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Late Home Runs Doom Red Sox In Loss To Tampa Bay

By The Sports Xchange

BOSTON — Evan Longoria did it to the Boston Red Sox again Tuesday night.

The Tampa Bay third baseman hit his 30th career home run — his third in the last week — against Boston to snap a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning, and the Rays came from behind to stun the Red Sox 4-3 in the second game of a three-game series.

After Luke Maile tied the game with a two-run shot off Boston starter Drew Pomreanz with two outs in the seventh, Clay Buchholz (5-10), relieving for the second consecutive night, served up Longoria’s 21st homer of the year. It was the 16th long ball of Longoria’s career at Fenway Park.

Buchholz, normally a starter, worked back-to-back games for just the second time in his career after doing so earlier this month. He threw 29 pitches Monday night and was brought back in Tuesday, as setup man Brad Ziegler left the ballpark early due to the flu.

Buchholz got the first out of the eighth on a screaming one-hopper that was handled by second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Longoria, hitting .212 with one homer against Buchholz in 52 lifetime at-bats coming in, connected on a 1-2 pitch.

In two series in the past week, Longoria had just four hits but produced three homers and six RBIs. He had two sacrifice flies Monday night.

The shot made a winner of reliever Enny Romero (2-0), who worked a perfect seventh with two strikeouts. Erasmo Ramirez pitched a perfect eighth and Alex Colome the ninth for his 29th save in 31 chances. With first and second and two outs, pinch hitter Sandy Leon looked at three straight strikes to end it.

The Rays’ two homers took starter Jake Odorizzi off the hook. He hasn’t lost since July 10. Odorizzi yielded three runs on five hits in six innings.

Pomeranz permitted three runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Hanley Ramirez went 3-for-4 with a solo homer, driving in a run when his pop fly couldn’t be handled among three Rays players. He has five hits in the first two games of the series.

The loss, Boston’s fifth in seven games, left the Red Sox two games behind the losing Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East.

Buchholz reached doubles figures in losses for only the second time in his career.

The Rays took a lead in the first inning. With one out, Kevin Kiermaier hit a fly ball to the wall in left field that Brock Holt couldn’t hold, giving Kiermaier a double. One out later, Brad Miller hit a shot off the glove of Pedroia for an RBI single.

Pomeranz settled down and the Red Sox were doing nothing against Odorizzi, who faced the minimum 12 batters through four innings. Pedroia opened the first with a single but thrown out stealing.

Odorizzi got the first out in the fifth before Ramirez hit a fly ball down the right field line that squeezed around the fabled Pesky Pole for his 18th homer of the season.

NOTES: 2B Dustin Pedroia returned to the Boston lineup after missing two games to attend a family funeral. … Because of a potential tropical storm, the Rays were considering contingency plans for their return to Florida after Wednesday’s game and could spend the night in Boston and fly home on Thursday, an off day. … The Red Sox were one of 28 teams to watch Tim Tebow’s workout Tuesday, but president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told NESN, “I don’t think we’ll be rushing out to make a signing.” … LHP Drew Smyly, 4-0 with a 2.82 ERA over his last seven starts, closes the series for the Rays against RHP Steven Wright. … Tampa manager Kevin Cash said the club will call one or two pitchers up when the rosters expand on Thursday, and add more bodies when Double-A Durham finishes next week. … OF Desmond Jennings, released by the Rays Saturday, cleared waivers and is a free agent. He has a knee injury and was on the disabled list when released.

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