BOSTON (CBS) – Follow along for all the updates from Game 3 of the ALDS between the Red Sox and Rays at Tropicana Field!
Final — Rays 5, Red Sox 4: Uehara got the first two batters of the ninth on just three pitches, but then gave up a solo shot to Jose Lobaton as the Rays take Game 3 5-4 to force a Game 4 on Tuesday.
There’s a lot to digest from this one, and we’ll be breaking it down all night. Stick with CBSBostonsports.com for all the analysis, and a look ahead to tomorrow’s Game 4.
Middle 9th — Red Sox 4, Rays 4: The Sox got the run they needed to force a bottom of the ninth, but that’s all they could manage off the wild Rodney.
After starting Carp with three straight balls, Rodney battled back and got him looking to end the threat with Ellsbury on third.
The Rays will send Zobrist, Longoria Jose Lobaton to the dish, with Koji Uehara coming in for Boston.
Top 9th — Red Sox 4, Rays 4: Pedroia comes through with an RBI ground-out to second to tie this one at 4-4.
Ellsbury couldn’t advance, so it will be up to Carp with two outs to get him home.
Top 9th — Rays 4, Red Sox 3: Victorino lays down a nice sac bunt to get two runners into scoring position with just one out for Boston.
Pedroia is up, with Mike Carp on deck now for Quintin Berry.
Top 9th — Rays 4, Red Sox 3: Ellsbury bloops one into left and Bogaerts move to third.
Rodney has thrown eight pitches, and only two of them have been strikes.
Victorino is now coming up, with Pedroia on deck.
Top 9th — Rays 4, Red Sox 3: Will Middlebrooks drew a lead-off walk, and John Farrell sent in Xander Bogaerts to pinch run.
Rodney is pretty wild right now, walking Middlebrooks on five pitches, which could be a good sign for Boston.
Bottom 8th — Rays 4, Red Sox 3: The Red Sox’ defense was a little shaky in the eighth, and it’s hurt them.
Escobar sent a grounder up the middle off Workman, and it looked like Drew may have had a chance to turn two and at least get one out, but Pedroia was a little overzealous and slid into Drew, giving the Rays the bases loaded with one out.
Pinch hitter Delmon Young stepped in and hit a sharp liner to Napoli, but he couldn’t pull the trigger on going to home, and Sam Fuld scored to put the Rays on top 4-3.
Fernando Rodney is heading out for the save with Middlebrooks, Ellsbury and Victorino due up for Boston.
Bottom 8th — Red Sox 3, Rays 3: Saltalamacchia’s bat may be quiet tonight, but his glove is getting the job done.
He made a nice block of a Morales errant pitch during the Jennings at-bat, keeping Fuld at first, and then made a nice play to catch a foul behind the plate by Matt Joyce for the inning’s first out.
Brandon Workman is now in for Boston, making his playoff debut.
Bottom 8th — Red Sox 3, Rays 3: Jennings just put down a beautiful bunt down the first base line and Tampa now has runners on first and second with no outs.
Napoli charged to make a play as the ball traveled through no-man’s land, but it was Morales who picked it up and had no one to throw to at first. Pedroia tried his best to get there in time, but there was no chance against the speedy Jennings.
Time for Morales to put on his big boy pants in this one.
Middle 8th — Red Sox 3, Rays 3: Well, the Berry steal didn’t matter.
Salty struck out for the third time of the night on just three pitches, and then Drew popped out to end the inning.
People will criticize John Farrell for not pinch-hitting Xander Bogaerts for Drew, but that’s a tough situation for a rookie who has been off the last nine days to come in to.
Franklin Morales is coming in to face Loney, with Jennings and Joyce due up as well.
Top 8th — Red Sox 3, Rays 3: Mike Napoli grounds out to second, and is unable to advance Berry on the play.
Jonny Gomes pinch-hit for Nava, but was intentionally walked to set up a possible double play. Gomes wasn’t even given a chance to take down a catwalk with a monster blast.
Up comes Saltalamacchia, who is 1-for-3 with two strikeouts on the night.
