The stumbling Rays looked like they were headed to a 5th straight loss before Joe Kelly fell apart for the Red Sox Wednesday night in Tampa Bay. The Rays went on to win 7-5.
For both the Red Sox and the Rays it was a milestone event: Tampa Bay’s largest come-from-behind win vs any team and Boston’s largest blown lead vs any team since these two teams met on May 24, 2014. In that game the Rays fell behind 5-0 in the 1st and but still won 6-5 in 15 innings.
The Red Sox have now blow a lead in 2 of their 6 losses this season and have dropped 3 of their last 5 games.
Kelly, who had cruised through 5 innings with just 4 hits allowed went on to give up 4 hits in the 6th inning as the Rays chipped away at the 5-1 Red Sox advantage.
With the score 5-3 and in yet-another bases-loaded, no-outs situation, Manager Farrell turned to Craig Breslow, who promptly allowed a go-ahead single to Brandon Guyer that plated two runs to tie the game. Next inning, Boston reliever Edward Mujica gave up a home run to Tampa Bay’s Jake Elmore giving the Rays a 7-5 advantage that would be the game’s ultimate score.
For Kelly it was a 2nd straight game where he couldn’t make it to 6.0 innings pitched. And he’s not alone. As Rob Bradford points out, Red Sox starters have now averaged just over 5.0 innings per start in their last 10 games with an atrocious 7.82 ERA as opponents hit .313 against them over this time span.
The disappointing Red Sox loss had just a couple bright spots, including a 469th career home run for David Ortiz, surpassing Chipper Jones and capturing #32 on the MLB All-Time Home Run List. Simultaneously he collected his 1,538th career RBI to surpass Joe DiMaggio and capture #46 on the MLB All-Time RBI List.
Big Papi’s next hit will be his 2,170th, tying him with Pee Wee Reese on MLB’s All-Time Hit List.
Dustin Pedroia also hit a home run Wednesday, his 4th of the season. Last year he didn’t hit his 4th home run until June 19th.
The Red Sox will go for a series win when they face the Rays tonight in the series finale. For Boston it will be Clay Buchholz (1-2, 6.06 ERA) against the Rays’ Jake Odorizzi (2-1, 1.74 ERA).