Third Inning A Charm for Bosox

Stephen Drew

Stephen Drew

The Boston Red Sox erupted for eight runs in the top of the third inning, highlighted by a grand slam by Stephen Drew, and rode the early uprising to a 9-2 win over Tampa Bay Wednesday night.  The win evened the series at 1-1 and made a winner of Jon Lester who went  seven innings, giving up two earned runs on eight hits while striking out five and walking none.  The victory improved Lester to 6-0 on the season.

Boston chased Tampa starter David Price after just 2-and-one-third innings.  Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes all collected RBI’’s in the third inning off Price who checked out with stiffness in his triceps.  Drew greeting Tampa relief with a Grand Slam that gave Lester a big cushion.  Boston’s lefty returned the favor in the bottom of the third frame, giving up an rbi triple by hot hitting Desmond Jennings and an rbi single by Red Sox nemisis Ben Zobrist to bring the Rays back into it at 8-2.  Both squads threatened but failed to score through the next four frames.

Boston added an insurance run in the top of the 8th on a solo shot by Will Middlebrooks.  Koji Uehara came on in relief of Lester and allowed two base runners in the bottom of the eight before getting the third out on a strike out to Luke Scott.  Jose De La Torre pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning for the Red Sox to close out the game.

The Rays and Red Sox close out the three game set Thursday when Felix Doubront looks to bounce back from recent control problems at 3-1 facing Alex Cobb for the Rays at 4-2.  With the Yankees losing to Seattle Wednesday night 12-12, the Red Sox picked up a full game and now trail the A.L. East leaders by two games.  Tampa moves on for a three game series in Baltimore while the Red Sox continue their current road swing with a trip to the Midwest for a three game series against the Twins, followed by a trio of games in Chicago against the White Sox before returning home on May 23 to face former manager Terry Francona’s resurgent Cleveland Indians at Fenway May 23,24,25,26.

Dustin Oedroia went 2 for 5 on the night to continue his hot streak at the plate, pushing his season’s batting average to .333.  Boston win was just the third in the last 12 games for the Red Sox and snapped a 6-game win streak by the Rays.

Categories: A-AMERICAN LEAGUE, American League Happenings

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