Top 8th — Red Sox 3, Rays 3: After David Ortiz drew a lead-off walk, Quintin Berry came on to pinch-run and immediately stole second. At least according to second base ump Mike Winters.
Replays showed that Berry was tagged out before touching the bag, but the Sox catch a HUGE break and have a runner on second with no outs. Now they have to do something with it.
In other news, McGee is penciled in as Tampa’s #4 hitter, with Berry now Boston’s clean-up man. Gotta love the playoffs!
End 7th — Red Sox 3, Rays 3: It was a shaky start for Tazawa after his first pitch skipped in front of Salty and let Zobrist go to second, but he was able to get Longoria to pop out to third and then strike out Myers to end the inning.
Myers is now 0-for-12 in the series, and had to leave with an injury after his latest K. Matt Joyce moves from DH to right field, so Maddon just gave up his DH (reliever Jake McGee is in that spot now).
I’d personally like to apologize to Junichi Tazawa for ever doubting him.
Ortiz, Napoli and Nava are due up for the Sox in the top of the eighth, with Rays lefty McGee making his way in from the bullpen.
Bottom 7th — Red Sox 3, Rays 3: Craig Breslow got pinch-hitter Sean Rodriguez to pop out to third on one pitch, but gave up a single to Zobrist and his night is over after just three pitches.
So in comes Junichi Tazawa to face Longoria, who is 0-for-6 in his career against the right-hander.
Middle 7th — Red Sox 3, Rays 3: Joe Maddon turned to Joel Peralta for the top of the seventh, and the righty-reliever gave him a 1-2-3 inning.
Ellsbury lined out sharply to Zobrist at second, Victorino threw out to left, and Pedroia flew out to right.
It remains tied 3-3 as we hit the seventh-inning stretch, with the top of the Tampa order set to bat against Craig Breslow in the bottom of the inning.
Here is Buchholz’s final line: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
End 6th — Red Sox 3, Rays 3: For all those worried about Farrell sending Buchholz out for the sixth, he set the Rays down 1-2-3 with three pop outs.
He’s needed just seven pitches to set down the Rays, and is at 104 pitches for the night. Craig Breslow has started to warm in the pen, so it looks like Buchholz’s night is over.
The Sox need to get something here with the top of the order coming up.
Middle 6th — Red Sox 3, Rays 3: Alex Torres took over for the Rays in the top of the sixth, and gave them the shutdown inning they needed.
He struck out Nava looking for the first out, gave up an infield single into the shift to Saltalamacchia, got Drew to pop out harmlessly to Escobar in shallow left, and then got Middlebrooks swinging to end the inning.
Buchholz is coming back out for the Red Sox. He just labored through the last two innings, and is up to 97 pitches on the night. Franklin Morales has joined Workman in the Boston pen, and it may only be a matter of time until we see either of them get into this one.
End 5th — Red Sox 3, Rays 3: Clay Buchholz just couldn’t work himself out of another jam, and the Rays made him pay.
After Boston added two runs to their lead, the Rays storm back to tie it on one swing of the bat.
Escobar led off with an infield single, with DeJesus hitting a double two-batters later. Buchholz got Zobrist to pop out to short for the second out, but then Longoria launched a three-run blast to knot this one at 3-3.
The Rays were just 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position before the Longoria homer. Buchholz had struck him out with a change up in his previous at-bat, but Longoria got the best of the pitch this time around.
Not walking Longoria with first base open will be a big topic tomorrow should Boston lose this game, especially with Wil Myers on deck — who is hitless in the series.
Buchholz walked Myers on five-pitches, prompting a visit from pitching coach Juan Nieves, and then gave up a single to Loney, who is 3-for-3 on the night. He ended the inning by getting Jennings to pop out to short, but the damage was certainly done.
Brandon Workman is now warming for the Sox. We’ll see if he makes an early appearance in this one.
Middle 5th — Red Sox 3, Rays 0: It didn’t take long for the Red Sox to add to their lead. After Pedroia grounded out to second, moving Victorino to third, David Ortiz lined a single away from the Tampa shift and into left field. Victorino came in to score to put Boston on top 3-0.
