Pedroia, Red Sox cool off hot Rays

BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Red Sox used some late-night offense to cool off the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.

Dustin Pedroia drove in three runs, including a two-run single in a five-run fourth inning, and the Red Sox earned a 7-3 win over the Rays in a game that started 2 hours, 27 minutes late because of a rain delay.

The Red Sox hit just .153 and scored only four runs in their previous five games before getting 13 hits in the win.

Brandon Moss hit a solo homer and Pedroia had a double and two singles for the Red Sox, who were held to three runs despite winning two of three against Toronto earlier in the week.

"You go through that in a season," said Moss, a rookie. "You face a lot of good pitchers in a row. We're not the only team that will go through it."

The Red Sox won for just the third time in nine games.

Tampa Bay, coming off its first winning April in club history (14-12), lost for only the second time in 10 games. The Rays swept the Red Sox in St. Petersburg, Fla., last weekend.

Only a couple thousand fans remained in Fenway Park when the game ended at 12:48 a.m.

Clay Buchholz (2-2) allowed one run, five hits, walked four and struck out six in 5 1/3 innings. Jonathan Papelbon, the fifth Boston pitcher, worked a perfect ninth.

"I think it's just contagious," Buchholz said of the offense. "I've been told that since I was 8-years-old. One guy gets a hit and they all do."

Pedroia was 1-for-21 before his RBI double gave Boston a 1-0 lead against Rays starter Edwin Jackson (2-3).

Moss homered onto a small roof above a TV camera stand in center field to make it 2-0. Jacoby Ellsbury had an RBI single after Jason Varitek singled and Julio Lugo walked. Ellsbury stole second. Pedroia drove in both with a single, making it 4-0, and advanced to second on left fielder Carl Crawford's throw. David Ortiz lined an RBI single to center.

"He just let it get away," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "The one bad play I thought was the walk to Lugo. Otherwise, guys are going to get hits and the fact that it was two outs and nobody on and it turned into that inning, that's the tough part about it."

Jackson gave up six runs on nine hits in four-plus innings.

"They hit some good pitches. I think I threw one pitch down the middle and that was a home run," Jackson said. "Today I challenged them to hit the ball -- and they hit the ball."

Jackson pitched seven innings of one-run ball when the Rays beat Buchholz and the Red Sox on Akinori Iwamura's two-run homer last Saturday.

"We needed it," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of his team's offense. "We had some success in an inning and it carried over enough for us to win the game."

Crawford scored Tampa Bay's first run on Buchholz's fifth-inning wild pitch. Iwamura had a sacrifice fly and Crawford a run-scoring ground out in the seventh against reliever Javier Lopez.

Game notes
Rays pitcher David Price, taken first overall in the 2007 amateur draft, struck out three over two perfect innings in an extended spring training game. It was his first outing since straining his elbow on March 20. He threw 26 pitches, with his fastball consistently reaching 96-97 mph. ... Francona said Boston RF J.D. Drew, sidelined since leaving Tuesday's game with a strained left quadriceps, told him "one more day would be good if you can," before the game. ... Ellsbury was back in the lineup after missing three games with a sore groin. ... Boston RH Bartolo Colon will pitch in a minor league game at Sarasota, Fla. on Saturday. He is expected to go to Triple-A Pawtucket next week.