(Thursday, September 20th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 7, Boston 4
St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - B.J. Upton crushed a game-winning, three-run home run to cap a six-run ninth inning, as the Tampa Bay Rays rallied past the Boston Red Sox, 7-4, in the finale of a four-game set Thursday at Tropicana Field.
Trailing 4-1 entering the bottom of the ninth, Matt Joyce and Jeff Keppinger smacked back-to-back singles off Andrew Bailey before both runners advanced on a groundout.
Carlos Pena then delivered a single into right field to score Joyce before pinch-hitter Stephen Vogt worked a walk to load the bases.
Desmond Jennings scorched a two-run single into center field to tie the game and chase Bailey (1-1) from the contest.
Vicente Padilla took over on the mound and Upton launched his fourth offering over the wall in straightaway center field to make a winner out of Burke Badenhop (2-2), who recorded the final out in the top of the ninth.
"It was a really good game up until then," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said before emitting a groaning sound.
Jennings finished with three hits and scored twice for the Rays, who have won two straight and sit 5 1/2 games back of Oakland for the final AL wild card spot after the A's downed Detroit earlier on Thursday.
"We've been missing a little bit of the magic this year, but it couldn't get any more magical than 2nite," Rays manager Joe Maddon said via his Twitter account. "There has never been any quit here."
Jose Iglesias clubbed his first major league home run in the setback, as the Red Sox wrapped up a seven-game road trip at 4-3.
Boston broke a scoreless deadlock with a pair of two-out runs in the sixth as Iglesias led off with an infield single to get things started. Cody Ross' double into left-center field scored Iglesias for a 1-0 lead.
Ryan Lavarnway followed with a single into center field that tipped off the glove of shortstop Ben Zobrist, allowing Ross to score for a 2-0 edge.
Boston tacked on a run in the eighth as Lavarnway ripped a one-out double into the right-field corner to chase Rays starter David Price from the contest.
Wade Davis entered and Mauro Gomez greeted him with a triple into center field to score Lavarnway for a three-run lead.
The Rays scored a run in the bottom half on Zobrist's sac fly to pull within 3-1, but Iglesias' solo shot in the ninth restored the visitor's three-run advantage.
Price was charged for three runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings ... Boston starter Clay Buchholz tossed seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball, while walking two and striking out four ... The Rays completed their Aug. 31 trade for outfielder Ben Francisco by sending left-hander pitcher Theron Geith to the Astros.
09/21 01:31:58 ET