|Tampa Bay (15-17) «||2||0||0||0||6||5||1||0||0||14||17||2|
Longoria homered and drove in five runs to raise his major league-leading total to 44 RBI, leading the Tampa Bay Rays to a 14-5 win over the Red Sox on Saturday.
"I feel good," said Longoria, last year's AL Rookie of the Year. "My swing is right where I want it to be and the guys have been getting on a lot. That helps a lot. It seems like when I come to the plate somebody is in scoring position."
Boston manager Terry Francona certainly has noticed Longoria's success against his team.
"He's killed us a few times, more than a few times," he said.
Pat Burrell, Carlos Pena, Ben Zobrist and Akinori Iwamura each drove in two runs for Tampa Bay, which has won seven of 10. The Rays, who lost Friday night's series opener 7-3, also have won six of nine against Boston this season.
Longoria's homer off Jon Lester hit the top of the center-field wall and bounced over after Carl Crawford walked, making it 2-0 three batters into the game. It was his 11th of the season and fifth against the Red Sox.
"He's just locked in," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of his young star. "Every at-bat is a quality at-bat. He's not throwing any away."
Rocco Baldelli and Julio Lugo hit solo homers for Boston, which lost for just the fourth time in 16 games in Fenway Park this season. Three of those losses have come against the Rays, once seemingly unable to win in Boston.
Tampa Bay can win its seventh straight series -- including last fall's ALCS -- against Boston on Sunday night when Matt Garza is scheduled to face Red Sox ace Josh Beckett in the finale. Garza is 2-0 with a 0.61 ERA in two starts against the Red Sox this year.
"We try to win every series. Every series is important," said Baldelli, who helped Tampa Bay win the pennant last year. "That's what you try to do, if you can win every series, you're doing pretty well. I think we'll come out ready to play like we always do."
Scott Kazmir (4-3) gave up three runs and eight hits in five innings for Tampa Bay, off to a sluggish 15-17 start. He had allowed at least six runs in three of his previous four starts.
Lance Cormier pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings for his first save.
Baldelli homered into the first row of the seats above the Green Monster to make it 2-1 in the second. It was his first in Fenway Park since he hit one over the Monster in Game 3 of last year's ALCS against the Red Sox.
But the Rays chased Lester when they sent 11 batters to the plate in the fifth and scored six runs. Crawford had an RBI single, Longoria lined a two-run double high off the left-field wall and Burrell singled in a pair. Iwamura's run-scoring fielder's choice made it 8-1.
Lester (2-3) lost for just the second time in his last 19 regular-season home starts. His other loss also came against Kazmir and the Rays in the second game of the season.
"First inning Longoria does a good job," Lester said. "Frustrating, but he put a good swing on it. After that I threw the ball pretty well. The fifth inning got out of hand a little bit."
|Evan Longoria is out of control. He leads the league in RBI and is hitting .367 on the season. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|B.J. Upton, CF||5||3||2||0||1||1||0||.165|
|Carl Crawford, LF||4||3||3||1||1||1||0||.331|
|Willy Aybar, 1B||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.219|
|Evan Longoria, 3B||4||3||2||5||1||1||1||.367|
|Carlos Pena, 1B||5||1||1||2||0||3||3||.254|
|Gabe Gross, RF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.265|
|Pat Burrell, DH||5||1||2||2||0||0||3||.250|
|Jason Bartlett, SS||4||1||1||0||1||1||1||.351|
|Gabe Kapler, RF||3||0||1||0||0||1||1||.222|
|a- Ben Zobrist, PH-RF^LF||2||0||1||2||0||0||0||.281|
|Akinori Iwamura, 2B||4||1||2||2||0||1||0||.282|
|Dioner Navarro, C||5||1||1||0||0||0||4||.188|
|a-singled for Kapler in the 6th|
|2B - Carl Crawford 2 (8, Jones, Lopez), Willy Aybar (3, Delcarmen), Evan Longoria (15, Lester), Carlos Pena (6, Jones), Akinori Iwamura (12, Lester)|
|HR - Evan Longoria (11, Lester)|
|SF - Evan Longoria (3), Akinori Iwamura (2)|
|RBI - Carl Crawford (14), Evan Longoria 5 (44), Carlos Pena 2 (32), Pat Burrell 2 (16), Ben Zobrist 2 (13), Akinori Iwamura 2 (12)|
|SB - Pat Burrell (1, 3rd base off Lester/Varitek), Akinori Iwamura (6, 3rd base off Lester/Varitek)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Longoria-Iwamura-Pena|
|E - Carl Crawford (1, Throwing), Evan Longoria (3, Misplayed grounder)|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Scott Kazmir (W,4-3)||5||8||3||3||3||2||1||5.92|
|Lance Cormier (S,1)||3.2||1||0||0||0||0||0||2.49|
|WP - Scott Kazmir (5)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 100-58, Joe Nelson 20-8, Lance Cormier 40-29|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 7-6, Joe Nelson 1-0, Lance Cormier 6-5|
|Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 26, Joe Nelson 4, Lance Cormier 12|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Jacoby Ellsbury, CF||4||1||1||0||1||0||2||.294|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||4||1||0||0||1||0||4||.325|
|David Ortiz, DH||4||0||1||0||1||0||1||.221|
|Jason Bay, LF||5||1||1||1||0||1||3||.317|
|Mike Lowell, 3B||4||0||2||2||0||0||2||.314|
|Nick Green, 3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.274|
|Rocco Baldelli, RF||5||1||2||1||0||0||2||.273|
|Jeff Bailey, 1B||3||0||1||0||1||0||1||.194|
|Jason Varitek, C||2||0||0||0||1||1||4||.226|
|George Kottaras, C||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.154|
|Julio Lugo, SS||4||1||2||1||0||0||1||.357|
|2B - Mike Lowell (11, Kazmir)|
|HR - Rocco Baldelli (1, Kazmir), Julio Lugo (1, Nelson)|
|RBI - Jason Bay (33), Mike Lowell 2 (28), Rocco Baldelli (4), Julio Lugo (2)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jason Bay (8), Mike Lowell 2 (19)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|E - Jeff Bailey (2, Throwing)|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Jon Lester (L,2-3)||4.1||10||8||8||1||6||1||6.31|
|IBB - Longoria by Hunter Jones, Bartlett by Takashi Saito|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 89-61, Hunter Jones 31-16, Takashi Saito 27-16, Javier Lopez 28-16, Manny Delcarmen 13-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 2-5, Hunter Jones 1-1, Takashi Saito 1-2, Javier Lopez 1-3|
|Batters Faced - Jon Lester 24, Hunter Jones 7, Takashi Saito 5, Javier Lopez 8, Manny Delcarmen 4|
|Attendance - 37773|
|Game Time - 3:33|
|Temperature - 65|
|Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Scott Barry, Second Base - Angel Hernandez, Third Base - Bill Welke|