BY: Jay Recher
After clubbing 8 runs last night against their AL East rivals, the Rays bats were silent today at Tropicana Field as they fell to the Red Sox 3-0.
Clay Buchholz (6-8) was masterful on the hill for Boston. Buchholz threw a complete game shutout giving up only 3 hits, walking zero and striking out 6. This was the first time he has faced the Rays this year after going 2-0 against them in 2013.
For the Rays, pitcher Alex Cobb (9-7) was not his usual self today on the mound. Coming into the game, Cobb was 7-0 with a 2.14 ERA in his last 11 starts since his last loss on June 23rd. But early on, Cobb had a number of full counts and the Sox hit a couple of bombs to left field that were barely foul that foreshadowed trouble.
With a little help from Cobb, the Red Sox got on the board first in the 3rd inning. After SS Xander Bogaerts led off with a single, Cobb’s pickoff attempt went past Sean Rodriguez at 1st and into the Rays bullpen . Bogaerts went all the way around to 3rd and promptly scored on a single by C Christian Vazquez.
The Rays thought they were going into the bottom of the 5th still down just 1-0 but leadoff hitter Brock Holt had other ideas. With 2 outs and an 0-2 count, Holt reached out and poked a Cobb changeup into center field for a base hit. On the very next pitch, Holt stole second base and then he came around to score on a Mookie Betts RBI single.
Cobb threw 6 1/3 innings giving up 7 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), walking 1 and striking out 6. Manager Joe Maddon went to the mound to get him after 105 pitches and a Bogaerts double in the 7th. Joel Peralta then came in to the game and did a great job by stranding him on 2nd base.
The 8th inning was a totally different story for Peralta. Betts led off the inning with a double that CF Kevin Kiermaier dove for and barely missed. And then with first base open, the Rays elected to pitch to DH David Ortiz instead of putting him on with an intentional walk. On the first pitch, Ortiz singled into left center and that made the score 3-0 Boston.
The Rays got off to a hot start in the bottom of the 1st inning with a single by Kiermaier but he was soon erased on a double play hit into by RF Matt Joyce. Joyce had one of the other two hits with a blistering double to right in the 5th but he was also stranded as Evan Longoria bounced out to short.
The 4th and final game of this series will be tomorrow afternoon at Tropicana Field. The Rays send Drew Smyly (9-10, 3.31) to the hill to try and salvage a split in this series against Boston’s Rubby De La Rosa (4-5, 3.81). Game time is at 1:10pm and will be broadcasted on WDAE 620 AM.