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Red Sox fall to Rays, wild card lead down to two games

Sep 18, 2011, 5:48 PM EDT

Tim Wakefield Getty Images

The Red Sox were able to knock David Price out of Sunday’s game, but they dropped another one to the Rays anyway, leaving them just two games up in the wild card standings.

The Rays, who were nine games back on Sept. 3, beat the Red Sox for the sixth time in seven games this month.

Aiming for win No. 201, Tim Wakefield gave up three runs in the second and another in the fourth, putting Boston in a big hole.  Still, there was hope for the Red Sox.  After taking a Mike Aviles liner off his chest in the third, Price struggled in the fourth, giving up two runs, and then left as a precaution.

Unfortunately for Boston, the pitching staff wasn’t able to hold the Rays offense in check afterwards.  Wakefield allowed two more runs in the fifth and Andrew Miller gave up two in the seventh.  The Red Sox came back with three of their own in the seventh, making it 8-5, but that was the end of the scoring for the day.

In the end, the Red Sox lost despite outhitting the Rays 8-7 and collecting the game’s only homer, a three-run shot from Mike Aviles.  Aviles and Darnell McDonald actually drove in all of Boston’s runs, as the big bats came up empty.

The Rays got three hits and three RBI from Matt Joyce, plus two hits and a steal from Desmond Jennings.

Both the Red Sox and Rays have 10 games left.  Seven of Boston’s are against the Orioles, with a three-game series in Yankee Stadium sandwiched in between.  The Rays will play the Yankees seven times, with their weekend series coming against the Blue Jays.

  1. rollinghighwayblues - Sep 18, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    I honestly don’t know what to say about this series. The Red Sox look tired and frankly, like they couldn’t give a shit. That throwing error by Aviles was incredible, it was about 20 feet wide. The Rays are barreling down on the Sox and seem to get in these grooves where they mop everyone up and that’s what scares me the most. The percentages may be in the Red Sox favor with 10 games to go but damn, that Rays team can flip a swith like no other. In 10 days all of this will come to a head and I am anxious to see the outcome. Who thought of this scenario in late August?

    • Old Gator - Sep 18, 2011 at 8:33 PM

      Back in April I wouldn’t have given the Razed any chance of being in this position this late in the season, not after the beating they took during the orfseason – it looked like a migration of central Asian nomads pulling out of the Tropicana Dump to move their flocks to greener pastures.

      Even so, I don’t think they have the seahorses to overtake the Beanbags completely, especially not with the schedule they’re playing versus the schedule the Beanbags are playing. The Borg isn’t going to fold up for them.

      But if I don’t think the Razed have what they need to make the playoffs, I also don’t think the Beanbags have the pitching to survive them.

  2. bigleagues - Sep 18, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Not me. I’ll admit it.

    And I wouldn’t be taking the O’s for granted. One thing will be certain Buck is dying to play spoiler for the Red Sox.

    Obviously this season has the potential to be a disappointment where it was once assumed to be a forgone conclusion. Injuries have been a problem over the last two seasons. And that’s a tough problem to address.

    One thing I know for sure, even if the Sox make it to the post-season – I’m not holding a whole lot of confidence in a rotation that features Lester, Beckett and a cast of 3rd class arms.

  3. pisano - Sep 18, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    With the Rays pitching, the Yankees could be in trouble. At least Boston is finished with the Rays, but the Yankees have seven games left with them. I’ve seen crazier things happen.The only other team that has that kind of pitching is the Phillies, I wouldn’t bet on it, but they could face each other in the series. Good pitching usually stops good hitting. This could get real interesting.

  4. proudlycanadian - Sep 18, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    The Jays have played Baltimore, New York And Boston this week. I will give New York a mulligan because that team is tired due to their schedule. The Jays were 4 and 2 against the Red Sox. Boston won the blow outs, but lost the close games.The Orioles played the Jays tough. I expect that Baltimore will win their series against Boston. We need a wild card race and it looks as if we will get one. As far as the Yankees are concerned, they have to rest players. This will help Tampa Bay.

  5. zakharovsa - Sep 18, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    As a Yankee fan, I really wish our team didn’t have to play the Rays now. Squirm, Boston, squirm!

  6. aceshigh11 - Sep 18, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    The conclusion to the Red Sox season summed up in six seconds:

  7. royalsfaninfargo - Sep 18, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    Go Rays for the wildcard. Call me a hater, but it is better for baseball when the Yanks and the Sawx dont make the playoffs in the same year.

  8. urteamsux52 - Sep 18, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    Go Rays being young with a ton of youth its only going to get better look at all the players that have left big names and yet we are right there keep playing ball go O’s knock the sox out of the play offs

  9. Jonny 5 - Sep 19, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    I have to give it up to Wakefield, the dude tries. 2 things I have to mention though.

    How is it that the Red Sox don’t have anyone more effective to bring up from the minors? I figured by this point in the season they’d have someone, uhhh, younger in that spot of the rotation. If Wakefield gives the RS a better chance of winning than anyone moving up through the system then they may just be in some trouble if they don’t sign a good FA pitcher in the off season.

    The Rays are hot. Hotter than anyone right now. They could actually pull off the upset imo. I don’t see the Yankees rolling over for them, but I also don’t think they’ll try their hardest either will they? And the Sox look like they’re finished. Hey, maybe the Yankees will fight tooth and nail too, who would you rather see make it if you were the Yankees? I might want to help Boston if I’m them just to keep the Rays out of the picture.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 19, 2011 at 9:32 AM

      J5, there was some crazy guy on these boards talking all this nonsense about a month ago about the Rays having 7 games left with the Red Sox and only being 8 games behind them in the WC. I forget who that was…..I do remember all the thumbs downs and all the “You are stupid…the Red Sox are 99% lock to make the playoffs” responses to that poor guy. I wonder if all those who called him named and thumbed him down will come back and eat the crow pie they deserve to eat? Nah, they will all just forget about it and talk about how shocking it was and how nobody predicted it.

      Now I know how Nostradamus must have felt 😛

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