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Boston (67-81) «000002300560
Tampa Bay (78-69)000010001263

Red Sox deal blow to Rays' hopes

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays are slipping out of playoff contention and tempers are getting a little short.

Jacoby Ellsbury had a home run and three RBI, Aaron Cook stopped his five-game losing streak and the Boston Red Sox beat the sliding Rays 5-2 on Monday night.

Tampa Bay, coming off a 1-5 road trip to Baltimore and New York, fell 5½ games behind the AL East-leading Yankees. The Rays also dropped five games back of the Orioles, who won 10-4 in Seattle, for the second AL wild-card spot.

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"We're going to have to find a way to bounce out of it," said Tampa Bay center fielder B.J. Upton, who had three of the team's six hits.

The Rays have scored only 21 runs over the past seven games.

"This has been ongoing. ... This is a seasonal misadventure," manager Joe Maddon said of his club's struggling offense. "We've been able to remain solvent because our pitching has been so good."

Tampa Bay leads the AL with a 3.27 ERA. The last five AL teams to finish a season with an ERA as low as the Rays' current figure all advanced to the World Series.

Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb and catcher Jose Molina got into a heated discussion in the dugout after the top of the sixth when Boston took a 2-1 advantage. There was a wild pitch and passed ball during the inning.

"We're both really into that game, and we needed to win that game," Cobb said. "I honestly don't really know what the argument was about, still. We'll work things out. We'll talk about it tomorrow, or whatever, and leave it behind us."

Molina declined to comment as he was leaving the clubhouse.

"I'm not unhappy," Maddon said. "That's overblown sometimes. That can actually be a good thing. It's fine right now. We discussed everything. It's all good."

Ellsbury hit a two-run homer in the sixth and added an RBI single during a three-run seventh for the Red Sox, who were eliminated from playoff contention Sunday. Cook (4-10) allowed one run and five hits over six innings in his first victory since Aug. 6.

Rays slugger Evan Longoria was out of the starting lineup because of what Maddon called heavy legs. Maddon expects the third baseman, who missed 85 games earlier this season due to a partially torn left hamstring, to be back in the lineup Tuesday.

Cobb (9-9) allowed one baserunner -- a two-out walk in the second to Jarrod Saltalamacchia -- through five innings. The right-hander made a nice defensive play to end the second, grabbing a hard grounder by Ryan Lavarnway and throwing the catcher out at first.

Jose Iglesias was hit by Cobb's pitch with one out in the sixth and scored on Boston's first hit of the game, a two-out, two-run homer by Ellsbury that put the Red Sox ahead 2-1.

"For five innings it looked like we didn't have any gas in our tank, and then Iggy ignited us a little bit," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "And Ells took a lot of time in between pitches and hit a 3-1 pitch, and he gave us the lead."

Cobb was pulled after James Loney singled and Saltalamacchia walked to start the seventh. Boston loaded the bases with no outs when Lavarnway reached against Burke Badenhop after shortstop Ben Zobrist misplayed a grounder for an error.

After pinch-hitter Mauro Gomez hit a two-run single off J.P. Howell, Ellsbury made it 5-1 with a run-scoring single against the Tampa Bay left-hander.

"We played really well tonight, and it's nice to shake hands after a game," Cook said.

Boston is 14-30 since Aug. 1.

Cobb, who had won five consecutive decisions, gave up four runs and two hits in six-plus innings.

Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead in the fifth when Luke Scott scored from third on Ryan Roberts' sacrifice bunt. Zobrist had an RBI grounder in the ninth.

Notes

  • The announced attendance was only 11,722.
  • Ellsbury has seven RBI during his past nine games.
  • Tampa Bay OF Sam Fuld, who left Sunday's game with a strained right hamstring, is expected to be out several more days.
 
