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Tampa Bay at Boston

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Tampa Bay (46-74) «104001000690
Boston (72-48)000000311580

Reyes preserves Rays' victory over Red Sox with three K's in ninth

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- This time, Al Reyes stopped the Red Sox rally.

The Tampa Bay closer fanned Manny Ramirez with two runners on for the final out, and the Devil Rays held off Boston 6-5 on Wednesday.

On Tuesday night, Reyes allowed two runs in the ninth that gave the Red Sox a 2-1 win.

"The interminable ninth here at Fenway," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "It's always like that. If you have the lead you are never comfortable."

Boston cut it to 6-5 on Julio Lugo's RBI double with none out in the ninth, but Reyes fanned Dustin Pedroia and came back from a 3-0 count to strike out Kevin Youkilis. After David Ortiz walked, the closer went right at Ramirez and struck him out swinging on a pitch up and in for his 18th save in 20 chances.

"I just left a couple of pitches up yesterday. You make a mistake at this level, you pay," Reyes said. "Today I just came back aggressive and tried to hit the strike zone."

Ramirez fouled off the first four pitches before striking out. Looking a bit surprised, he bounced his helmet softly in his hand and walked swiftly back to the dugout.

"We had the guys right there," Lugo said. "You've got plenty of confidence in the guys coming up -- Pedroia, David and Manny."

Andy Sonnanstine (2-8) took a shutout into the seventh inning to end his eight-game losing streak, and the light-hitting Devil Rays roughed up Daisuke Matsuzaka while building a six-run lead.

Carlos Pena drove in three runs and the Devil Rays scored five in the first three innings, matching their total for the previous 39 and snapping their three-game skid.

The Red Sox, who took two of three from Tampa Bay, stayed five games ahead of second-place New York in the AL East after the Yankees lost to Baltimore.

"If we keep winning two out of three, we're going to be just fine," Boston's Mike Lowell said.

Boston again failed to provide much support for Matsuzaka (13-9), who left trailing 6-0 after six. The Red Sox rallied with three runs in the seventh against Sonnanstine and one in the eighth against Dan Wheeler.

Sonnanstine won his second major league start on June 10 at Florida, 9-4. He hadn't won since, and in his previous two outings he was 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA -- he failed to get out of the fifth both times. On Wednesday, he allowed three runs and four hits in 6 2/3 innings.

"I just thought it was an overall team win, but it's always driven by the pitching," Maddon said. "Reyes is an absolute pro. You could see him out there and he was never rattled."

Matsuzaka entered with a 2.53 ERA since June 1, best in the AL. But he is just 6-6 during that span, largely because Boston has scored two runs or less while he was in the game in 11 of his last 14 starts.

The Devil Rays led 1-0 before two infield hits and a safety squeeze helped them score four runs off Matsuzaka in the third. Tampa Bay made it 6-0 in the sixth when Brendan Harris tripled and scored on Dioner Navarro's sacrifice fly. Julian Tavarez replaced Matsuzaka to start the seventh.

"Having won in such a great fashion yesterday, I'm very disappointed and even sorry that I put a stop to our momentum," Matsuzaka said through a translator.

Boston cut the lead to 6-3 in the seventh on Jason Varitek's two-run homer and Lugo's RBI double. Ramirez added an RBI double in the eighth, but was stranded at second.

Tampa Bay went ahead in the first on an RBI groundout by Pena after singles by Akinori Iwamura and Carl Crawford.

In the third, the first five Devil Rays batters reached safely. They loaded the bases on singles by Iwamura and Crawford and a walk to B.J. Upton. Pena doubled home two runs, Delmon Young drove in another with a slow-rolling single that second baseman Pedroia couldn't handle, and Harris' squeeze bunt scored Pena.

Notes

  • Iwamura ended an 0-for-15 slump.
  • Matsuzaka has alternated wins and losses in his last eight decisions.
  • Crawford has hit safely in 15 of 16 games and went 2-for-5. His .484 average in August is the best in the majors for the month.
  • Ramirez's RBI was his 1,595th, tying him for 30th place on the career list with Mike Schmidt -- one behind George Brett.
 
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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Manny Ramirez is the final out, leaving two men on as Boston comes up a run short in its rally attempt.  (AP)
Manny Ramirez is the final out, leaving two men on as Boston comes up a run short in its rally attempt. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

C. Pena
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 3
Boston

J. Varitek
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 3B3220200 .287
Carl Crawford, LF5120012 .315
B.J. Upton, CF3100123 .317
Carlos Pena, 1B3113100 .263
Delmon Young, DH-RF4011012 .293
Brendan Harris, 2B3121011 .296
Jonny Gomes, RF3010112 .265
Dioner Navarro, C3001024 .206
Ben Zobrist, SS4000001 .158
Totals3169658  
Batting
2B - Carlos Pena (22, Matsuzaka)
3B - Brendan Harris (2, Matsuzaka)
SF - Dioner Navarro (3)
SH - Brendan Harris (6)
RBI - Carlos Pena 3 (77), Delmon Young (64), Brendan Harris (46), Dioner Navarro (26)
SB - Carl Crawford (39, 2nd base off Matsuzaka/Varitek), Jonny Gomes (6, 2nd base off Matsuzaka/Varitek)
CS - Akinori Iwamura (6, 2nd base by Matsuzaka/Varitek), Brendan Harris (1, 2nd base by Matsuzaka/Varitek)
Team LOB - 5
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Andy Sonnanstine (W,2-8) 6.2433231 6.17
Gary Glover 0.1100000 5.31
Dan Wheeler (H,9) 1111200 5.43
Al Reyes (S,18) 1211130 4.74
WP - Andy Sonnanstine (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Sonnanstine 102-61, Gary Glover 8-4, Dan Wheeler 24-14, Al Reyes 33-23
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Sonnanstine 7-10, Dan Wheeler 1-2
Batters Faced - Andy Sonnanstine 26, Gary Glover 2, Dan Wheeler 6, Al Reyes 6
Boston Red Sox
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4000112 .324
Kevin Youkilis, 1B5000022 .295
David Ortiz, DH3100211 .311
    Alex Cora, PR-DH0000000 .255
Manny Ramirez, LF5011012 .291
J.D. Drew, RF4000001 .258
Mike Lowell, 3B3120100 .313
Jason Varitek, C4122013 .269
Coco Crisp, CF3210101 .274
Julio Lugo, SS4022000 .238
Totals3558556  
Batting
2B - Manny Ramirez (30, Wheeler), Mike Lowell (30, Sonnanstine), Julio Lugo 2 (26, Glover, Reyes)
HR - Jason Varitek (10, Sonnanstine)
RBI - Manny Ramirez (79), Jason Varitek 2 (50), Julio Lugo 2 (57)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Varitek 2 (19), Julio Lugo (20)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Pedroia-Lugo-Youkilis
Boston Red Sox
Daisuke Matsuzaka (L,13-9) 6866350 3.79
Julian Tavarez 1.2100120 5.12
Mike Timlin 1.1000110 3.23
Pitches-Strikes - Daisuke Matsuzaka 101-62, Julian Tavarez 33-18, Mike Timlin 16-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daisuke Matsuzaka 6-5, Julian Tavarez 1-2, Mike Timlin 1-1
Batters Faced - Daisuke Matsuzaka 27, Julian Tavarez 7, Mike Timlin 4
Game Information
Attendance - 36413
Game Time - 3:27
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Paul Schrieber, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Field Culbreth