After a pair of high-scoring games to start the series, the Red Sox and Rays put on a show of offensive ineptitude Sunday night, with Boston winning 1-0 in 16 innings.
It was the longest 1-0 game since the Brewers beat the Angels 1-0 on June 8, 2004, though the Mets and Cardinals played 18 scoreless innings before New York beat St. Louis 2-1 in 20 innings on April 17, 2010. The Red Sox were on the losing end of a similar contest two years ago. They fell 2-0 to the Yankees in 15 innings on Aug. 7, 2009.
The team’s combined to bat .078, which is even lower than Adam Dunn’s average this season. The Red Sox were 5-for-52, while the Rays went 3-for-50. Dustin Pedroia had three of Boston’s hits, including the go-ahead single that plated Josh Reddick in the 16th.
The starting pitchers were stellar, of course. Josh Beckett, who left his last start in the first half with a hyperextended knee, pitched eight innings of one-hit ball. Jeff Niemann allowed two hits while also going eight innings. He fanned 10 tonight after failing to strike out more than six in any of his previous 10 starts this season.
It looked like Boston would go ahead in the 11th, but after three straight walks to start the frame, Reddick and Jason Varitek both struck out and Marco Scutaro popped out foul to the catcher.
The Red Sox walked 12 times in all. They left 17 runners on base to the Rays’ six.
By winning two out of three this weekend, the Red Sox opened a seven-game gap on the Rays in the standings. The Yankees are in second place in the AL East, 1 1/2 games back of Boston.
David Robertson got the win in both White Sox victories today, a double-header versus the Tigers. In the first game, he got the final out of the eighth inning and pitched a scoreless ninth before the White Sox walked off on an Adam Eaton RBI single.
It was the second game that made things interesting. Robertson took the mound at the start of the ninth inning staked to a 4-1 lead. He’d fork up a leadoff home run to Nick Castellanos. Then, after getting two outs, served up another solo shot to Tyler Collins followed by a game-tying Jarrod Saltalamacchia dinger. Robertson would get out of the inning without any further damage.
In the bottom of the ninth, Melky Cabrera sent the White Sox home winners again, drilling a walk-off RBI single. That gave Robertson the win, his second of the afternoon. As Baseball Tonight notes on Twitter, Robertson is the first player in the last 100 years to give up three home runs in an inning or fewer and still wind up with the victory.
Robertson has had a rough go of it since the All-Star break. He yielded four runs in his first appearance back on July 18. On the season, he’s saved 23 games in 27 appearances with a 4.46 ERA and a 50/21 K/BB ratio in 40 2/3 innings.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported on Sunday afternoon that the Diamondbacks have told other teams that starter Shelby Miller is available in a trade. Obviously, Miller’s stock has fallen steeply since the club acquired him from the Braves over the winter.
Miller, 25, was recently optioned to Triple-A Reno after his struggles continued following his return from the disabled list. Over 14 starts in the majors, Miller went 2-9 with a 7.14 ERA and a 50/34 K/BB ratio in 69 1/3 innings. In his only start with Reno thus far, Miller yielded three runs on four hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings.
In their trade with the Braves, the Diamondbacks acquired Miller and minor leaguer Gabe Speier in exchange for 2015 first overall pick Dansby Swanson, pitching prospect Aaron Blair, and outfielder Ender Inciarte. It’s a trade that, if they could undo it, the D-Backs would in a heartbeat.