Rays bullpen stands out in victory over Red Sox
Gomes strikes out Hanley to help keep Boston offense at bay
ST. PETERSBURG -- Brandon Gomes' performance served as a microcosm of the outstanding effort by the Rays bullpen in the three-game series against the Red Sox.
Jake Odorizzi had run out of gas when the Red Sox put two on with two outs in the seventh, prompting a call to the bullpen for Gomes. The Red Sox countered with pinch-hitter Hanley Ramirez, who quickly got ahead 3-0 in the count. But the gritty right-hander fought back to strike out Ramirez to end the threat.
"I made some pretty good pitches in those first three to get to 3-0," Gomes said. "The 3-0 fastball and then the 3-1 splitty was really good. Then 3-2 I wanted to go slider and just make sure it was a strike. I'm sure he was sitting dead red there, so it worked out."
Ramirez appeared to question the third strike call. Gomes smiled when asked whether the pitch had been a strike before noting, "Yeah, he called it a strike, right?"
Kevin Jepsen pitched a scoreless eighth before Brad Boxberger added a scoreless ninth, giving him the win for the second consecutive night.
The Rays' bullpen did not allow a run in the series, blanking Boston for 3 1/3 innings Tuesday night, three innings Wednesday night, and 2 1/3 on Thursday. In those 8 2/3 innings, Rays relievers allowed only two hits with one walk and nine strikeouts.
"I'd say that's pretty solid," Gomes said. "You can win some games doing that."
The Rays' bullpen has not allowed a run in its last 12 2/3 innings, with only four hits allowed in that span. That stretch has dropped the team's bullpen ERA from 6.21 to 4.77.