The Game: The Tampa Bay Rays survived a major scare then rallied to defeat the Boston Red Sox 8-6 on Wednesday at City of Palms Park. The scare happened in the bottom of the second when a broken bat by Adrian Beltre sailed back to the mound hitting David Price in the glove hand. Price left the game to be evaluated. It was later determined that nothing was broken and he suffered a minor abrasion to the hand.
The Rays scored first in the contest. Jason Bartlett drew a walk to lead off the inning. Bartlett then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error during the play. Pat Burrell drove Bartlett home to give the Rays a 1-0 lead.
The Red Sox took the lead in the home half of the second inning. Kevin Youkilis and Adrian Beltre led off the inning with back to back singles. Then Marco Scutaro moved both runners into scoring position with a ground out to third. Mike Cameron drove home the first run with a single to left. Bill Hall plated the second run with a ground out back to the mound to score Beltre and give Boston a 2-1 lead.
Boston added two more runs an inning later. Jacoby Ellsbury got things going with a solo home run to right field. Dustin Pedroia then singled to left field. Pedroia later scored on an RBI double by Kevin Youkilis and the Red Sox held a 4-1 lead.
The Rays battle back to regain the lead in the fourth inning. BJ Upton led off the inning with a single to left field. Sean Rodriguez drew a walk and Kelly Shoppach singled to load the bases for Tampa Bay. Ryan Shealy drove home Upton with an RBI single. Reid Brignac followed with a ground ball single to center, scoring Rodriguez and Shoppach to tie the game. The Rays pulled in front on a two run double by Bartlett. Ben Zobrist drove home the sixth run of the inning on a line drive to center to score Bartlett and give the Rays a 7-4 lead.
Boston struck for two more runs in the bottom half of the fourth inning. Ellsbury struck his second home run of the contest, this one a two run blast to pull the Sox within a run of the lead 7-6.
The Rays added an insurance run in the fifth inning. Shealy hit a ground rule double to get things going. Brignac moved Shealy to third on a ground out. Then Justin Ruggiano hit an RBI single to center to score Shealy and give the Rays the 8-6 margin of victory.
RP Top Prospect Watch:
Tim Beckham: 0 for 1.
Reid Brignac: 1 for 3 with 2 RBI’s and a run scored.
A Look Ahead: The Rays split squads on Thursday. Half the team will remain home and face the Toronto Blue Jays at Charlotte Sports Park. The other half will travel to McKechnie Field and face the Pittsburgh Pirates. Andy Sonnanstine will start at home and Wade Davis on the road.