Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Boston Red Sox defeat Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on walkoff homer in ninth

BOSTON — The noise started coming early Saturday from the home side of Fenway Park, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine firing insults at the Rays coaching staff in response to Friday's festivities.

But that was nothing like the roar at the end of the night, the Sox celebrating a 3-2 victory on Jarrod Saltalamacchia's pinch-hit, two-run walkoff homer off Fernando Rodney that left the Rays stunned.

"This was definitely a game we wanted to win," Rays starter David Price said. "We want to win every game, so we put the same emphasis on every game. But this was definitely a big game after what happened (Friday)."

The defeat was hard enough to take given how well the Rays (28-19) had played.

Price worked seven solid innings. Birthday boy Ben Zobrist and Friday hit-by-pitch victim Luke Scott each drove in runs as they rallied in the seventh against Josh Beckett. And centerfielder B.J. Upton threw out a runner at the plate.

"A really, really good baseball game," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "They beat us in the ninth inning. That can happen in this ballpark."

But the shock was how it happened as Rodney had been so dominating, converting his first 15 save chances — seeking Saturday to tie the team record — and allowing only one earned run (and no homers since April 2011).

But, as the Sox talked about him blowing his first, Rodney gave up a leadoff walk to Daniel Nava then, after a bunt, left an 0-and-1 fastball — albeit 97 mph — over the plate, and Saltalamacchia launched it over the rightfield fence.

"Not exactly where I wanted it. It stayed right in the middle," Rodney said. "You know when you make a mistake here, you have to pay."

Rodney took it well, pausing in the clubhouse for a quick man-hug from Maddon.

"Fernando's been fabulous, and he's going to continue to be fabulous for us," Maddon said.

The Sox certainly enjoyed their first walkoff.

"It really was a happy scene,'' Valentine said. "(Friday) might have brought the team together.''

Realistically, Rodney said, he probably wasn't going to stay perfect.

"I know someday that was going to happen to me, and it happened tonight," he said. "Tomorrow is the next day."

After Valentine's volleys and a somewhat subtle jab back by Maddon, the game was played without incident, a major question going in after the flared tempers and emptied benches the night before. Umpire Ed Rapuano visited with each manager during pregame but did not issue a warning.

Price, who won the poll among Fox TV viewers for the best Thursday nerd outfit, was in position for his seventh win. He was not economical, throwing 115 pitches, but effective, taking a shutout into the sixth.

He was helped most dramatically in that inning by Upton, who fired a one-bounce bullet to the plate for his AL-leading fifth assist to nail Dustin Pedroia, who looked to be scoring easily from second on Adrian Gonzalez's single, Jose Molina applying a tricky tag.

"Play of the game," Price said.

The Sox broke through with a run right after that. The Rays came back with two against Beckett, who has been tormenting them for years, not having lost at home to them since September 2006 and 4-0, 1.08 in his past seven overall against them.

But all that changed when Rodney misfired on a fastball.

And on this night, the Sox had the last word.

 
Comments
Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

Closer Alex Colome was not traded by the Rays to the Cardinals on Tuesday night.But he appeared to be either prepping for or having some fun with the possibility.On his alexcolome37 verified Instagram account, Colome started following the Cardinals o...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 2 – with some news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 2 – with some news

UPDATE, 8:45: Tommy Hunter parlayed his solid 2017 season with the Rays into a two-year deal with the Phillies.UPDATE, 7:13: Unexpected sighting in the meetings lobby: Luke Scott, who looked in great shape at 39 and is at least talking about playing ...
Updated: 0 minutes ago

Winter meetings journal: Rays add more infield depth, claim it isn’t prelude to a trade

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays on Tuesday adding their third infielder in the past two weeks would sure look like a precursor to trading front-liners such as 3B Evan Longoria or 2B Brad Miller.But GM Erik Neander insisted that was not the case and that ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
GMs-turned-pundits believe now may be the time for Rays to sell

GMs-turned-pundits believe now may be the time for Rays to sell

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays have been doing a lot of talking, making another small deal Tuesday while still working toward bigger ones of a still-being-determined degree.And there have been a lot of baseball people at the winter meetings talking abou...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Tampa Bay Rays make another small deal, acquiring INF Ryan Schimpf

Tampa Bay Rays make another small deal, acquiring INF Ryan Schimpf

The Rays made another small move to add infield depth on Tuesday, acquiring Ryan Schimpf from the Padres for minor league infielder Deion Tansel.Schimpf, 29, has played parts of the last two seasons in the majors, posting just a .195 average but with...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Could the Yankees’ new Death Star prompt a Rays surrender?

Could the Yankees’ new Death Star prompt a Rays surrender?

I have a theory that Major League Baseball is always way more interesting when the New York Yankees are good.Well, the Yankees got way better in the past few days.But baseball didn’t get more interesting. It got way worse.And it could get worse in Ta...
Published: 12/12/17
MLB ump Dale Scott retires rather than risk more concussions

MLB ump Dale Scott retires rather than risk more concussions

LAKE BUENA VISTA — As a big league umpire, Dale Scott saw maybe 1 million pitches from the field. His final call, it turned out, was the easiest of all. Rather than risk yet another concussion, Scott has decided to retire at 58. "I’m done," he told T...
Published: 12/12/17

Tampa Bay Rays make a small deal, acquire INF Joey Wendle

While continuing discussions on bigger topics, the Rays made a small deal Monday, acquiring INF Joey Wendle from the A's for a player to be named later or cash.Wendle, 27, spent part of the last two seasons in the majors, hitting .266 over 36 games. ...
Published: 12/11/17
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

UPDATE, 6:14: The Rays continued talks with no major moves seemingly close, but did make a small deal, acquiring INF Joey Wendle from the A's. Wendle, 27, has spent parts of the last two seasons in the majors, hitting .266 in 36 games. He is a lefty ...
Published: 12/11/17
Winter meetings journal: Rays closer Alex Colome drawing interest

Winter meetings journal: Rays closer Alex Colome drawing interest

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays made a small deal Monday in acquiring INF Joey Wendle from Oakland while continuing to discuss bigger ones that seem likely to eventually lead to the trade of closer Alex Colome and then others.The Rockies and Mets joined ...
Published: 12/11/17