Tampa Bay at Boston

Tampa Bay
W: J. Lester (13-7) L: J. Shields (9-11)
HR: TB - None   BOS - J. Bay (32)

Lester, BoSox finish sweep, send Rays to 11th loss in row

CBSSports.com wire reports

BOSTON -- Jon Lester made the most of his second chance.

Two days after struggling in a game that was rained out, the Red Sox left-hander allowed two hits in eight innings and Boston beat Tampa Bay 4-0 on Sunday for a doubleheader sweep, handing the AL champion Rays their 11th consecutive loss.

Lester gave up hits to three of the first four batters Friday night but none of that counted when the game was called after he threw only 23 pitches. It was made up as the opener Sunday, a 3-1 Boston win.

"I was kind of surprised the way my body responded," Lester said. "I figured I'd be a little more sore [Saturday] than I was."

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he wasn't worried after Lester, who is 5-0 with a 2.26 ERA in his last 10 outings, told him Friday's work was similar to a regular side session for a pitcher between starts.

  Game 1: Red Sox 3, Rays 1

"They're creatures of habit and that's not the way you draw it up," Francona said. "He didn't let it affect him."

In the opener, Dustin Pedroia's tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth sent Boston to a victory behind Clay Buchholz and two relievers.

Tampa Bay was eliminated from the AL East race one year after winning the division and reaching the World Series. The losing streak is the longest by a major league team this season.

"It's embarrassing," said James Shields, the second-game loser. "Eleven straight losses. Not fun at all. Whether we're in the race or not, we've got to play better baseball."

The Rays were outscored 16-2 and managed 14 hits in Boston's three-game sweep. The AL wild-card leaders won 9-1 behind Josh Beckett in a game shortened by rain to five innings Saturday night.

"This whole week has been pretty much negative offense," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

Boston's win in the second game of the split doubleheader was its 11th in 15 games and eighth straight at Fenway Park.

Lester (13-7) allowed only singles to Gabe Kapler in the second and Dioner Navarro in the eighth. He struck out seven, walked three and threw one wild pitch.

Shields (9-11) had a rare solid performance at Fenway, where he is 0-6 with an 8.04 ERA.

The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the second on a groundout by Mike Lowell that drove in J.D. Drew, who walked and went to third on David Ortiz's double.

Boston scored twice in the sixth. Drew led off with a single and went to third on a double by Lowell. Both scored on Jason Varitek's single, a hard shot that took a bad hop past first baseman Willie Aybar.

Jason Bay's 32nd homer just inside the Pesky Pole in right made it 4-0 in the eighth.

Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for Boston, allowing two hits before striking out the final two batters.

For a change, there was no rain Sunday. Friday's game was postponed after a delay of 2 hours, 20 minutes. The start of Saturday's game was delayed for 2:05. Play was stopped in the top of the sixth due to heavy rain and the game was called 55 minutes later.


  • John Stockton threw out the ceremonial first pitch in the second game two nights after he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.
  • Red Sox RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, on the disabled list since June 21 with a mild shoulder strain, turned 29. He is expected to start Tuesday against the Angels.
  • Tampa Bay DH Pat Burrell is in a 1-for-19 slump. He was ejected as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning of the second game after arguing a third strike.
Copyright 2017 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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Pat Burrell and the Rays are in a free fall, stuck in the longest losing streak of any team this year.  (AP)
Pat Burrell and the Rays are in a free fall, stuck in the longest losing streak of any team this year. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Varitek
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0

J. Lester
IP 8.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 3
K 7

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2017 AL East Preview: Tampa Bay Rays (2:33)
Tampa Bay Rays
Jason Bartlett, SS4000011 .327
Carl Crawford, DH4000000 .300
Evan Longoria, 3B3010100 .278
Ben Zobrist, 2B3010111 .279
Willy Aybar, 1B4000034 .247
Gabe Kapler, RF-LF3010113 .233
Dioner Navarro, C2010001 .227
B.J. Upton, CF3000012 .235
Fernando Perez, LF2000011 .143
   a- Pat Burrell, PH1000011 .227
    Gabe Gross, RF0000000 .242
a-struck out for Perez in the 8th
2B - Evan Longoria (43, Wagner)
SH - Dioner Navarro (7)
SB - Evan Longoria (7, 2nd base off Lester/Varitek)
Team LOB - 6
Tampa Bay Rays
James Shields (L,9-11) 6633360 4.03
Lance Cormier 1.1111101 3.39
Dan Wheeler 0.2000010 3.51
HBP - Ellsbury (by Lance Cormier)
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 100-67, Lance Cormier 20-12, Dan Wheeler 5-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 7-5, Lance Cormier 1-2
Batters Faced - James Shields 27, Lance Cormier 6, Dan Wheeler 2
Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF3000000 .299
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4010000 .297
Victor Martinez, 1B4010022 .297
J.D. Drew, RF1210300 .267
Jason Bay, LF4111024 .261
David Ortiz, DH3010111 .231
Mike Lowell, 3B4111013 .296
Jason Varitek, C4012004 .217
Alex Gonzalez, SS3000011 .231
2B - David Ortiz (30, Shields), Mike Lowell (29, Shields)
HR - Jason Bay (32, Cormier)
RBI - Jason Bay (101), Mike Lowell (70), Jason Varitek 2 (51)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Varitek 2 (20)
CS - J.D. Drew (6, 2nd base by Cormier/Navarro)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Lowell-Pedroia-Martinez
Boston Red Sox
Jon Lester (W,13-7) 8200370 3.29
Billy Wagner 1200020 1.17
WP - Jon Lester (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 105-66, Billy Wagner 18-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 10-6, Billy Wagner 1-0
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 28, Billy Wagner 5
Game Information
Attendance - 37271
Game Time - 2:35
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Angel Hernandez, Third Base - Kevin Causey