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Red Sox greet Kazmir rudely, ride Lester to sweep of Rays

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- Jon Lester's expanding repertoire helped Boston finish off a three-game sweep of Tampa Bay.

Kevin Youkilis had four RBI and Lester pitched six innings to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 7-3 victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday, spoiling the return of Rays ace Scott Kazmir.

"He's taken steps to be a more complete pitcher," Sox captain Jason Varitek said of Lester. "We've added some stuff to his repertoire and he's expanding what he can do."

After being swept for the first time in franchise history by Tampa Bay last weekend, the Red Sox returned the favor and outscored the Rays in the series 26-10. None of the Tampa Bay starters in the three-game series made it out of the fourth inning.

"This is not devastating for this group," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Sometimes people tend to get overwhelmingly negative, but we will rebound from this. When you play the Red Sox, things are going to happen in a negative way sometimes."

Lester (2-2) allowed a run and four hits with three walks. His 13-inning scoreless streak was snapped when Carlos Pena hit his seventh home run of the season, cutting Boston's lead to 4-1 in the sixth.

"It's fun when you see young guys take some of the things they work on into a game and have success with it," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "It allows your offense time when you're not battling back from a deficit."

Kazmir was chased after allowing four runs in four innings in his season debut. He had been out since straining his elbow in February.

"My arm felt great, but I was doing a little too much," Kazmir said. "I felt like I was battling myself the whole time, but I'll be fine."

Jonathan Papelbon got the final four outs to record his ninth save in nine chances for Boston.

Youkilis had a pair of doubles and a solo shot, his third home run of the season off Dan Wheeler in the seventh inning for a 5-3 lead. His two-run double in the eighth off Scott Dohmann extended Boston's lead to 7-3.

"Our offense came back and got us within a run and I didn't do my job," Wheeler said. "(Youkilis) is in the number three hole for a reason."

Tampa Bay scored a pair in the seventh off Manny Delcarmen. Jason Bartlett hit a one out single and then scored on Akinori Iwamura's tripled to deep center. Hideki Okajima relieved Delcarmen, but was greeted with an RBI single by Carl Crawford to cut the lead to 4-3. Okajima struck out B.J. Upton and Pena to end the inning.

After a Youkilis sacrifice fly gave Boston a 1-0 lead in the first inning, the Sox added two more in the third. Dustin Pedroia led off the inning with a single, Youkilis doubled and then Pedroia scored on a passed ball by Kazmir. Manny Ramirez then doubled off the wall to knock in Youkilis for a 3-0 lead.

Coco Crisp scored Boston's fourth run when he led off the fourth with a single, stole second and advanced to third on an error before scoring on a Pedroia groundout.

Upton returned for Tampa Bay, who was swept in a three-game series for the first time this season and has dropped four of six.

Boston stole five bases and finished 5-1 on the homestand.

Notes

  • David Ortiz was scratched from the starting lineup with tightness in his right knee.
  • Kazmir was activated from the disabled list and OF Justin Ruggiano was optioned to the minors.
  • Tampa Bay has used 35 players on the active roster this season, most in the majors.
  • Tampa Bay has only won two series in 28 chances in Boston.
  • Pedroia has seven hits in his last thirteen at bats after going 0-for-11 in the previous series against Toronto.
 
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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Kevin Youkilis drives in four runs as the Red Sox return the favor and sweep the Rays.  (Getty Images)
Kevin Youkilis drives in four runs as the Red Sox return the favor and sweep the Rays. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Boston

J. Lester
IP 6.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 3
K 5
Tampa Bay

C. Pena
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Tampa Bay Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 2B5121003 .221
Carl Crawford, LF5011012 .287
B.J. Upton, CF3000111 .286
Carlos Pena, 1B4111033 .215
Evan Longoria, 3B4010002 .239
Jonny Gomes, DH3000111 .226
Eric Hinske, RF4010002 .279
Shawn Riggans, C2000100 .222
   a- Dioner Navarro, PH-C1000001 .364
Jason Bartlett, SS4120011 .243
Totals3538337  
a-grounded out for Riggans in the 8th
Batting
3B - Akinori Iwamura (1, Delcarmen)
HR - Carlos Pena (7, Lester)
RBI - Akinori Iwamura (9), Carl Crawford (18), Carlos Pena (17)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
PB - Shawn Riggans 2 (2)
E - Shawn Riggans (3, Throwing)
Tampa Bay Rays
Scott Kazmir (L,0-1) 4643350 6.75
Kurt Birkins 2100120 0.90
Dan Wheeler 1211011 1.69
Trever Miller 0.1122100 4.00
Scott Dohmann 0.2100010 5.02
WP - Scott Kazmir (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 90-55, Kurt Birkins 32-21, Dan Wheeler 20-12, Trever Miller 9-5, Scott Dohmann 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 4-3, Kurt Birkins 2-2, Dan Wheeler 1-1
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 21, Kurt Birkins 8, Dan Wheeler 5, Trever Miller 3, Scott Dohmann 3
Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, LF4210116 .291
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4111114 .314
Kevin Youkilis, 1B4234001 .307
Manny Ramirez, DH5011012 .317
Mike Lowell, 3B4000022 .204
Jason Varitek, C4020021 .267
J.D. Drew, RF3000113 .271
Coco Crisp, CF3120100 .308
Julio Lugo, SS3110112 .290
Totals34711659  
Batting
2B - Kevin Youkilis 2 (9, Kazmir, Dohmann), Manny Ramirez (10, Kazmir), Jason Varitek (7, Wheeler), Julio Lugo (6, Miller)
HR - Kevin Youkilis (3, Wheeler)
SF - Kevin Youkilis (3)
RBI - Dustin Pedroia (18), Kevin Youkilis 4 (20), Manny Ramirez (23)
2-OUT RBI - Kevin Youkilis 2 (7)
SB - Jacoby Ellsbury 2 (11, 3rd base off Kazmir/Riggans, 2nd base off Dohmann/Navarro), Dustin Pedroia (4, 2nd base off Kazmir/Riggans), Coco Crisp (5, 3rd base off Kazmir/Riggans), Julio Lugo (4, 3rd base off Dohmann/Navarro)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Pedroia-Lugo-Youkilis
E - Julio Lugo (9, Misplayed grounder)
Boston Red Sox
Jon Lester (W,2-2) 6411351 3.94
Manny Delcarmen (H,4) 0.1222000 7.30
Hideki Okajima (H,5) 1.1200020 0.71
Jonathan Papelbon (S,9) 1.1000000 1.76
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 112-72, Manny Delcarmen 19-14, Hideki Okajima 23-15, Jonathan Papelbon 15-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 8-5, Manny Delcarmen 1-0, Hideki Okajima 2-0, Jonathan Papelbon 4-0
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 25, Manny Delcarmen 3, Hideki Okajima 6, Jonathan Papelbon 4
Game Information
Attendance - 37091
Game Time - 3:39
Temperature - 49
Umpires - Home - Chris Guccione, First Base - Tim Welke, Second Base - Chuck Meriwether, Third Base - Bill Welke