|Tampa Bay (16-14)||0||2||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||4||8||0|
|Boston (19-13) «||3||1||1||2||0||2||0||3||x||12||15||0|
BOSTON -- Manny Ramirez finally ended his longest RBI drought since joining the Red Sox.
A quick look at Manny Ramirez's numbers so far this season makes the drought hard to fathom. Ramirez entered the game hitting .321 with six homers and 20 RBI -- hardly a rough start.
"You keep playing him and he'll have good numbers," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "That's a given."
Tampa Bay's Carlos Pena understands it's just Manny being Manny.
"Stuff like that happens," said Pena, who played with Ramirez for about a month in 2006. "He might get a couple of RBI in a series, then get 15 in a homestand. He understands you stick with a plan and good things happen, and he's been doing it a long time."
The Red Sox can complete the three-game sweep -- like the Rays did to them last weekend in St. Petersburg, Fla. -- Sunday afternoon when Tampa Bay's Scott Kazmir is scheduled to make his first start of the season.
Beckett (3-2) allowing four runs and seven hits, struck out five and walked one.
"They picked me up today," Beckett said. "Offensively, obviously, with the number of runs and hits we had, but there were three or four great plays out in the outfield."
Ramirez threw out Pena trying to score on a flyball, ending a fourth-inning rally.
James Shields (3-2) tossed a two-hit shutout in his previous start Sunday against the Red Sox, but he gave up three runs before retiring a batter Saturday night. He lasted only 3 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs and 10 hits, never looking like the pitcher that baffled Boston last week.
"He just wasn't comfortable," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "He just didn't appear to be. That would be the best word. From the side, you look at the velocity readings, they were normal, but overall command."
Jacoby Ellsbury and Pedroia singled in the first before Ortiz hit an RBI double off the Green Monster. Ramirez appeared to ground out when third baseman Evan Longoria fielded his slow roller down the line and threw to first. But plate umpire Bill Welke ruled the ball foul and sent Pedroia back to third from near the dugout. Ramirez came back down into the batter's box and grounded the next pitch up the middle for a two-run single.
Ramirez had gone 11 games without an RBI since hitting his 496th career homer on April 19, his longest run-producing drought with the Red Sox -- where he signed as a free agent in December 2000 -- and the second-longest of his career. He had previously gone 12 games twice with Cleveland, the last in June 1997.
Gross homered about eight rows into the right-field seats for his first of the season in the second, but Pedroia had an RBI single in the bottom half.
The Rays cut it to 5-3 on Longoria's run-scoring single in the fourth, but Beckett escaped a bases-loaded jam on Ramirez's throw and Varitek's tag.
|Brain check: Yup, it's still there. Manny also goes 1-for-3 and raises his average to .322. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Akinori Iwamura, 2B||4||1||2||1||0||0||0||.214|
|Carl Crawford, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.290|
|Eric Hinske, DH||4||1||1||0||0||2||1||.280|
|Carlos Pena, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.214|
|Evan Longoria, 3B||4||0||1||1||0||0||0||.239|
|Dioner Navarro, C||4||1||2||0||0||1||2||.372|
|Gabe Gross, RF||2||1||1||2||2||0||0||.188|
|Nathan Haynes, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.244|
|Jason Bartlett, SS||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.232|
|Andy Cannizaro, SS||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.000|
|2B - Eric Hinske (6, Beckett)|
|HR - Akinori Iwamura (2, Beckett), Gabe Gross (1, Beckett)|
|RBI - Akinori Iwamura (8), Evan Longoria (11), Gabe Gross 2 (5)|
|2-OUT RBI - Gabe Gross 2 (3)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|Outfield Assists - Gabe Gross 1|
|DP - Iwamura-Pena|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|James Shields (L,3-2)||3.2||10||7||7||3||3||0||3.80|
|HBP - Varitek (by J.P. Howell)|
|WP - James Shields (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 98-55, J.P. Howell 39-23, Trever Miller 22-12, Scott Dohmann 22-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 5-3, J.P. Howell 5-0|
|Batters Faced - James Shields 24, J.P. Howell 11, Trever Miller 4, Scott Dohmann 6|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Jacoby Ellsbury, CF||4||2||2||0||1||1||1||.293|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||5||2||3||1||0||0||1||.316|
|Jed Lowrie, 2B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.286|
|David Ortiz, DH||5||2||3||2||0||1||1||.216|
|Manny Ramirez, LF||3||2||1||2||2||1||3||.322|
|Mike Lowell, 3B||5||1||1||0||0||1||5||.220|
|Kevin Youkilis, 1B||2||1||1||1||3||0||0||.291|
|J.D. Drew, RF||4||2||2||2||1||0||1||.280|
|Jason Varitek, C||4||0||1||3||0||1||4||.256|
|Kevin Cash, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.313|
|Julio Lugo, SS||5||0||1||1||0||2||3||.288|
|2B - Jacoby Ellsbury (2, Miller), Dustin Pedroia (13, Shields), David Ortiz 2 (4, Shields, Shields), Mike Lowell (4, Howell), J.D. Drew (3, Dohmann), Julio Lugo (5, Shields)|
|RBI - Dustin Pedroia (17), David Ortiz 2 (24), Manny Ramirez 2 (22), Kevin Youkilis (16), J.D. Drew 2 (15), Jason Varitek 3 (11), Julio Lugo (8)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jason Varitek (5), Julio Lugo (3)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Outfield Assists - Manny Ramirez 1|
|DP - Ramirez-Varitek|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Josh Beckett (W,3-2)||8||7||4||4||1||5||2||4.19|
|Pitches-Strikes - Josh Beckett 100-68, David Aardsma 28-15|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Beckett 5-13, David Aardsma 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Josh Beckett 31, David Aardsma 5|
|Attendance - 37700|
|Game Time - 3:13|
|Temperature - 46|
|Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Chuck Meriwether|