Tampa Bay Rays
Red Sox outlast Rays in wild 14-inning affair
ST. PETERSBURG -
The Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox played another one of those games Monday. You know the type: they begin the game one night and end it the next, or they have a bench-clearing incident. Or they have one team coming back from a large deficit or they have one manager openly questioning another's motives.
The teams managed to wrap all of those in what became the second-longest game in Rays history - a 10-8, Red Sox victory in 14 innings that took 5 hours, 24 minutes to complete in front a Tropicana Field crowd of 15,477.
"It was a lot of fun things happening in this game to watch," Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb said. "It was tough to come away with the loss, but everyone played their hearts out."
The Red Sox scored twice in the 14th inning on singles by Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia off Cesar Ramos, who was pitching his third inning of the game and his sixth inning over the past two games for good reason.
"We had nobody left," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
The Rays trailed 6-0 before Cobb could record the first out of the game and 8-6 in the 10th inning. They tied the score in the eighth inning, capping their first comeback when Yunel Escobar scored on a wild pitch.
They capped their second comeback in the 10th inning on a lead-off home run by Jose Lobaton and a bases-loaded walk to Kelly Johnson.
"Really, honestly, I felt like we were going to win that game all night," Maddon said. "I mean that sincerely."
The fireworks came in the sixth inning when Red Sox starter John Lackey drilled Matt Joyce in the back. Joyce, who homered off Lackey in the first inning, pointed at the Red Sox pitcher as he started for first base and the dugouts emptied.
Lackey said he was simply trying to pitch inside. Joyce said Lackey was upset that he first swung at a 3-0 pitch in the second inning and then dropped his bat as the ball sailed foul way down the right field line.
"As far as I understood he was pretty upset that I dropped my bat on that 3-0 swing," Joyce said. "I was actually pretty upset myself I had such a good pitch to hit and missed it. I usually never drop the bat.
"Honestly, I felt like it was a pretty bush league move (by Lackey). I think it was very obvious. I'd really rather not get too much into it, but obviously I wasn't too happy about it."
Maddon said it was "inappropriate gesture" on Lackey's part and called Lackey a "bad teammate" because he could have gotten one of his own players hurt.
Boston manager John Farrell himself questioned what occurred in the top of the 12th inning when Ramos was allowed extra warm-up pitches because Maddon told home plate umpire Tom Hallion that Kyle Farnsworth complained of soreness in his right elbow after getting Dustin Pedroia looking at strike three to end the 11th.
"In his previous at-bat, he's (throwing) 94-96 miles an hour," Farrell said. "He didn't look hurt . . . That was my stance at the moment."
Maddon said it's possible Farnsworth could end up on the disabled list. He added that the Rays could possibly make a move today to add another fresh arm to the bullpen.
Maddon used every relief pitcher Monday and had second baseman Ryan Roberts warming up in the bullpen as the team batted in the bottom of the 14th.
In all, the Rays used 20 players. Only catcher Jose Molina and the other four starting pitchers remained on the bench the entire night and into the morning.
Ben Zobrist tied a club record and had a career-high five hits, but the Rays left 13 men on base, including eight in scoring position. They left runners at third base in the second, third, fourth, sixth and 10th inning.
The 10th inning was the tough one. Lobaton's home run off Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey was followed by walks to Escobar and Joyce and a single by Zobrist that loaded the bases. Johnson walked to force in the tying run.
That brought Evan Longoria to the plate. But Longoria, who homered off of Lackey in the first inning, hit into a 5-2-3 double play.
"We had a chance, we had a definite chance to do it with the right guy hitting and it did not work out, and that just happens sometimes," Maddon said. "But I'm really proud of the effort."
Then Sam Fuld, who was hitting for Sean Rodriguez (who had entered the game as a pinch-runner for James Loney in the ninth inning), tried to push a bunt up the right side of the infield. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia charged the ball and got Fuld at first to end the inning and threat.
"That's one of the situations that (Longoria) thrives at, and for him to ground into a double play shocked everybody," Joyce said. "And obviously, the next play, Pedroia made a great play reading Sam's bunt there. That was the inning we wanted to put it away."
Of course, being behind 6-0 wasn't the ideal way for the Rays to begin the game. Cobb allowed all the runs on seven hits and a walk. He said he developed an "issue" with the nail on his right middle finger while warming up before the game, but head athletics trainer Ron Porterfield was able to take care of it. Cobb said the finger did not prevent him from throwing all his pitches.
Maddon said Cobb's rough first inning was a product of bad luck. Cobb said it was something else.
"I think I was letting the game speed up too much," Cobb said. "There were a couple of ground balls that got through, got in a jam, and instead of settling down, executing pitches, I let the game speed up and didn't focus on what I was doing.
"I made the adjustment way too late, and before I knew it there were six runs on the board."
Cobb settled down after that and held the Red Sox hitless over the next three innings.
"Once Joyce hit that home run it had that feel of one of those games that we were going to come back and win," Cobb said.
Alex Torres, who extended his scoreless streak to 13 1/3 innings by allowing only two hits in two innings, started the parade of Rays relievers. Fernando Rodney worked both the ninth and 10th innings. He allowed two runs in the 10th to end his streak of scoreless appearances at seven.
"There's definitely a frustrating component to (the loss)," Maddon said. "But I want to believe the 30-minute rule applies."
That would be Maddon's rule that the team uses the first 30 minutes after a game to celebrate the win or mourn the loss.
"I don't think there will be a bigger challenge than (Monday's game)," Cobb said. "I think that our guys are up for it (tonight)."