St. Petersburg, FL – Daniel Nava drove in the winning run in the 14th inning and the Boston Red Sox survived a chippy game to take a 10-8 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in the opener of a three-game set.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia went 4-for-7 with three RBI while Dustin Pedroia, Nava and Mike Carp each drove in two runs for the Red Sox, who have won three straight.
Franklin Morales (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win while starter John Lackey gave up 10 hits in all over his 5 2/3 innings of work, while charged with the Rays' first four runs.
Matt Joyce, Evan Longoria, James Loney and Jose Lobaton each hit a solo home run for the Rays, who have dropped their past two games.
Alex Cobb was lit up for six runs in the first inning and gave up seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts over four innings. Cesar Ramos (1-2) was tagged with the loss in three innings of relief.
Shane Victorino singled to start the 14th and took second when Pedroia flew out to right. After David Ortiz was issued a free pass, Nava singled in Victorino. Saltalamacchia later singled in Jose Iglesias, who was pinch- running for Ortiz, for a 10-8 lead.
Desmond Jennings singled to start the Rays 14th, but Jose Lobaton flied out and Yunel Escobar hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.
Rays closer Fernando Rodney walked Pedroia and Nava with the game tied at 6-6 in the top of the 10th, with Pedroia later stealing third and Nava advancing on indifference after Rodney came up with a key strikeout of Mike Carp for the second out. Saltalamacchia delivered, however, muscling a flare to center field that brought home both runners and put the Red Sox back on top.
The lead didn't last long. Lobaton greeted Andrew Bailey with a homer into the seats in right field, and Escobar and Joyce each worked walks in front of a Ben Zobrist single that loaded the bases. Bailey then lost a nine-pitch battle with Kelly Johnson, issuing his third walk of the inning that forced in the tying run with still none out.
Boston's defense kept it deadlocked, though, with third baseman Will Middlebrooks starting a 5-2-3 double-play upon fielding Longoria's hard smash and Pedroia hustling to throw out pinch-hitter Sam Fuld on a bunt attempt to extend the contest.
The Red Sox spotted Lackey a large early cushion after its first eight hitters all reached base against Cobb during its opening-inning explosion.
Jacoby Ellsbury started things off with a single before Victorino ripped a double down the right-field line and Pedroia drove both in with a base hit up the middle. After Cobb walked Ortiz on four pitches, Nava sent a full-count offering off the top of the wall in left center for a double that plated Pedroia for a quick 3-0 advantage.
Carp then made it a five-run cushion by slicing a single to left center that brought home Ortiz and Nava, with Middlebrooks later scoring Carp with a base hit after Saltalamacchia doubled and Cobb yet to record an out.
Boston managed just two more hits over the remainder of regulation, however, and the Rays gradually closed the gap.
Joyce socked Lackey's second pitch of the night into the right-field seats, and Longoria launched a monstrous blast that cleared the deepest part of the park two batters afterward to cut the lead to 6-2.
Consecutive singles by Zobrist, Johnson and Longoria loaded the bases in the third, with Luke Scott pushing another run home with a fielder's choice grounder. Zobrist singled again an inning later to knock in Lobaton and pull Tampa Bay within 6-4.
The game became a little testy after Lackey struck Joyce in the back with an apparent retaliatory pitch in the bottom of the sixth, prompting both benches to clear but no punches were thrown before order was restored. Zobrist followed with a double to force Lackey's exit, though Craig Breslow came on to fan Johnson looking to end the threat.
Tampa Bay continued to close the gap, with Loney's homer off Andrew Miller in the seventh making it a one-run game. Escobar doubled against Junichi Tazawa in the eighth, then eventually raced home from third on a wild pitch to knot the score at 6-6.
Lackey had received a decision in each of his last 19 starts against Tampa Bay coming in, the longest such streak by an opposing pitcher in Rays' history ... Middlebrooks, who had been out since May 23 with a lower back strain, was activated from the disabled list before the game, with Boston designating infielder Pedro Ciriaco for assignment to open a roster spot ... Cobb permitted more than three earned runs for only the third time in his last 27 starts dating back to July of last season ... Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 14 while Ellsbury moved his hit streak to nine games ... Tampa left 13 men on base while Boston stranded 10.