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Miller takes responsibility for error vs. Sox

Special to MLB.com

BOSTON -- With a one-run lead in hand Monday at Fenway Park, the Rays looked to be on the verge of ending the second inning without any damage, as Tim Beckham cleanly fielded a two-out grounder from Marco Hernandez without issue.

With a man on, he decided to take the easy force at second, but as Brad Miller came across to receive the throw, it popped into his glove and right back out, giving the Red Sox new hope, which they took full advantage of to the tune of three runs in an eventual 4-3 win over the Rays.

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BOSTON -- With a one-run lead in hand Monday at Fenway Park, the Rays looked to be on the verge of ending the second inning without any damage, as Tim Beckham cleanly fielded a two-out grounder from Marco Hernandez without issue.

With a man on, he decided to take the easy force at second, but as Brad Miller came across to receive the throw, it popped into his glove and right back out, giving the Red Sox new hope, which they took full advantage of to the tune of three runs in an eventual 4-3 win over the Rays.

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"I just didn't catch the ball and it ended up costing us three runs," Miller said. "It ended up being the difference in the game. It just went in and came right out."

It was the third error of the season for Miller, who has played 13 games at second base thus far, despite not playing any there a year ago.

The gaffe allowed the Red Sox to bat around in the frame and Blake Snell, who struck out the first two in the inning, was forced to make 24 additional pitches after what should have been an inning-ending play.

"Huge break," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "It was almost like blood was in the water and we took advantage of it. ... We were able to bunch some base hits together right after that. We caught a break, but as we've seen many times, you give a big league team an extra out [and] sometimes a crooked number can happen."

"I need to get ahead and put them away quick, not walk or hit," said Snell, who gave up three singles and walked two in the inning. "I need to attack the zone, be better and not let 24 pitches go to waste like that. I got to do a better job at that. Once that happens, I need to shut it down right there."

Boston exited the inning with a 4-2 lead it would not relinquish -- despite the Rays, who left nine on base, pulling within a run and having opportunities.

It was the second straight game in which the Rays let a first-inning lead slip away.

"Frustrating loss," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We talked about for us to have our best chance, we've got to play clean baseball. We could probably go back to a couple of plays on this road trip that just didn't go our way. Very tough for us to overcome. We had some opportunities late, had guys on base, had some big at-bats. [We] just weren't able to get that big hit, the big blow there."

"We've got to be able to pick each other up," Steven Souza Jr. added. "We're not going to be perfect all year long, so as a team we need to be able to pick each other up, be able to pick up Brad, and we've got to be able to pick up our pitchers."

On a play in which Cash said Miller could convert "the next thousand chances he gets," the Rays faltered, finishing their first road trip of the season with a 1-6 mark.

Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston and covered the Rays on Monday.

Tampa Bay Rays