The Red Sox were able to knock David Price out of Sunday’s game, but they dropped another one to the Rays anyway, leaving them just two games up in the wild card standings.
The Rays, who were nine games back on Sept. 3, beat the Red Sox for the sixth time in seven games this month.
Aiming for win No. 201, Tim Wakefield gave up three runs in the second and another in the fourth, putting Boston in a big hole. Still, there was hope for the Red Sox. After taking a Mike Aviles liner off his chest in the third, Price struggled in the fourth, giving up two runs, and then left as a precaution.
Unfortunately for Boston, the pitching staff wasn’t able to hold the Rays offense in check afterwards. Wakefield allowed two more runs in the fifth and Andrew Miller gave up two in the seventh. The Red Sox came back with three of their own in the seventh, making it 8-5, but that was the end of the scoring for the day.
In the end, the Red Sox lost despite outhitting the Rays 8-7 and collecting the game’s only homer, a three-run shot from Mike Aviles. Aviles and Darnell McDonald actually drove in all of Boston’s runs, as the big bats came up empty.
The Rays got three hits and three RBI from Matt Joyce, plus two hits and a steal from Desmond Jennings.
Both the Red Sox and Rays have 10 games left. Seven of Boston’s are against the Orioles, with a three-game series in Yankee Stadium sandwiched in between. The Rays will play the Yankees seven times, with their weekend series coming against the Blue Jays.
NEW YORK — With star outfielder Adam Jones nursing a tender hamstring, the Baltimore Orioles selected the contract of Julio Borbon from Double-A Bowie and optioned pitcher Mike Wright to Triple-A Norfolk.
Borbon was inserted in the starting lineup for Baltimore, batting ninth against hard-throwing New York Yankees rookie Chad Green.
“We had some other center field options,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Borbon is our best option at this point.”
Jones left Friday’s game in the second inning with a left hamstring strain. He departed the previous night’s game at Washington in the ninth inning with hamstring cramps and aggravated the injury hustling down the first base line on a soft grounder to third.
“I got a feeling that if he hadn’t had that first swinging bunt, it might not have been a problem,” Showalter indicated. “He’s not going to trot to first base as much as I talked to him about it before the game.”
Although Jones was unable to talk his way into Saturday’s lineup, Showalter speculated that he might be available to pinch-hit.
The 30-year old Borbon was 2 for 9 in five games with the Orioles earlier this season, but was designated for assignment on July 26. To create room for Borbon on the 40-man roster, pitcher Logan Ondrusek was designated for assignment on Friday.
Good news in Boston: An MRI on Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi‘s left knee revealed no structural damage.
Benintendi slipped while trying to avoid a tag at second base, injuring his leg, but it appears he’s avoided a serious injury. A timetable for his return isn’t known at this point, but the Red Sox expect to get him back before the end of the season.
Benintendi is hitting .324/.365/.485 with a homer and ten RBI in 21 games.