF5111020 .323
Rocco Baldelli, CF4000022 .330
Aubrey Huff, 3B4232001 .269
Jorge Cantu, 2B4112021 .274
Jonny Gomes, DH3000110 .252
Travis Lee, 1B2000200 .201
Ty Wigginton, RF3000103 .258
Dioner Navarro, C4000003 .280
2B - Aubrey Huff (13, Wakefield)
HR - Carl Crawford (13, Wakefield), Aubrey Huff (7, Wakefield), Jorge Cantu (5, Wakefield)
RBI - Carl Crawford (46), Aubrey Huff 2 (25), Jorge Cantu 2 (28)
2-OUT RBI - Carl Crawford (30), Aubrey Huff (10)
SB - Julio Lugo 2 (14, 3rd base off Wakefield/Mirabelli, 2nd base off Hansen/Mirabelli), Travis Lee (2, 2nd base off Wakefield/Mirabelli)
Team LOB - 6
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
James Shields (L,4-2) 5455353 4.89
Edwin Jackson 1.2211110 6.59
Jon Switzer 1000000 1.29
Shawn Camp 0.2466321 4.99
Travis Harper 0.2100010 4.46
HBP - Youkilis (by James Shields)
WP - Jon Switzer (2)
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 91-45, Edwin Jackson 28-14, Jon Switzer 8-4, Shawn Camp 31-15, Travis Harper 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 4-6, Edwin Jackson 2-2, Jon Switzer 1-2, Travis Harper 1-0
Batters Faced - James Shields 23, Edwin Jackson 8, Jon Switzer 3, Shawn Camp 9, Travis Harper 3
Game Information
Attendance - 19330
Game Time - 3:02
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Charlie Reliford, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Greg Gibson