Cobb is getting close to the 100-pitch mark, and there is action in the Rays pen. We’ll see if he comes back out for another inning if Buchholz can shut the Rays down in his half of the fifth.
Top 5th — Red Sox 2, Rays 0: The speed of Jacoby Ellsbury is once again leading to good things for the Red Sox.
He led the inning off with a sharp grounder off the glove of Loney at first, and scampered into second. He just made it to third on an infield single by Shane Victorino, as Escobar bobbled the ball a bit at short and Longoria couldn’t make the tag in time, and then came around to give Boston a 2-0 lead on a wild pitch by Cobb.
Tampa could have had Ellsbury at the plate with a better throw by Molina, but instead they fall behind by two runs. The Sox are looking to add another, with Victorino on second with just one out.
End 4th — Red Sox 1, Rays 0:
Joe Maddon complained about the Rays being “out-Fenway’d” in Game 2. Well the Sox just got “Trop’d” in Game 3.
Ben Zobrist led off the inning with a seven-pitch walk, but fouled two off the catwalk. His second foul was caught by Salty, but because it was caught in foul territory it was ruled a dead ball. Two pitches later Zobrist was on first with a free pass.
It’s hard to blame the catwalk for the base runner, as Buchholz was the one who threw two balls after, but it’s crazy to think that a catwalk could have changed a series. But there’s still time.
Luckily, Buchholz was able to work around it. He froze Longoria on an inside change-up and then got Myers swinging at an inside 4-seamer for his third and fourth Ks of the game.
A Loney single gave the Rays their first runner in scoring position of the night and a Jennings walk loaded the bases, but Buchholz calmly struck out Matt Joyce on three pitches to end the threat.
It was a long inning for Buchholz, who took his sweet time on the mound as he threw 34 pitches in the frame. But the Rays didn’t put any runs on the board, so there’s that.
Middlebrooks and then the top of the order is due up for the Red Sox to lead off the top of the fifth.
Middle 4th — Red Sox 1, Rays 0:
The Red Sox missed out on a big opportunity to tack on some runs in the top of the fourth, squandering a two-on, no out situation.
After an Ortiz walk and Napoli single, Nava put together a great at-bat. He flew out on the ninth pitch to deep center, allowing Ortiz to move to third with just one out.
But then Saltalamacchia struck out on five pitches, and Drew grounded out to Cobb to end any threat.
They did make Cobb work, as he threw 29 pitches in the frame and is up to 71 for the game. But they didn’t plate any runs, which could come back to haunt them in this 1-0 game.
End 3rd — Red Sox 1, Rays : Nice 1-2-3 inning by Buchholz in the bottom of the third.
He got Escobar to ground out to third on four pitches, and then struck out both Molina and DeJesus to retire the side.
Molina, who has good numbers against Buchholz, crushed one on the third pitch he saw, but it was just foul. He then struck out badly on an outside cutter two pitches later.
Just 40 pitches for Buchholz through three innings, with 27 of them going for strikes.
Middle 3rd — Red Sox 1, Rays 0:
Cobb looks to be in a groove after a little wildness in the first.
He retired Ellsbury on just two pitches, getting the Boston lead-off man to fly out to left. He then struck out Victorino and Pedroia swinging to retire the side. He’s now set down the last eight Red Sox in order, with three strikeouts on the night.
End 2nd — Red Sox 1, Rays 0:
Clay Buchholz gave up another lead off hit, but was able to work around it thanks to more great defense by the Red Sox.
James Loney, who entered the night 4-for-10 in the playoffs, led things off with a double to deep left. But he was quickly retired as Desmond Jennings hit a sharp liner to Mike Napoli at first, and Napoli fired to second to double-up Loney.
The Sox defense has been stellar this series, with that being the third key double-play they’ve turned in the last five innings.
The inning ended with Daniel Nava making a nice sliding grab in left on a sinking liner off the bat of Matt Joyce.
Middle 2nd — Red Sox 1, Rays 0: Nothing doing for the Sox in the Top of the 2nd, as they go down in order.
