Tampa Bay at Boston

Scoreboard
Tampa Bay (23-34)000000000050
Boston (27-29) «00030010x471

Red Sox blank Rays for seventh straight win

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

BOSTON -- A little infusion of youth and a solid start by Jon Lester kept the Boston Red Sox rolling along.

Lester pitched seven shutout innings and Brock Holt drove in two runs with one of his major league record-tying four doubles to lift the Red Sox to their seventh straight win, completing a three-game sweep over the reeling Tampa Bay Rays with a 4-0 victory on Sunday.

Boston's streak follows a 10-game skid, its longest in 20 years. The Red Sox said that matches a major league record for consecutive wins after a double-digit losing stretch, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau.

The 1989 Detroit Tigers did it after losing 12 in a row, and the 1942 Pittsburgh Pirates also did it after dropping 10 straight.

Rookies Garin Cecchini and Adam Hassen collected their first major league hits to go along with fellow rookie Holt's big day.

''It's great. It kind of makes you reminisce of all the good firsts and just how excited they'll be,'' Lester said. ''That's the cool part about this game, to see these guys come up and doing this stuff to help out the team.''

Holt tied a major league record for doubles in a single game one day after he hit his first major league homer in Saturday night's win. Cecchini added an RBI double for his first major league hit.

''We're tapping into organization depth and guys are ready to contribute,'' Boston manager John Farrell said. ''It is a special day. I don't know the last time two Red Sox players have gotten their first major league hits in a game.''

Evan Longoria had a pair of singles for the Rays, who dropped their season-high sixth straight. Tampa Bay owns the AL's worst record at 23-34.

Holt has sparked Boston's offense by moving into the leadoff spot, which had been a weakness since Jacoby Ellsbury left via free agency during the offseason, signing with the New York Yankees.

''It's a fun day,'' Holt said. ''Anytime you can go out and do something like that, I had a little bit of luck on my side, too.''

Lester (6-6) allowed four hits, while striking out 12 and walking one. It was the left-hander's 19th career double-digit strikeout game, coming after he struck out a career-best 15 against the Oakland Athletics on May 3.

The Rays looked punchless for the third straight game.

''It's been kind of ongoing for a little while now,'' Tampa Bay second baseman Logan Forsythe said.

''A team doesn't stay stagnant for that long. We're going to get hot, we're going to get going soon. It's just a matter of time. We're putting the work in. Now we just wait and see when it happens, and when it happens, just roll with it.''

Tampa Bay was held to three runs in the series and has scored two or fewer runs in nine of its past 14 games, losing eight of those.

''I really believe that run's there,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ''It's really pretty much rooted in one component of our game - we're just not a consistent offensive team right now.''

Edward Mujica and Koji Uehara each pitched an inning to complete the five-hit shutout.

For the second straight day, the clubs were cordial to each other on the field after three Boston managers and a pitcher were ejected in Friday's game.

Rays starter David Price hit David Ortiz in the first inning and Mike Carp later in the fourth. The Carp one triggered the benches to clear, the second time in less than a week the two teams had a scrum.

Last Sunday in Tropicana Field, players in Boston's dugout started yelling at Yunel Escobar when he stole third with the Rays up by five runs late.

The Red Sox broke ahead 3-0 in the fourth against Erik Bedard (2-4). Hassan singled to center for his first hit after Jonny Gomes singled leading off. Jackie Bradley Jr. then walked before Jonathan Herrera had a sacrifice fly, making it 1-0. Holt followed with his two-run double.

Bedard lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and five hits, walking four and striking out four.

