Heading into action on Saturday night the Red Sox magic number to clinch a postseason spot was 8. On the last road trip of their season with visits to Baltimore and Cincinnati, Boston was coming off yet another 15 inning game -- their 4th such game this season. Setting the franchise record with 24 strikeouts, the Red Sox used 9 different arms to secure a 13-6 victory. After the marathon, record-breaking, 15 inning game on Friday night -- that ended in the wee hours of Saturday morning -- it wouldn't take over 6 hours for the Red Sox to beat Tampa Bay on Saturday night. In what can be joked as baseball's worst version of a doubleheader, Boston took the second game of the three-game series, in just 2 hours & 44 minutes.
Rick Porcello was really good through 7 innings allowing 0 runs on only 4 hits without issuing a walk. However, with a 3-0 lead, Rick Porcello ran into some trouble. Allowing a double to Rays SS Adieny Hechavarria, Porcello would throw a wild-pitch ball 4 to Miller and would be removed from the ballgame, after just getting one out in the 8th inning.
John Farrell would go to Addison Reed to work out of the first-and-third jam. Reed would get Red Sox nemesis Kevin Kiermaier to groundout to Mitch Moreland at first base. On the play, Moreland would tag first for the force out and throw to second base for the unconventional double play. The throw would hit the baserunner, Rays CF Mallex Smith, and Hechavarria would score from 3rd. The unearned run, on Moreland's 5th error of the season, would not be charged to Rick Porcello.
Tomorrow afternoon the Red Sox send left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez to go for the sweep of the Rays. Over E-Rod's last 7 games he has a 1-2 record with a 4.43 ERA. Pitching only into the 7th inning once, E-Rod would look to manage his pitch counts and eliminate the big innings that have haunted him all season. In his only 4 starts against Tampa Bay, Rodriguez is 0-1 with a 7.58 ERA, allowing 16 runs in 19 innings.
FINAL SCORE: RED SOX 3 -- ATHLETICS 1
Photo Credit - Boston Red Sox