In what could be viewed as the most important series of the season for the Boston Red Sox, the team did not disappoint in three game road series in Tampa Bay. Boston responded in an impressive way by taking two out of three from the Rays.
The highlights of the series came during the first two games but nothing was bigger than Mike Carp’s pinch-hit grand slam in the top of the 10th inning on Wednesday night. Carp, who pinched hit for Jonny Gomes put Boston up 7-3 and became the first Red Sox player to have a pinch-hit grand slam since Kevin Millar on June 7, 2003 in Milwaukee.
With the return of the starter Clay Buchholz on Tuesday night, it solidified a rotation that was already deep and Buchholz responded well by pitching five scoreless innings in his first major league start in over three months. In those five innings, he allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out six Tampa Bay hitters.
Ryan Dempster followed Buchholz’s start with another solid one of his own on Wednesday night allowing just one run despite walking five batters. Dempster did strikeout seven Rays hitters in the action as well making it three straight quality starts after shaky August.
Thursday’s series finale was all about the impressive Rays pitching performance between starter Jeremy Hellickson followed by relievers Jamey Wright, Jake McGee and Fernando Rodney. Those four pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts against the Red Sox. After the Red Sox railed from a 3-1 deficit heading into the top of the 6th inning where David Ortiz’s solo homerun and
The game remained tied until Wil Myers RBI Double in the bottom of the 8th put the Tampa Bay up 4-3 in which Rodney would end up saving and sealing the win.
Boston finished the 2013 regular season with a 12-8 record against the Rays. The Red Sox ended this series with a solid eight and a half game AL East division lead.
Looking Ahead: The Red Sox will embark on their final regular season homestand of the 2013 season. They will open this nine game home stretch with a series against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Boston took three out of four from New York last weekend.