video thumbnail

TB@BOS: Scott knots score with solo shot to right

BOSTON -- Getting out Big Papi has troubled the Rays all weekend. Sunday brought more of the same, as David Ortiz doubled home the go-ahead run in the sixth to lead a 6-4 Red Sox win at Fenway Park.

The defeat extended the Rays' losing streak to four as the team moved to 4-5 on the season and 1-5 on its current road trip.

Ortiz entered the game with six hits in nine at-bats in the first two games of the series. On Sunday, he already had a double and a single when he stepped to the plate in the sixth against Tampa Bay starter Matt Moore.

Ortiz swung at the first pitch, hitting a ball off the wall in center to score Kevin Youkilis from first and putting the Red Sox up 5-4.

"Once you know that somebody throws a 98-mph fastball, you're not going to be sitting offspeed," Ortiz said. "It's not that I wasn't, but it's either one or the other. It's always going to be a speed limit in between. You either go hard or you go soft. Sometimes when you see guys going for both, no chance."

Mike Aviles added a solo home run off Moore in the seventh to equal the final margin.

Ortiz hit safely in seven consecutive plate appearances from his last four plate appearances Saturday through his first three Sunday.

"That's pretty impressive," Carlos Pena said. "He's been swinging the bat incredibly well, and he seems like he's just squaring every single ball up. Every time he swings he hits the ball hard -- to the deep parts of the ballpark, too."

The Red Sox took an early lead when Cody Ross hit a three-run homer off Moore in the second that cleared the Green Monster in left. Kelly Shoppach added a two-out RBI double in the fourth to drive home Ortiz and push the lead to 4-0.

"They're on everything right now," manager Joe Maddon said. "[Ortiz], it's almost like he knows where it's coming and where it's supposed to be. They're swinging the bats aggressively. They're not missing their pitch and fouling it off. They're spitting on borderline pitches. They're very much locked in as an offense right now."

The Red Sox were so locked in that Rays catcher Chris Gimenez said he was trying to figure out if Moore was tipping his pitches or if the Red Sox were stealing signs.

"I haven't seen too many swings like that against [Moore]," Gimenez said. "We don't know if they [knew what was coming ahead of time] or not. Something we have to keep in the back of our heads. ... It did look like they were taking some pretty comfortable passes at some balls like they knew they were coming."

The Rays looked like they might get something started in the fourth after Jeff Keppinger doubled to lead off the inning. Two outs later, Sean Rodriguez hit a single that seemed destined for center field. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, Aviles made a diving stop on the infield single. When he got to his feet, Keppinger had already rounded third base too far. Aviles threw to third, and Keppinger was tagged out in the ensuing rundown to end the inning.

"That was just a good play on their part," Maddon said. "If that ball just bounds off his glove at all and Kep is aggressive, he will score on that play. But the shortstop made a great play, and then, beyond making the catch, he made a great throw. He turned and had it in his head immediately [to throw to third base], and he was very accurate with something on it. So that was just a great play by him."

In the fifth, Carlos Pena thought he had hit a three-run homer over the Pesky Pole in right, but umpires ruled the ball foul. The call stood after a video review, and Pena got back to work, stroking a double to deep center field off Red Sox starter Felix Doubront to drive home two. Evan Longoria followed with a ground-rule double to right to drive home Pena and cut the lead to 4-3.

Luke Scott tied the game at 4 with his second home run of the season that came when he led off the sixth by hitting a 3-1 Doubront offering into the right-field stands.

The Rays had a chance to add more in the sixth, but with runners on first and second and no outs, Gimenez failed to put down a sacrifice bunt against Scott Atchison, striking out on his third attempt. Desmond Jennings then struck out before Pena flew out to right to end the threat.

"That was an all-around pretty [lousy] at-bat," Gimenez said. "Showing too late and trying to hit a cutter is not a good combo. Not to mention I tried to bunt three balls. That right there, it could have been a game changer. ... You've got to learn from that one, but that's the one that's going to haunt me." Comments