Monday, December 11, 2017
Sports

Rays break scoreless tie in 10th to beat Red Sox

BOSTON — Drew Smyly did most of the work for the Rays on Tuesday night, throwing 105 pitches to churn out eight dazzling innings against the Red Sox, allowing just a lone single, even getting dirty catching a pop-up.

Then in the 10th inning his teammates finally pitched in, Kevin Kiermaier homering and Desmond Jennings doubling in two as they scored a 3-0 victory.

"A great team win,'' Smyly said.

Held to three hits by a stitched-together Sox staff after a first-inning injury to starter Joe Kelly, the Rays (6-7) broke through against Matt Barnes, the sixth Boston pitcher.

Kiermaier, in a 1-for-25 rut, drove a 2-and-2 pitch into the rightfield seats. And after the Rays loaded the bases on a Logan Forsythe double, a walk and an error, Jennings, hit on the right hand his previous at-bat, laced a ball to rightfield for a ground-rule double that provided a welcomed cushion.

"Early in the count I wanted to try and lift the ball a little bit. You always dream of yourself in that situation, to put the team up, and I know I have the ability to do that,'' Kiermaier said.

"But I chased a fastball about 8 inches outside and I'm like, all right, I need to chill out a little bit. Once he got ahead that made me tone my approach down, try to put a good swing on something. … I got a curveball I could do something with, and I couldn't have hit it any better.''

By the end of the night, there was some history in play. It was the first time the Red Sox were shut out at home since June 2015, a span of 63 games in between, and the first in their history they were one-hit in extra innings at home. (It was the first time that happened anywhere in the majors since 2013, when the Mets did it to the White Sox.) And it was the Rays first extra-inning win since June 3, 2015, dropping 11 straight in the interim, and the first time in their franchise history they scored a extra-inning shutout win on the road, and second overall, with Reid Brignac walking off the Yankees with a 10th-inning homer on in September 2010.

Smyly was dominant, striking out a career-high-tying 11, including David Ortiz three times, with seven 1-2-3 innings. Erasmo Ramirez got the win for a 1-2-3 ninth, and Alex Colome worked a perfect 10th.

Smyly's only messy frame was the third, when he walked two and gave up a ground ball single.

"Other than that, you're not going to find a more dominating performance, especially against this lineup in this ballpark," manager Kevin Cash said. "He made it look pretty easy (Tuesday night), I know it's not.''

Smyly walked the first two batters of the third, Chris Young and ex-Ray Ryan Hanigan, then gave up a ground ball single up the middle to Jackie Bradley Jr. "I just kind of lost my feel for a couple batters, struggled to throw a strike,'' Smyly said. With the bases loaded, Smyly was thinking he would trade a run for an out. But Evan Longoria had a better idea, fielding Mookie Betts' grounder and, rather than gamble on a double play, throwing to the plate.

"That was a huge play,'' Smyly said. "Longo, he's smart over there. He's good.''

Seeing a way out of trouble, Smyly then got Dustin Pedoria to hit a grounder that Brad Miller, with a little trouble, turned into a double play. Smyly, who doesn't show much emotion, pumped his fist coming off the mound. He was already back in the trainer's room when he would have more to celebrate later.

Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected]. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.

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