ST. PETERSBURG — Close wasn't good enough for the Rays on Wednesday.
Instead, they rallied to tie the Red Sox in the eighth inning, then beat them 4-3 in the 11th, C Luke Maile scoring from second on an infield error.
It was just the third walkoff win of the season for the 53-72 Rays, the eighth in franchise history on an error.
Maile started the rally by doubling to right with two outs. After Logan Forsythe walked, speedy Kevin Kiermaier grounded a ball to first that Travis Shaw fielded and tossed to RHP Heath Hembree, who was covering but dropped the ball. Hembree then threw home, but Maile slid in headfirst safely as C Sandy Leon couldn't come up with the ball.
"I tried getting down the line as quick as possible and hope for the best, and thankfully he didn't come up with it clean and it kicked away from him and Luke did a great job busting his butt down the line and sliding into home," Kiermaier said. "It was such a moment of relief."
Maile, who took over in the 10th for Bobby Wilson (who had three hits), knew he had to hustle.
"As soon as I saw the ball go into the ground, I knew I wasn't going to be able to beat it unless it got kicked around a little bit," Maile said. "But I just tried to run hard, pick up the ball, and as soon as I touched third, instincts just take over after that."
Down 3-0, the Rays got close on a two-run double by Brad Miller in the third, then tied it in the eighth when Evan Longoria hit his 30th home run, making him the first in franchise history to have four such seasons. Carlos Peña had three.
"It's nice to see Longo have the success,'' manager Kevin Cash said. "There were a lot of people saying last year or early this year, questioning where has he gone. I think he's answered a lot of those questions with the season he's put together this year."
The Rays were in position to win due to more strong relief work (five shutout innings) behind RHP Matt Andriese, including five outs from RH closer Alex Colome and a 10th straight scoreless appearance by RHP Brad Boxberger.
TO THE MATT: Andriese overcame a rough beginning to turn in a decent start, working six innings, his longest outing since rejoining the rotation Aug. 2. Andriese held the potent Red Sox to just three runs, though he did allow a two-run homer in the first to David Ortiz, the 30th of his farewell season.
JOY OF SIX: With RHP Alex Cobb nearing the end of his Tommy John surgery rehab and RHP Chase Whitley pitching well in the minors, the Rays are looking at using a six-man rotation in September.
Cash said they had not made a final decision, but with no plans to shut down rookie LHP Blake Snell or Andriese, the six-man arrangement had appeal.
"I think that's probably a good option in the fact that we're not going to draw straws and say one guy is out of the rotation," Cash said. "We're going to have to find a way to get guys innings."
EXTRA ARM: RHP Tyler Sturdevant was called up from Triple-A Durham to add a fresh arm to the bullpen. INF Richie Shaffer was sent down.
MEDICAL MATTERS: INF Tim Beckham's tight left hamstring was feeling better Wednesday after leading him to take himself out of Tuesday's game. … INF/OF Nick Franklin, on the seven-day concussion DL after being conked on the helmet by Kiermaier's bat, said he is feeling better daily and hopes to play in a rehab game Friday and join the Rays in Houston during the weekend. … Cash said there was nothing new on the status of OF Desmond Jennings, idled since Aug. 2 with a left knee bruise.
MISCELLANY: Attendance was 11,896. … The Rays held a pregame moment of silence for Monsignor Laurence Higgins, the longtime priest at Tampa's St. Lawrence Catholic Church who died Wednesday. … The Rays improved to 9-19 in one-run games. … Bowling Green 3B Kevin Padlo, acquired from Colorado in the Corey Dickerson/Jake McGee trade, was named a Class A Midwest League postseason All-Star. … Minor-league field coordinator Bill Evers is spending a few days with the big-league team.