Notes

Victor Martinez was the most recent player to get four doubles in a game, coming on June 1, 2010, while with the Red Sox. ... The last pair of Red Sox rookies to get their first major league hits in a game were Steve Dillard and Andy Merchant on Sept. 28, 1975. ... Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia was back in the lineup after missing Saturday with a sore right hand, but his day was cut short when he was ejected at the end of the third by home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn. ... Tampa Bay placed OF Wil Myers on the 15-day DL before the game and recalled 1B/OF Jerry Sands from Triple-A Durham. Sands went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. ... Rays SS Escobar was out of the starting lineup for the second straight game with a tight left quad, but he pinch hit in the seventh and flied to center. ... It was Lester's 233rd career start, moving him into fifth on the club's all-time list. ... Before the game, the Red Sox called up 3B Cecchini from Triple-A Pawtucket and optioned RHP Alex Wilson.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Jon Lester mows down 12 batters in seven shutout innings to help Boston increase its win streak to seven games. (USATSI)
Jon Lester mows down 12 batters in seven shutout innings to help Boston increase its win streak to seven games. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Boston

B. Holt
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 0
RBI 2
Boston

J. Lester
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 1
K 12
 

Related Video

December 17, 2014
Fantasy Update: Doug Martin (0:42)
December 16, 2014
Fantasy Update: Josh McCown
(0:38)
December 22, 2014
Wilson on dominant win over Cardinals
(0:53)
December 21, 2014
Colts at Cowboys highlights
(0:45)
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ben Zobrist, SS-RF4010010 .253
Desmond Jennings, CF2000210 .232
Evan Longoria, 3B4020011 .265
Jerry Sands, DH4000033 .000
Sean Rodriguez, LF4010024 .233
Logan Forsythe, 2B4000031 .194
James Loney, 1B3010000 .293
Jose Molina, C2000011 .127
   a-Yunel Escobar, PH-SS2000002 .251
Kevin Kiermaier, RF3000023 .278
   Ali Solis, C0000000 .000
Erik Bedard, P0000000 .000
   Brad Boxberger, P0000000 .000
   Juan Carlos Oviedo, P0000000 .000
   Grant Balfour, P0000000 .000
Totals32050214  
a-flied out for Molina in the 7th
Batting
2B - James Loney (13, Lester)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
PB - Ali Solis (1)
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Erik Bedard (L,2-4) 4.2533440 4.27
Brad Boxberger 1.1000020 1.47
Juan Carlos Oviedo 1111320 2.50
Grant Balfour 1100020 5.23
IBB - Ortiz by Juan Carlos Oviedo
Pitches-Strikes - Erik Bedard 104-60, Brad Boxberger 20-15, Juan Carlos Oviedo 32-13, Grant Balfour 14-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Erik Bedard 3-7, Brad Boxberger 1-1, Grant Balfour 1-0
Batters Faced - Erik Bedard 23, Brad Boxberger 4, Juan Carlos Oviedo 7, Grant Balfour 4
Boston Red Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Brock Holt, 1B4142100 .337
Xander Bogaerts, SS5000035 .296
Dustin Pedroia, 2B2000002 .272
   Garin Cecchini, 3B2011010 .500
David Ortiz, DH2000211 .262
Jonny Gomes, LF2110212 .236
Alex Hassan, RF3110114 .333
David Ross, C4000013 .167
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF3100100 .204
Jonathan Herrera, 3B-2B3001020 .208
Jon Lester, P0000000 .000
   Edward Mujica, P0000000 .000
   Koji Uehara, P0000000 .000
Totals30474710  
Batting
2B - Brock Holt 4 (9, Bedard), Garin Cecchini (1, Oviedo)
SF - Jonathan Herrera (1)
RBI - Brock Holt 2 (11), Garin Cecchini (1), Jonathan Herrera (6)
2-OUT RBI - Brock Holt 2 (4)
SB - Brock Holt (3, 2nd base off Oviedo/Solis)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Cecchini-Holt
E - Brock Holt (5, Missed catch of throw)
Boston Red Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jon Lester (W,6-6) 74001120 3.15
Edward Mujica 1100110 6.10
Koji Uehara 1000010 0.76
WP - Jon Lester (2)
HBP - Loney (by Jon Lester)
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 112-73, Edward Mujica 20-12, Koji Uehara 9-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 5-4, Edward Mujica 2-0
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 27, Edward Mujica 5, Koji Uehara 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37688
Game Time - 3:12
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - D.J. Reyburn, First Base - Tom Woodring, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Ted Barrett