Cobb got Salty swinging for the first out and Stephen Drew to fly out to left on just four pitches. He then made a great play on a slow roller by Will Middlebrooks to get him at first.
Cobb needed just nine pitches to retire the side.
End 1st — Red Sox 1, Rays 0:
Buchholz worked around a lead off bloop single by David DeJesus, getting Ben Zobrist to ground into a fielder’s choice, Evan Longoria to fly out to center and Wil Myers to ground out to second.
Buchholz needed just 17 pitches to retire the side, throwing 12 for strikes. He started each of the four batters he faced off with a strike, retiring Myers on just one pitch.
The bottom of the Boston order is due up in in the Top of the 2nd, with Saltalamacchia, Drew and Middlebrooks set to face Cobb.
Middle 1st — Red Sox 1, Rays 0:
The Red Sox continue to do the little things, and it pays off once again.
Shane Victorino continues to do everything right as he once again takes out Ben Zobrist while sliding into second, breaking up another potential double play (he did this in Game 2 as well). Zobrist was charged with his second error of the series on another errant throw to first, which allowed Jacoby Ellsbury to come around and score to give Boston an early 1-0 lead.
The Sox had two on and just one out after David Ortiz walked on four pitches, but Mike Napoli flew out to shallow left and Daniel Nava grouned out to first after a seven-pitch at-bat.
The Red Sox got to Cobb early, but they must be wishing they tacked on a few more.
Pregame — 6:00: We’re just a few minutes away from the first pitch in St. Pete.
According to WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche, who is down in Tampa, it’s a good mix of Rays and Red Sox fans inside Tropicana Field. The Red Sox usually have plenty of fans in the stands down there during the regular season, but Rays fans are doing there part now that the playoffs have come to town.
Manager John Farrell said during his pregame media availability that his players are eager to get back on the field after Saturday night’s win, but they are focused on tonight’s game and nothing else.
Pregame — 5:49: The Boston Red Sox will try to sweep the Tampa Bay Rays out of the ALDS on Monday night, clinching a spot in the ALCS for the first time since 2008.
Boston has the right man on the mound, with Clay Buchholz set to toe the rubber in the potential clincher. Buchholz has enjoyed success against the Rays over his career, sporting a 2.41 ERA in 16 career starts. He is even better at Tropicana Field with a 2.26 ERA and 0.916 WHIP over 55.2 innings in nine starts.
He is, however, making just his second career postseason start. His first came back in the 2009 ALDS against the Los Angeles Angels, allowing two runs over six innings as he took a no decision in a Boston loss.
GAME 3 LINEUP: Nava Batting Sixth In Playoff Debut
A few Rays batters have had success against Buchholz, with leadoff man David DeJesus a career 4-for-11 and catcher Jose Molina 7-for-22 with a double and 4 RBI against the Boston righty. But Buchholz has been great against a few of the Rays’ big bats, holding Evan Longoria to a .206 average (7-for-34) with 13 strikeouts and Ben Zobrist to a .111 average over 36 at-bats.
On the mound for the Rays is Alex Cobb, who shut out the Cleveland Indians in the AL Wild Card game last Wednesday over 6.2 innings of work. Cobb finished the season strong for Tampa, going 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA in five September starts. Jacoby Ellsbury is the only batter in the Boston lineup to take Cobb deep in his career, but is only 3-for-13 against him in his career. Mike Napoli has had the best success against the Tampa righty, going 3-for-9 with two doubles and four RBIs.
During the regular season, Cobb was 0-1 with a 5.16 ERA in four starts against the Red Sox, allowing 24 hits and 13 earned runs in 22.2 innings pitched.
The Red Sox would love to end this series tonight and head back to Boston for a few days off before Game 1 of the ALCS on Saturday. The Oakland Athletics beat the Detroit Tigers earlier today in Game 3 of their ALDS series, and have a 2-1 series lead with Game 4 set for Tuesday afternoon.
Stick with CBSBostonsports.com for all the updates from tonight’s game and full coverage after. Hopefully we’ll have some locker room celebration to pass along to you later tonight.
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