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Red Sox, Rays both win, head into finale tied atop wild card

Sep 27, 2011, 10:45 PM EDT

Ryan Lavarnway, David Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Wieters AP

Powered by yet another Jacoby Ellsbury blast and Ryan Lavarnway‘s first two career homers, the Red Sox beat the Orioles 8-7 to remain in a tie with the Rays in the AL wild card standings.

The Rays topped the Yankees 5-3 thanks to homers from Ben Zobrist and Matt Joyce.  Joyce’s homer was a three-run shot off former Rays closer Rafael Soriano in the seventh inning.

Both clubs won for the 90th time this season.

The Yankees went with their regular lineup, minus only Derek Jeter, and all of their best relievers in this one, but they couldn’t best Jeremy Hellickson and the Rays relief corps.  They had their big chance in the sixth when Russell Martin, who hit a solo homer earlier, hit into a 5-4-3 triple play with the bases loaded, killing the rally.  That was the end of the night for Hellickson, and the bullpen put up three zeroes from there.

Like the Rays, the Red Sox did all of their damage on homers.  Ellsbury hit the first, a two-run shot off Zach Britton in the third.  Lavarnway followed with a three-run blast off Britton in the fourth.  Marco Scutaro made it 7-3 Boston with a two-run shot of his own in the sixth, and Lavarnway hit his second, a solo shot, in the eighth.

Less encouraging for Boston was Erik Bedard‘s shaky outing.  He lasted just 3 1/3 innings and gave up three runs.  Fortunately, the invaluable Alfredo Aceves picked the Red Sox up with 3 2/3 innings of one-run ball.

The eighth and ninth brought more trouble.  Daniel Bard gave up two runs in the former, and Jonathan Papelbon, who seemed less than overpowering in this one after throwing 2 1/3 innings Sunday, allowed a run in the ninth before getting Adam Jones to ground out to end it.

The Red Sox and Rays are now set for a one-game playoff on Thursday if they both post the same result in Wednesday’s finales.  Boston will send Jon Lester to the mound on short rest.  He’ll be opposed by Baltimore’s Alfredo Simon. The Yankees are expected to throw a variety of relievers against the Rays, while Tampa Bay will have David Price on the mound.

  1. itsmekirill - Sep 27, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    Luckily, nobody good will pitch for the Yankees tomorrow.

  2. thefalcon123 - Sep 27, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    Plus, Braves lost and Cards are up by three in the 8th. This is gonna be a fun last day!

  3. pisano - Sep 27, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    I never dreamed I’d wish a loss on the Yankees, but tomorrow I hope they get the hell beat out of them. I hope they start Scott Proctor and leave him in for a complete game loss. I honestly thought Proctor would be released by today, so there’s still hope they’ll start him.

  4. Glenn - Sep 27, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    The Sox and Rays are tied going into the last game of the season, yet one manager is in danger of losing his job and the other is playing for Manager of the Year. If the end of the Sox season was tacked on to the bad beginning and the incredible middle was the end, people couldn’t stop talking about how great Francona has been this year. I am amazed how people insist at looking at the world in very limited “cause and effect” ways.

    • Ari Collins - Sep 28, 2011 at 8:39 AM

      I’m further amazed by how many thumbs down you have, considering what you say makes perfect, rational sense.

      Oh, wait. Okay, nevermind.

  5. nesuperfan - Sep 27, 2011 at 11:13 PM

    And this evening Terry Fancona announced that he has sent down the entire lineup, and has called up 8 more rookies. :)

  6. 6ball - Sep 27, 2011 at 11:26 PM


    “the Yankees will counter with a series of relievers ….Dooley Womack, Mike Keckich, Al Dowling, and Ed Whitson are sure bets.


    • channingtaintum - Sep 27, 2011 at 11:50 PM

      Russell Martin will be pitching to himself.

      • raysfan1 - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:22 AM

        I wouldn’t mind that!

      • florida727 - Sep 28, 2011 at 1:25 AM

        It’s possible. He is that fast. Looked pretty speedy heading down to first on that triple play :)

  7. yankeesgameday - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    Rafael Soriano should be investigated by MLB for the way he sleep walked through the 7th inning tonight. There needs to be a sense of fair play amongst teams but Soriano, with a one run lead never found the strike zone for Upton, and he grooved two batting practice fast balls to longoria which he just missed. Once longoria got 2 strikes he PITCHED AROUND HIM on order to keep from making an accidental out.

    The next batter, mike joyce, was grooved a fastball ball at 92, when Soriano pitches 96, he he hit it out.

    by this time of the night the red sox were winning and it looked like the rays would go a game down. The Rays are Soriano’s former team and there was obviously a lack of effort on his part tonight to such an extent I wad disgusted by his lack of competiveness.

    If the O’s and Blue Jays can bust their assess in games that are meaningless to them the Soriano needs to exert maximum effort and not look like he was personally trying to have Tampa the win tonight.

    Go find the video for the entire bottom of the seventh tonight and watch every pitch and at bat up to to home run tonight and you will see exactly what I mean.

    For tonight I am ashamed to be a Yankee fan and unless thus wad an order from Giradi or Cashman to keep the sox out of it, I think Soriano needs to get traded out of there thus winter.


    • florida727 - Sep 28, 2011 at 1:32 AM

      And this is the only reason you’re ashamed to be a Yankees fan?

      I’m joking.

      You actually might be right, believe it or not. Boston is 12-6 v. NYY this year. The Yankees are 9-7 v. the Rays. If you’re NY, which team would you rather face?

      The only possible argument one could make that the Yankees would be in favor of Boston being in the playoffs instead of the Rays is that the Rays are reasonably on fire and Boston is having the worst September in MLB history, or close to it.

    • indaburg - Sep 28, 2011 at 9:33 AM

      I think a conspiracy theory is ridiculous. These guys are all competitors and they want to win. Soriano, although talented, has been known to serve up the occasional bomb (see Game 5 Rays vs. the Rangers during the ALDS 2010). You are right in that he had difficulty finding the strike zone last night and didn’t look comfortable on the mound. That doesn’t mean he was handing it to the Rays. A bad night happens to even the greatest and most talented pitchers. Nevertheless, I was very happy that his bad night was against the Rays.

      No chance Soriano gets traded with his overbloated salary and propensity for injuries. He never should have been signed for that amount in the first place, but that’s between Cashman and his bosses.

  8. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    So is Ellsbury the MVP again now?

  9. Joe - Sep 28, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    Nothing kills a rally quite like a triple play.

  10. foreverchipper10 - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    I hope the Sox blow it so I don’t have to hear all the attention that would otherwise surround the Braves implosion.

  11. ramsyanks - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    The Red Sux will choke and I will love every minute of it. Drunken Shanties!!

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