For the first time this season, the Tampa Bay Rays won a game against the Red Sox at Fenway. Unfortunately for the Sox, they managed to win the next one as well. On Tuesday the Sox gave closer Jonathan Papelbon the ball with a slim lead, and he was not able to hold on to it. Dan Johnson (recalled from AAA just before game time) hit a game tying homer to right, and Dioner Navarro doubled to drive in Fernando Perez and put the Rays ahead for good.
“It’s not going to be my first blown save and it won’t be my last,” Papelbon said to MLB.com‘s Ian Browne. “What can I say? There’s a human factor involved in this thing. We are human. We are going to make mistakes. Yeah, I’m human and I didn’t throw the pitch where I wanted to tonight.”
Although they would not be able to end the series ahead of the Rays, with a win on Wednesday they could enter their off day only a half game behind. The Sox could not muster it.
The first 13 innings of the game went quietly, with the only offense coming from a Willy Aybar single driving in Cliff Floyd in the second and a Pedrioa double scoring Jed Lowrie in the third. Sox pitching combined for 11 straight scoreless innings, but in the 14th Mike Timlin could not hold it together. Mass native Carlos Pena put the Rays ahead with a 3-run game-winning shot. After the Rays’ 14th inning attack, the Sox only managed one run on a Youkilis sac fly.
The Sox dropped to 2.5 games behind the Rays in the East, and 5.5 games ahead in the Wild Card (with the Twins losing to the Royals on Thursday night).
On Friday night the Sox face-off against a Jays team that has won 9 of their last ten games, and are making a run at the Twins’ place in the AL Wild Card hunt. The series may prove difficult for Toronto, who play their second double-header in five days on Saturday.
Starting Aces 9/12/08 – David Purcey, LHP (TOR 3-5, 5.23) vs Tim Wakefield, RHP (BOS 8-10, 4.11). 7:05pm on NESN/WRKO.