Bats bail out a beleaguered bullpen
BOSTON — It was another tough game for the Red Sox bullpen, but this time Boston’s bats provided a save.
Aaron Hill sliced an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth after the Rays had tied it in the top half of the inning, and the Red Sox held on for an 8-6 victory Wednesday afternoon.
“We had to find a way to fight back again,” manager John Farrell said after the Red Sox finished the homestand with a 3-3 record and headed to the West Coast for the first six in a nine-game road trip.
Hanley Ramirez hit a fifthinning grand slam to erase a 4-1 deficit and Jackie Bradley Jr. added a solo shot in the sixth to give Boston a 6-4 lead. But one game after the Red Sox blew a two-run lead in the seventh, the Rays loaded the bases against Fernando Abad in the eighth and Logan Forsythe hit a two-run single off Junichi Tazawa to tie it.
In the bottom half, Ramirez led off with a walk, Sandy Leon bunted him to second and pinch hitter Brock Holt singled Ramirez to third. Hill followed with a single past the first baseman to score Ramirez and Bradley then hit an RBI double to make it 8-6.
“(It was a) difficult loss,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We get out to an early lead, have some real good at-bats against a good pitcher (Steven Wright) that’s having a good year. (But) a walk here and couple of hits, then the big home run by Hanley really killed us.”
Xander Bogaerts also homered for the Red Sox, while Bradley had three hits. Dustin Pedroia had three more hits to give him 15 in his last 20 at-bats. He is batting .463 since moving into the leadoff spot Aug. 10.
Kevin Kiermaier had three hits for the Rays, while Forsythe and Logan Morrison each homered.