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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Luke Scott slides in safely to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead in the fifth, but it's all downhill for the Rays from there.  (AP)
Luke Scott slides in safely to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead in the fifth, but it's all downhill for the Rays from there. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

J. Ellsbury
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
Tampa Bay

B. Upton
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Boston Red Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Pedro Ciriaco, 3B4000110 .295
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF5133000 .273
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4000103 .293
Cody Ross, RF4000014 .274
James Loney, 1B4120000 .256
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, DH2100221 .231
Ryan Lavarnway, C4100022 .155
Scott Podsednik, LF2000010 .299
   a- Mauro Gomez, PH1012000 .303
    Daniel Nava, PR-LF1000000 .244
Jose Iglesias, SS2100012 .067
Totals3356548  
a-singled for Podsednik in the 7th
Batting
HR - Jacoby Ellsbury (4, Cobb)
SH - Jose Iglesias (2)
RBI - Jacoby Ellsbury 3 (23), Mauro Gomez 2 (16)
2-OUT RBI - Jacoby Ellsbury 2 (10)
SB - Dustin Pedroia (16, 2nd base off Cobb/Molina)
CS - Jacoby Ellsbury (2, 3rd base by De La Rosa/Vogt)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Iglesias-Pedroia-Loney, Loney-Iglesias-Cook
Boston Red Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Aaron Cook (W,4-10) 6511110 4.93
Rich Hill 1000020 2.04
Junichi Tazawa 1000020 1.43
Mark Melancon 1111020 6.98
WP - Mark Melancon (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Cook 75-47, Rich Hill 11-9, Junichi Tazawa 15-11, Mark Melancon 16-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Cook 10-5, Junichi Tazawa 1-0, Mark Melancon 1-0
Batters Faced - Aaron Cook 22, Rich Hill 3, Junichi Tazawa 3, Mark Melancon 4
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Desmond Jennings, LF4000022 .249
B.J. Upton, CF4130000 .250
Ben Zobrist, SS4011002 .265
Matt Joyce, RF4000012 .247
Luke Scott, DH2110000 .218
   a- Chris Gimenez, PH-DH1000010 .229
   b- Ben Francisco, PH-DH1000010 .249
Jeff Keppinger, 3B-1B3000001 .317
Carlos Pena, 1B2010000 .194
   c- Sean Rodriguez, PH-3B1000010 .215
Ryan Roberts, 2B2001010 .240
Jose Molina, C1000100 .201
   d- Stephen Vogt, PH-C1000000 .000
Totals3026217  
a-struck out for Scott in the 7th
b-struck out for Gimenez in the 9th
c-struck out for Pena in the 7th
d-grounded out for Molina in the 8th
Batting
SH - Ryan Roberts (3)
RBI - Ben Zobrist (64), Ryan Roberts (49)
CS - Carlos Pena (3, 3rd base by Cook/Lavarnway)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
PB - Jose Molina (6)
E - Sean Rodriguez 2 (16, Throwing), Ben Zobrist (11, Misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Alex Cobb (L,9-9) 6243341 4.27
Burke Badenhop0010000 3.15
J.P. Howell 0.1200100 2.94
Brandon Gomes 0.2000000 5.93
Cesar Ramos 1100030 2.17
Dane De La Rosa 1100010 21.00
IBB - Ciriaco by J.P. Howell
HBP - Iglesias (by Alex Cobb)
WP - Alex Cobb (8)
Pitches-Strikes - Alex Cobb 101-62, Burke Badenhop 5-3, J.P. Howell 18-10, Brandon Gomes 6-5, Cesar Ramos 22-15, Dane De La Rosa 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alex Cobb 9-5, Burke Badenhop 1-0, J.P. Howell 1-0, Cesar Ramos 1-0, Dane De La Rosa 1-0
Batters Faced - Alex Cobb 24, Burke Badenhop 1, J.P. Howell 4, Brandon Gomes 2, Cesar Ramos 5, Dane De La Rosa 3
Game Information
Attendance - 11722
Game Time - 3:11
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Tim McClelland, First Base - D.J. Reyburn, Second Base - Ted Barrett, Third Base - Marvin Hudson