Quick hits: Rays 3, Red Sox 2
August, 28, 2010
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays' Dan Johnson led off the bottom of the 10th with a walk-off home run en route to a 3-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night at Tropicana Field.
The series is tied at 1-1 with the rubber match Sunday night. Red Sox reliever Scott Atchison surrendered the home run.
Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz lasted 7 1/3 innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Unfortunately, the right-hander made a throwing error, trying to pick off the Rays’ Carlos Pena at first base in the seventh inning, allowing the runner to reach third. Pena then scored when teammate Matt Joyce popped out in foul territory down the right-field line.
ZEROS: Buchholz entered his 23rd start of the season without allowing an earned run in 20 consecutive innings. He surrendered an unearned run in the seventh inning Saturday and allowed a solo homer to the Rays’ B.J. Upton to lead off the eighth inning.
MARTINEZ GOES BOOM: Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez crushed a solo home run in the top of the eighth inning to give Boston a 2-1 lead. It was his third roundtripper in the past two games. He now has 13 homers this season.
TO CATCH, OR NOT TO CATCH: An interesting scenario came up in the bottom of the seventh inning with the Sox holding a 1-0 lead and the potential game-tying run on third. There was one out when the Rays’ Joyce lifted a high fly ball in foul territory near Tampa’s bullpen. Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew was able to track the ball down and made an awkward catch, which allowed Pena to easily score and tie the game at 1-1.
“He doesn’t have a lot of time to think," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "I think the only way it’s in our best interest is if he feels like he can catch it and get turned around. He was going over the mound and running into the bullpen there. He actually mentioned that he didn’t want to catch it. I don’t know how it ended up in his glove. I think he was definitely thinking [let it drop] but he stuck his glove out and it ended up going in. It’s a tough play.”
Said Buchholz, "You could second-guess it if you want to, but what if the guy gets a hit on the next pitch anyways. It was a good catch, good play. If he wouldn’t have been so close to the wall, I think he would have had a good chance to throw him out at home. No, you can’t second-guess plays like that.”
FLASHIN’ THE LEATHER: Red Sox rookie center fielder Ryan Kalish made a highlight-reel catch in bottom of the second inning. With two outs and one runner one, the Rays' Upton lined a shot to deep right-center field. Kalish was in an all-out sprint when he made the leaping grab before executing a perfect tuck-and-roll to end the inning. The 36,973 in attendance were impressed with Kalish’s defensive prowess.
BELTRE HURT? Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre appeared to have pulled a hamstring when he reached first on a broken-bat infield single in the top of the eighth inning. It was obvious he was in pain, but he remained in the game.
“His hammy’s a little tight. We’ll see how he feels. He’s a pretty tough guy," Francona said.
NAVA-LESS: Red Sox rookie outfielder Daniel Nava hasn’t hit a home run since his dramatic grand slam on the first pitch of his first big league at-bat on June 12 against the Phillies at Fenway Park. He’s gone 123 plate appearances without a homer, but he came so close Saturday night. In his first three at-bats, he produced warning-track power.
UP NEXT: In the series finale, the Red Sox send right-hander John Lackey (12-7, 4.51 ERA) to the hill to face Rays righty James Shields (12-11, 4.76). The game will be televised on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball at 8 p.m. ET.