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Norton's solo shot in 10th gives Rays walk-off victory

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Boston Red Sox might have a comfortable lead in the AL East if it wasn't for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Greg Norton hit solo homer in the 10th inning as the Devil Rays rallied from a four-run deficit to overcome David Ortiz's major league-leading 40th homer to beat the Red Sox 7-6 Sunday.

Tampa Bay has won seven of 10 games against Boston at Tropicana Field this season, including two of three during the weekend series.

"That game got away from us," Red Sox second baseman Mark Loretta said. "This building hasn't been too friendly to us. They had some great at-bats against some or our better pitchers. Sometimes they get you."

Norton sent an opposite-field drive into the left-field stands on a 2-0 pitch from Julian Tavarez (2-4). Boston, second to the New York Yankees in the AL East, dropped two games back for the first time this year.

"We've been up two or three games on the Yankees," Loretta said. "Now we're down a couple of games. I think it's going to seesaw like that."

Dioner Navarro's solo homer off Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon completed a two-run eighth that tied it at 6-6. Papelbon entered with one out after Travis Lee's homer against Mike Timlin.

"We're not machines," Timlin said. "We're not going to hit every spot every time. It just seems right now when we do miss, they're hitting the ball."

Papelbon, who blew his fourth save in 34 chances, has allowed runs in only four of 49 appearances. His ERA rose from 0.49 to 0.64.

"We didn't finish the game," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Obviously we had a four-run lead. We felt good about where we were, and it didn't end up the way we wanted it to."

Boston had threatened in the top of the 10th when Coco Crisp singled with one out off Brian Meadows and stole second. Loretta flied out, Ortiz was intentionally walked, Shawn Camp (4-0) relieved and got Manny Ramirez to fly out.

Tampa Bay didn't considered intentionally walking Ramirez.

"When you load the bases for a guy, that really puts a ton of pressure on the pitcher," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "What you tell a pitcher in that situation, which I told Camper, is go for the strikeout. Don't give in on any count. Even if you walk him, that's OK. So you give him a lot of leeway there to approach that situation."

Ortiz became the first Red Sox player to hit 40 homers in three consecutive seasons, hitting a solo home run during a three-run fifth as Boston took a 5-2 lead. Only two other Boston players -- Carl Yastrzemski (1967, 1969, 1970) and Ramirez (2001, 2004, 2005) -- have hit 40 or more homers in three seasons.

Edwin Jackson walked Alex Gonzalez with the bases loaded, and Cora grounded into a run-scoring fielder's choice.

Kevin Youkilis made it 6-2 with an RBI single in the sixth, but Ben Zobrist hit two-run double in the seventh Manny Delcarmen. Zobrist also hit his first major league homer, a third-inning drive off Jason Johnson.

Johnson, who lost his previous seven starts, gave up two runs and three hits in six innings. Tampa Bay's J.P. Howell allowed five runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Ramirez extended his career-best hitting streak to 22 games with an eighth-inning single. His fly ball to right-center landed between right fielder Russell Branyan and center fielder Damon Hollins, who appeared to have communication problems on the play.

Cora had an RBI single during a two-run second that put the Red Sox ahead 2-0. The second run scored when Navarro was charged with an error for not handling Branyan's throw to the plate.

Youkilis scored the first run from second after colliding with Navarro after the catcher had Branyan's throw get past him. By the time Howell retrieved the ball, Wily Mo Pena scored from first.

Johnson retired eight in a row before Zobrist homered in the third. Zobrist, who made his big league debut Tuesday, had one hit in 17 at-bats before his homer.

Jorge Cantu's RBI grounder tied the score in the fourth.

"That was a very rewarding win," Maddon said, "having to come back as we did against this team, who normally comes back against you."

