BOSTON -- With a chance to gain a game on the Blue Jays for first place in the American League East, the Red Sox instead lost a lead in the late innings in a 4-3 loss to the Rays on Tuesday night at Fenway Park.Evan Longoria crushed a solo shot
BOSTON -- With a chance to gain a game on the Blue Jays for first place in the American League East, the Red Sox instead lost a lead in the late innings in a 4-3 loss to the Rays on Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
Evan Longoria crushed a solo shot to left-center against Clay Buchholz to snap a 3-3 tie with one out in the top of the eighth. The 31st homer of the season for Longoria had a projected distance of 434 feet, according to Statcast™.
"It's always impressive, it is what he does," said Rays manager Kevin Cash. "That's why he's such a special player. We're thankful we have Longo on our side."
For the Red Sox, the unraveling started in the seventh when lefty starter Drew Pomeranz served up a two-out, game-tying homer to left-center to Luke Maile.
"I'm trying to bounce a curveball and I left it up a little bit too much," said Pomeranz. "[Maile] got it. That's all there is to say about it."
Making it more painful for the Red Sox was the fact they had just jumped in front with two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a sacrifice fly from David Ortiz and a bloop RBI single by Hanley Ramirez.
"This one's on me, though," said Pomeranz. "It's tough. It's a tough way to lose pitching so well. It really [stinks] sometimes when one pitch comes back and bites you."
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The Red Sox still hold the American League's first Wild Card by one game over the Orioles, and trail the Blue Jays by two games for first place in the AL East.
Jake Odorizzi turned in a solid performance for the Rays, giving up five hits and three runs over six innings. Neither starter factored in the decision.
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Bogaerts quick to 500: When Xander Bogaerts doubled in the sixth inning, it was hit No. 500 in his career. The shortstop joins Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Tris Speaker and Tony Conigliaro as the only players in Red Sox history to have 500 hits before his 24th birthday. A media member noted to Bogaerts he could achieve 3,000 hits if he averages 170 hits for the next 15 seasons.
"That is hard. Got to have durability. Got to be healthy. There's a lot of things that have to go your way," said Bogaerts.
Hanley tucks one inside Pesky Pole: Ramirez gave the Red Sox their first productive hit of the game, tucking a game-tying solo homer just inside Pesky's Pole in right field in the bottom of the fifth. It was Ramirez's 18th homer of the season, just one shy of his total from last season. Odorizzi had a one-hit shutout with no walks until that homer. In fact, the righty had faced the minimum to that point, thanks to a caught stealing in the first. Ramirez went 3-for-4 and has nine extra-base hits in his last 16 games.
Maile mauls one: Maile has good size and the Rays' catcher put that size to use in the seventh when he drilled his second career home run over the Green Monster, a two-run shot off Pomeranz that tied the game at 3. The blast got out in a hurry with an exit velocity of 104 mph.
"I knew he was probably going to throw me something offspeed," Maile said. "I got him with a fastball last week. I never like to sit on pitches. I've always just kind of looked for the fastball, but right there I knew I was going to see something offspeed so I just tried to stay middle and put a good swing on it." More >
Souza lays out: Knowing when to dive to make a catch and knowing when not to dive have never been strong suits for Steven Souza Jr. But nobody could slight the judgement of the Rays right fielder in the sixth when Ortiz lined a ball to right with one out and runners on second and third. Souza charged in before diving at the last second to make the catch. Had he not made the catch, the ball might have rolled to the wall. Souza exercised further good judgment by quickly getting to his feet and throwing to third -- keeping Mookie Betts at second, rather than trying to throw out Dustin Pedroia at home.
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Brad Miller's RBI single in the first put the Rays up 1-0 and gave the Rays' first baseman his 25th RBI in August. Not to be outdone, Longoria, who also entered the game with 24 RBIs for the month, hit a solo home run in the eighth to tie Miller. Longoria still has the club record for RBIs in a month with 31 (May 2009).
The Red Sox slipped to 7-37 when they score three runs or fewer. More >
The Rays challenged the call when Logan Forsythe was called out trying to steal second with two outs in the seventh. After a 43-second review, the call on the field was confirmed.
In the ninth, Maile got called out on a bang-bang play at first. A crew-chief review that lasted 1 minute, 21 seconds resulted in the call getting overturned.
Rays:Drew Smyly (6-11, 4.80 ERA) allowed his career-high 27th homer of the season on Friday against the Astros, but he settled down to retire the final 14 batters to log his sixth quality start in his last seven outings. He is 1-1 with a 1.71 ERA in four career starts at Fenway Park. Smyly gets the ball in Wednesday's finale at 1:35 p.m. ET.
Red Sox: Knuckleballer Steven Wright will close out this six-game homestand for the Red Sox when he starts Wednesday's 1:35 p.m. ET finale. Wright gave up a five-spot in the first inning last time out in his return from the disabled list, but was unscored on for the remainder of his six-inning performance.
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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.