BOSTON -- Takeaways from the Fens, where the Red Sox batting average on replay challenges is at the Mendoza Line (1-for-5, .200) after John Farrell lost another Thursday.
This one was a biggie, too. The Sox appealed that Dustin Pedroia was not out at the plate while trying to score from first on David Ortiz’s double off the left-field wall in the seventh. But after a review, the call on the field stood, the umpires ruling that there was not sufficient evidence to overturn the call by first-base umpire Toby Badner that Pedroia had been tagged out by catcher Jose Molina.
Replays suggested that Pedroia may have beaten the strong relay throw from shortstop Yunel Escobar, but what was unclear is whether Pedroia’s foot ever touched the plate. Third-base coach Brian Butterfield had no doubts; he was ejected after flinging his cap in fury when the umpires upheld the original call.
The result: The Sox fell, 2-1, to the Rays, in the first game of a day-night doubleheader that Tampa Bay hadn’t wanted to play. The Sox have now lost seven straight times in games in which they could have reached the .500 mark.
Piqued Peavy: Sox starter Jake Peavy allowed just three hits in 6 1/3 innings, but three consecutive two-out walks in the fourth inning, following a leadoff double by Desmond Jennings, forced in the go-ahead run. The Rays scored their first run on a Pesky Pole home run by David DeJesus to start the third.
Quiet bats: The Sox could not exploit the six walks issued in five innings by Rays starter Cesar Ramos. Pedroia led off the first with a walk and came to score after another walk and Jonny Gomes’ two-out single, but the Sox left the bases loaded that inning, losing a chance to break the game open early. That was the only hit allowed by Ramos in 4 2/3 innings. Four Rays relievers combined to shut out the Sox on five hits the rest of the way.
Pedroia, whose bobblehead was the day’s giveaway, singled off Rays closer Grant Balfour with one out in the ninth. Shane Victorino tried a surprise bunt, but left it too close to the plate, Molina throwing him out at first with Pedroia advancing to second. Balfour, who hadn’t pitched since giving a walkoff grand slam to Jose Abreu of the White Sox last Friday, was left to face Boston strongman David Ortiz, who tapped out to the mound to end it.