Rays' bullpen slams door on rival Red Sox
McGee vindicates himself vs. Napoli; Boxberger strikes out side for 26th save
BOSTON -- Jake McGee earned a little retribution Sunday, while Brad Boxberger showed heat instead of rust as the Rays' one-two late-inning combo shut down the Red Sox in the final two innings of a 4-3 win at Fenway Park.
Hoping to protect a one-run lead, McGee entered the game to start the eighth, which felt like a repeat of Friday night, when David Ortiz drew an 11-pitch walk and Mike Napoli hit a game-winning two-run homer.
McGee wrote a different story Sunday.
First, the hard-throwing southpaw retired Ortiz on a popout to first for the first out of the inning.
"Got him on a fastball away, he had to kind of reach for it," McGee said.
Hanley Ramirez followed with a single to bring Napoli to the plate. This time, McGee dropped a curve on the Red Sox slugger, who could only offer a feeble swing at strike three. McGee finished off the inning by striking out Travis Shaw swinging.
"I threw two curveballs today," said McGee, who usually throws all fastballs. "And I got three outs with my curveball the other day, too. That percentage is going to start going down a little bit, I think."
Boxberger started the ninth, making his first appearance since pitching a scoreless ninth against the Tigers on Wednesday. The rest appeared to do the right-hander well.
He struck out Rusney Castillo swinging at a 94-mph fastball to start his outing, then blew away pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval with a 95-mph fastball before finishing the game by striking out Blake Swihart with an 81-mph change.
"I got ahead with fastballs, and I only threw the one changeup to Sandoval, so [Swihart] was probably trying to hit a fastball out of my hand, and it wasn't," Boxberger said.
Rays manager Kevin Cash called Boxberger's ninth "a very clean inning."
"Used his fastball, got ahead," Cash said. "We say this all the time. When you get ahead of hitters, and the stuff that we have coming out of the bullpen, we're capable of being overpowering."
Boxberger has converted each of his last 11 save opportunities since June 18, and he is 26-for-28 on the season.
Capturing his 26th save of the season, Boxberger looked particularly fresh.
"It's just a matter of having the time off and getting back to where I want to be," Boxberger said. "Staying fresh and sharp."