|Tampa Bay (15-18)||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||3||7||0|
|Boston (20-12) «||0||1||0||2||0||0||0||1||x||4||9||2|
BOSTON -- Jonathan Papelbon walked into the middle of the clubhouse and patted his right arm that was wrapped in ice. He wanted to get through his postgame session with reporters faster than he dispatched the Rays.
"Let's go," he said.
The Red Sox All-Star closer put himself in a jam, then powered his way out of it in the ninth inning to close out Boston's 4-3 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday night.
"I basically just put myself in a situation where I had to go in `punch out' mode," Papelbon said. "It's not something I necessarily want to be in."
Akinori Iwamura walked, advanced on Papelbon's throwing error on a pickoff attempt and moved to third on Jason Bartlett's single to start the ninth. But Papelbon, using high 90s heat, got Carlos Pena, B.J. Upton and Carl Crawford to go down swinging.
"We just swung at hit pitches out of the strike zone," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Jason Bay doubled home the go-ahead run in the eighth as the Red Sox took two of three from Tampa Bay, snapping a streak of six consecutive series victories by the Rays against Boston, including last fall's ALCS.
But it was Paplebon's performance that ended a victorious sports night in Boston.
"There's not a lot of guys in the league that can do that," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "That's not any easy thing to do. I don't care who you are."
Ramon Ramirez (3-0) got the final out of the eighth before Papelbon escaped a two-on, none-out mess for his eighth save.
The win capped a very successful sports night in Boston after the Bruins and Celtics both won playoff games.
A few minutes after replays of the Bruins and Celtics wins were played on the scoreboard, Bay doubled off the Wall to score Ortiz.
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, last year's AL MVP, left in the top of the fourth after straining his right groin during an at-bat the prior inning. He said he expects to play Wednesday on the team's upcoming road trip, before he turned his thoughts to Papelbon.
"I'd rather be out there behind him," he said. "I was kind of nervous sitting there."
Tampa Bay is 6-4 against Boston this season.
The Red Sox broke a 1-1 tie with a pair of runs off starter Matt Garza in the fourth, giving them more than they had scored against him in his two previous starts. Jason Varitek had a two-out RBI double and scored when second baseman Iwamura pulled off Nick Green pop in short right, letting it fall behind him. Green was cut down at second on the play.
Crawford's RBI single cut it to 3-2 in the fifth.
Crawford stole his 11th base against Boston this year, and was successful for the 26th straight time against the Red Sox. He hasn't been caught since Varitek threw him out Sept. 17, 2003.
Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima had to step off the mound when the crowd let out a roar after the Celtics Glen "Big Baby" Davis hit his jumper to win Game 4 of the NBA's Eastern Conference playoffs.
Beckett allowed three runs, six hits, walked three and struck out five in six innings.
Garza gave up three runs, seven hits, struck out six and walked two in seven innings.
"We played our butt of tonight, that's all I can say," Garza said. "The guys behind me played their tail off tonight. They just executed [against] us tonight and that's what happened."
|Jonathan Papelbon finishes off the Rays by striking out Carlos Pena, B.J. Upton and Carl Crawford. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Tampa Bay Rays|
|B.J. Upton, CF||5||1||1||0||0||1||2||.167|
|Carl Crawford, LF||5||1||2||1||0||1||2||.333|
|Evan Longoria, 3B||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.358|
|Pat Burrell, DH||4||0||1||1||0||2||1||.250|
|Willy Aybar, 1B||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.250|
|Ben Zobrist, RF||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.269|
|Akinori Iwamura, 2B||2||0||0||0||2||0||0||.277|
|Jason Bartlett, SS||3||0||1||1||0||2||0||.351|
|Dioner Navarro, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.182|
|a- Carlos Pena, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.252|
|a-struck out for Navarro in the 9th|
|2B - B.J. Upton (5, Beckett), Willy Aybar (4, Beckett)|
|SF - Jason Bartlett (1)|
|RBI - Carl Crawford (15), Pat Burrell (17), Jason Bartlett (13)|
|2-OUT RBI - Carl Crawford (7), Pat Burrell (10)|
|SB - Carl Crawford (22, 2nd base off Beckett/Varitek), Akinori Iwamura (7, 2nd base off Beckett/Varitek), Jason Bartlett (7, 2nd base off Papelbon/Varitek)|
|CS - B.J. Upton (2, 2nd base by Beckett/Varitek)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Outfield Assists - Carl Crawford 1, Ben Zobrist 1|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Brian Shouse (L,1-1)||0||1||1||1||0||0||0||4.22|
|IBB - Drew by Dan Wheeler|
|WP - Dan Wheeler (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Matt Garza 116-72, Brian Shouse 3-2, Dan Wheeler 18-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Garza 6-8, Dan Wheeler 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Matt Garza 29, Brian Shouse 1, Dan Wheeler 5|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Jacoby Ellsbury, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.292|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.320|
|Julio Lugo, SS||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333|
|David Ortiz, DH||3||1||1||0||1||1||0||.224|
|Jason Bay, LF||4||1||2||1||0||1||2||.324|
|Mike Lowell, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.312|
|J.D. Drew, RF||3||0||0||1||1||2||1||.242|
|Jeff Bailey, 1B||3||1||1||0||1||1||3||.206|
|Jason Varitek, C||4||1||1||1||0||1||5||.227|
|Nick Green, SS-2B||3||0||2||1||0||0||0||.289|
|2B - David Ortiz (10, Shouse), Jason Bay 2 (8, Garza, Wheeler), Jeff Bailey (2, Garza), Jason Varitek (7, Garza)|
|RBI - Jason Bay (34), J.D. Drew (17), Jason Varitek (12), Nick Green (12)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jason Varitek (7), Nick Green (6)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|E - Mike Lowell (4, Misplayed grounder), Jonathan Papelbon (1, Throwing)|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Ramon Ramirez (W,3-0)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.55|
|Jonathan Papelbon (S,8)||1||1||0||0||1||3||0||1.29|
|Pitches-Strikes - Josh Beckett 118-68, Hideki Okajima 27-16, Ramon Ramirez 7-5, Jonathan Papelbon 22-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Beckett 9-4, Hideki Okajima 1-2, Ramon Ramirez 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Josh Beckett 27, Hideki Okajima 5, Ramon Ramirez 1, Jonathan Papelbon 5|
|Attendance - 37759|
|Game Time - 3:30|
|Temperature - 61|
|Umpires - Home - Scott Barry, First Base - Angel Hernandez, Second Base - Bill Welke, Third Base - Tim Welke|