Boston, MA – Sean Rodriguez hit a two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to send Tampa Bay past Boston, 4-3, in the rubber match of a three-game series from Fenway Park.
"It's just a good feeling knowing you're doing what you can to help the team win. Doing it in this fashion makes it even better," said Rodriguez. "There wasn't a guy on the team who didn't think we could come back and win this game."
Ben Zobrist and Will Rhymes drove in a run apiece for the Rays, who have taken four of five overall. Coupled with Baltimore's loss, Tampa tied the O's atop the AL East with identical 29-19 records.
Jake McGee (2-1) recorded the final out of the eighth and Fernando Rodney turned in a scoreless ninth for his 16th save. Jeremy Hellickson worked 7 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and three runs.
A three-run blast by Adrian Gonzalez was all the offense for the Red Sox, who have lost three of five. Alfredo Aceves (0-2) took the loss and the blown save after serving up the winning blast.
Aceves walked Zobrist with one down in the ninth, then Rodriguez cleared the Green Monster seats for a 4-3 Tampa edge.
Rodney recorded a 1-2-3 ninth to lock down the narrow victory.
In the top of the fourth, Matt Joyce doubled with one out then moved to third on a Gonzalez throwing error. He then scored on a Zobrist grounder to first.
Rhymes plated Rodriguez with a two-out single in the top of the seventh, but the Sox took the lead in the home half.
David Ortiz walked and Kevin Youkilis singled ahead of a three-run blast just over the Monster from Gonzalez to make it 3-2.
"It was a changeup down in the zone and I was able to keep my head down and bat on it," said Gonzalez of his homer. "This is frustrating for sure, but there's a lot of ball left to play and things are going to happen."
For Rodriguez, the homer was his fourth in the month of May...The loss ensured Boston (23-24) of the latest date it had yet to climb above the .500 mark in any season since August of 1996...Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz lasted seven innings, giving up eight hits and two runs while fanning six...These clubs don't meet again until July 13-15 in Tampa, the series immediately following the All-Star break...Boston has won five of the nine meetings this season.