Notes

  • Francona has battled flulike symptoms the past few days. He slept on a sofa in the manager's office Saturday night instead of going to the team hotel.
  • Ortiz has six homers and 14 RBI in his last 10 games.
  • Boston C Javy Lopez, obtained Friday from Baltimore, was rested after playing in Saturday night's game. He popped out as a pinch hitter in the 10th and is 0-for-10 with the Red Sox.
  • Crisp was 1-for-6 with four strikeouts.
  • Jackson was optioned to Triple-A Durham after the game. RHP Dan Miceli (right shoulder) was activated from the 60-day DL.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Greg Norton makes plenty of new friends after a 10th-inning walk-off home run.  (AP)
Greg Norton makes plenty of new friends after a 10th-inning walk-off home run. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

G. Norton
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Tampa Bay

B. Zobrist
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Boston Red Sox
Coco Crisp, CF6010041 .279
Mark Loretta, 2B6120011 .307
David Ortiz, DH4111201 .290
Manny Ramirez, LF5110115 .318
Kevin Youkilis, 1B3221211 .296
Wily Mo Pena, RF4110103 .309
Alex Gonzalez, SS3001112 .282
Alex Cora, 3B5022001 .295
Corky Miller, C4000017 .000
   a- Javy Lopez, PH-C1000000 .256
Totals4161057922 
a-popped out for Miller in the 10th
Batting
HR - David Ortiz (40, Howell)
RBI - David Ortiz (109), Kevin Youkilis (53), Alex Gonzalez (39), Alex Cora 2 (13)
2-OUT RBI - David Ortiz (37), Kevin Youkilis (26), Alex Gonzalez (11), Alex Cora 2 (7)
SB - Coco Crisp (15, 2nd base off Meadows/Navarro), Alex Cora (5, 2nd base off Howell/Navarro)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
E - Jason Johnson (1, )
Boston Red Sox
Jason Johnson 6321131 5.96
Manny Delcarmen 0.2322020 4.37
Mike Timlin (H,17) 0.2111101 3.29
Jonathan Papelbon (BS,4) 1.2211111 0.64
Julian Tavarez (L,2-4) 0.1111001 5.06
IBB - Crawford by Jonathan Papelbon
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Johnson 91-56, Manny Delcarmen 25-16, Mike Timlin 14-9, Jonathan Papelbon 26-17, Julian Tavarez 6-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Johnson 10-5, Mike Timlin 1-1, Jonathan Papelbon 1-3
Batters Faced - Jason Johnson 22, Manny Delcarmen 5, Mike Timlin 4, Jonathan Papelbon 8, Julian Tavarez 2
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Damon Hollins, CF4000101 .231
Carl Crawford, LF4110112 .305
Jorge Cantu, 2B5011012 .254
Travis Lee, 1B5111001 .207
Greg Norton, DH5221010 .285
Dioner Navarro, C4111011 .266
B.J. Upton, 3B4110000 .273
Russell Branyan, RF3010122 .208
Ben Zobrist, SS3123001 .150
Totals3771073610 
Batting
2B - Ben Zobrist (1, Delcarmen)
HR - Travis Lee (9, Timlin), Greg Norton (8, Tavarez), Dioner Navarro (4, Papelbon), Ben Zobrist (1, J. Johnson)
SH - Ben Zobrist (2)
RBI - Jorge Cantu (44), Travis Lee (25), Greg Norton (17), Dioner Navarro (18), Ben Zobrist 3 (5)
2-OUT RBI - Dioner Navarro (6), Ben Zobrist 3 (3)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Dioner Navarro (6, )
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
J.P. Howell 4.2554371 10.80
Edwin Jackson 0.2111310 6.75
Ruddy Lugo 1.2200000 4.55
Seth McClung 1100010 6.67
Brian Meadows 1.2100100 4.05
Shawn Camp (W,4-0) 0.1000000 4.30
IBB - Ortiz by Brian Meadows
HBP - A. Gonzalez (by J.P. Howell)
Pitches-Strikes - J.P. Howell 100-60, Edwin Jackson 38-20, Ruddy Lugo 21-18, Seth McClung 13-8, Brian Meadows 30-20, Shawn Camp 3-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J.P. Howell 4-3, Edwin Jackson 1-1, Seth McClung 2-0
Batters Faced - J.P. Howell 23, Edwin Jackson 7, Ruddy Lugo 7, Seth McClung 4, Brian Meadows 7, Shawn Camp 1
Game Information
Attendance - 30093
Game Time - 3:38
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Jerry Meals