Rays 3, Red Sox 2
When Kevin Youkilis limped off the field and into the Boston
clubhouse, he just as well could have taken David Ortiz, too.
With the Red Sox cleanup hitter out of the game because of pain
in his right ankle, Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon decided that under
no circumstances would he give the other slugger in Boston’s
injury-riddled lineup a chance to beat the Rays on Tuesday
“That was a fortuitous moment for us,” said Maddon, who
ordered Ortiz walked three times intentionally – once putting the
potential tying run in scoring position – on the way to a 3-2
victory at Tropicana Field.
“That was very unfortunate for them,” Maddon added. “But once
that occurred, I said: ‘Ortiz is done.”’
Jeff Niemann (7-2) limited the Red Sox to four hits and an
unearned run over six innings, and Tampa Bay’s bullpen shut down
Boston for the second day in a row.
Niemann walked three and struck out five to win for the first
time since a complete game shutout against Toronto on June 8. After
winning his first six decisions of the season, the 6-foot-9
right-hander went 0-2 over four starts.
Jason Bartlett drove in Tampa Bay’s first run with a
third-inning single off Felix Doubront (1-1), a 22-year-old
left-hander filling in for injured All-Star pitcher Clay Buchholz.
Sean Rodriguez tripled and scored on John Jaso’s grounder, giving
the Rays a 2-1 lead in the fifth.
Carl Crawford’s solo homer off Hideki Okajima added an insurance
run in the eighth.
Daniel Nava drove in Boston’s first run with a fourth-inning
single off Niemann. Four Rays relievers held the Red Sox to one hit
until Bill Hall walked and scored on Eric Patterson’s two-out
triple in the ninth off Rafel Soriano.
Soriano, who earned his 23rd save in 24 chances, walked Ortiz
intentionally before getting Youkilis replacement Niuman Romero to
ground out to end the game.
The Rays also walked Ortiz with two outs in the seventh, moving
the possible tying run into scoring position before Romero – who
went 0 for 4 – grounded out against Lance Cormier.
“It’s part of the game,” said Ortiz, who has been walked
intentionally four times in the first two games of this three-game
series. “You have to do what you have to do to win.”
The victory was the fourth straight for the Rays, who have won
six of seven to move ahead of Boston into second place in the AL
“Listen, I don’t take anything for granted, man,” Maddon said
of his strategy. “It just falls under the category of it was the
right thing to do at that moment. There’s no other way to look at
it as far as I was concerned.”
Youkilis was removed from the game in the fourth inning because
of pain in his right ankle. X-rays were negative, and he said
there’s a chance he may play in Wednesday’s series finale.
“I wish I could tell you what happened. Just basically out in
the field and felt like I had a cramp in my ankle, which is the
most strange thing ever,” Youkilis said. “Somehow I irritated the
capsule, so my ankle locked up. I’ll be good to go tomorrow.”
Youkilis was on his way to the plate to lead off the inning
before stepping away from the batter’s box, leaning over and
clutching his foot. He sat on the ground while a trainer examined
him before getting up and limping to the dugout on his own
“I don’t think that changes the whole game. There’s other
opportunties and other players on the team that can do stuff,”
Youkilis said. “You don’t win or lose by one player on the
Doubront, who beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in his big league
debut at Fenway Park on June 18, allowed two runs and five hits
over 5 2-3 innings. He struck out three and walked four – three in
the fifth inning – before turning a bases-loaded jam over to
reliever Scott Atchison.
Tampa Bay’s bullpen held the Red Sox scoreless over the last
five innings of a 6-5 Rays victory on Monday night. It was equally
effective Tuesday, with Soriano becoming the first Tampa Bay
pitcher to earn a save on four consecutive days.
“I just think we’re getting proverbial mojo back,” Maddon
said. “We’re playing better. We feel better about ourselves. The
confidence is coming back and we’re winning some close games.”
NOTES: Boston RHP Josh Beckett, on the disabled list since May
19 with a strained lower back, could rejoin the rotation in just
over two weeks. Beckett threw 65 pitches over four innings in a
simulated game against Red Sox minor leaguers and is scheduled to
pitch for Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday. … Red Sox OF Jacoby
Ellsbury (broken ribs) has resumed throwing and might rejoin the
team this weekend to continue his rehab program.