Right-handed rookie Brandon Workman gave the Red Sox a chance to win Monday night, but a combination of a red-hot Rays pitcher and an ice-cold and fatigued Red Sox offense did little to back him up. Matt Moore pitched a complete game, the first of his career, and kept the Boston offense to two hits as Tampa Bay has now rolled off 18 wins in their last 20 games. Boston had nothing going offensively, only getting one player into scoring position throughout the night. With the win, the surging Rays move to only 1/2 game behind the first place Red Sox. Here are the four at bats that changed the game:
1) Why did the Sox leave him a-Loney?James Loney has swung a hot bat this season (.314 average), and has carried the Rays during their run and throughout the season. While the Red Sox had Loney on their team last year, they chose other options for this season. That might not have been the smartest choice, as Loney has hurt the Red Sox all season long. In the first inning, Brandon Workman worked his way into some trouble. With men on the corners and one out, Loney takes a fastball to right field and it hangs up long enough for Shane Victorino to catch it, but far enough away for Ben Zobrist to score the first run of the game. 1-0 Rays.
3) Who's your Papi? In the bottom of the seventh inning, could starter Matt Moore be tiring? With two outs, David Ortiz works the count full and then smacks a single through the shift and into right field. Moore then gets a bit wild and throws pitch that gets by the catcher Jose Lobaton to put Papi in scoring position. The next batter, Mike Napoli, does a nice job to work the count and wait for his pitch, but he gets underneath a pitch and flies out to right field, ending the weak rally the Red Sox were starting. 2-0 Rays
4) Nail in the Coffin. Although it was only 2-0 Rays, the Red Sox looked over matched all game, and certainly one more run against them would put it away. In the top of the ninth, the Red Sox have Jose De La Torre pitching. He gives up a single and then walks two men to load the bases before Desmond Jennings takes a fastball to center field for a fly out to Jacoby Ellsbury. The ball is deep enough, and Ellsbury's arm weak enough, to score the third run of the game and end any hopes for a Red Sox comeback. 3-0 Rays.
This was certainly a game to forget for the Red Sox, and their best hope is to get back at it later today with another game against the Rays. Jon Lester, who was given about ten days rest, will take the mound for this one versus the Ray's Roberto Hernandez. The first pitch is at 7:10pm at Fenway Park.