BOSTON (AP) _ The clubhouse door opened up and the Tampa Bay
Rays could be seen dancing _ a stark contrast to what happened a
night earlier.

Sean Rodriguez hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning off
Boston closer Alfredo Aceves, and the Rays rallied for a 4-3
victory over the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon, a day after losing in
the final inning.

“We’re a lot of fun when we win,” Rays manager Joe Maddon
said, smiling at the thought of his team’s postgame celebration.

When the door opened, an elder male fan came out of the Rays’
clubhouse and was putting his Red Sox shirt back on, telling people
he was invited in to celebrate with the Rays.

“Something like that,” Rodriguez said, breaking into a smile
when asked about his team’s `dance party’ after the victory.
“Every team wants to win. We just want to remember how much fun it

Will Rhymes went 3 for 3 with three singles and an RBI for the
Rays, who lost Saturday night on a pinch-hit, two-run homer by
Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the ninth off closer Fernando Rodney.

Clay Buchholz had his best start of the season and Adrian
Gonzalez hit a three-run homer for Boston, which was about to move
above .500 for the first time this season until Rodriguez hit a
drive off Aceves (0-2) over the Green Monster with one out after
Ben Zobrist walked.

“We know exactly how they feel after last night,” Maddon said.
“It’s not a good feeling.”

Boston lost for just the fifth time in 16 games, but dropped two
of three in the weekend series that was highlighted by a
benches-clearing incident on Friday. The Red Sox failed on their
fifth try to go over .500.

Jake McGee (2-1) retired Gonzalez, the only batter he faced, on
a grounder to short to end the eighth with the bases loaded to earn
the win.

Rodney pitched the ninth for his 16th save. The first batter
retired was Saltalamacchia on a broken-bat bouncer to short.

“How about Fernando to have to go out and get Saltalamacchia?”
Maddon said. “Then it was strike, strike, strike. I know he wanted

It’s the latest the Red Sox (23-24) haven’t been over .500 since
late August of 1996.

Aceves failed for just the third time in 14 chances.

“His control has been pinpoint, those pitches were just a
little off,” Boston manager Bobby Valentine said.

Buchholz, who entered with a major league-high 7.84 ERA,
scattered eight hits and allowed two runs over seven innings,
walking one and striking out six in matching his season high with
111 pitches.

“Nobody likes losing, but you’ve got to deal with it
sometimes,” Buchholz said. “It’s a tough loss.”

The Red Sox had given Buchholz a major league-best 8.76 runs in
his starts, but they were unable to put together any sustained
offense against Jeremy Hellickson until rallying in the seventh.

Trailing 2-0, David Ortiz drew a leadoff walk and Kevin Youkilis
singled before Gonzalez lofted a fly ball down the left-field line
that hooked into the first row of Green Monster seats just inside
the pole.

Hellickson gave up three runs, seven hits, walked two and struck
out three over 7 2-3 innings.

Gonzalez had a chance to break it open, but failed in the

“It’s not devastating. It’s tough, but it’s not devastating,”
he said of the loss. “We’ll come out tomorrow and try to win a

The Rays broke up a scoreless game with a run in the fourth.
Matt Joyce had a one-out double and advanced on the play when right
fielder Gonzalez’s throw missed the cutoff, hitting off the top of
Dustin Pedroia’s lunging attempt in short right and rolling about
20 feet away. Zobrist then bounced to first, scoring Joyce.

Gonzalez played right for just the second time in Fenway Park
due to a number of injuries to Boston’s outfield.

The benches cleared Friday when Boston reliever Franklin Morales
threw behind Luke Scott before hitting him in the right leg.

Rhymes’ two-out RBI single made it 2-0 in the seventh after
Rodriguez reached on a double, barely beating Pedroia’s tag with a
headfirst slide.

Hellickson, who had his worst start of the season against the
Red Sox in Fenway on April 14, allowed just four singles in the
first six innings and only one runner to second base. That came
when Scott Podsednik reached with one out in the third and advanced
on a ground out, but Pedroia ended the inning with a fly out.

Hellickson gave up five runs in five innings in Boston’s second
home game of the season in April.

B.J. Upton extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a
single, matching his career best.

Buchholz had double plays turned behind him to end the fifth and

NOTES: Boston 3B Will Middlebrooks doesn’t look like he’s let
his early success spoil his attitude. He was walking through the
clubhouse before Sunday’s game and Gonzalez yelled, “Franchise”
but the rookie kept walking until Gonzalez yelled, “Will.” It
finally got his attention and he turned around. The rookie drove in
nine runs in his first four games when he came up earlier this
month, matching a major league record. … The Rays had won the
last 12 “walkoffs” they’d been involved in before Saturday
night’s 3-2 loss to the Red Sox. “It felt unusual,” Maddon said
before the game. … Boston entered the day with a major
league-leading 181 extra-base hits. … Rays 1B Carlos Pena hit
leadoff for the fifth straight game.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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