ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ B.J. Upton hit a game-ending,
three-run homer off Vicente Padilla, capping Tampa Bay’s six-run
ninth inning and lifting the Rays to a sorely needed 7-4 victory
over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night.

Tampa Bay salvaged a split of the four-game series and remained
51/2 games back of Oakland for the second AL wild-card slot. The Rays
(80-70) have 12 games left on their schedule.

Andrew Bailey (1-1) gave up four hits and a walk before Padilla
came in to face Upton, who drove a 2-1 pitch over the wall in
center for his 24th homer.

Burke Badenhop (2-2) recorded one out to get the win.

Clay Buchholz outpitched Tampa Bay ace David Price, tossing
seven innings of four-hit ball before handing a 2-0 lead to the
Boston bullpen. Mauro Gomez hit a two-out RBI triple in the eighth
for the Red Sox, but they couldn’t hold on for the victory.

Jose Iglesias had three hits for Boston, including his first
career home run. Ryan Lavarnway and Gomez each had two hits and an

It was only the third win in the last 10 games for the Rays.

Price allowed three runs and eight hits in 7 1-3 innings. He
struck out seven and walked one while throwing 119 pitches.

Cody Ross’ two-out double in the sixth gave Boston the lead and
ended Price’s streak of 29 1-3 scoreless innings at home. Lavarnway
drove in Ross with a single.

Iglesias connected against J.P. Howell in the ninth, sending an
0-2 pitch over the wall in center.

Ben Zobrist drove in the Rays’ first run with an eighth-inning
sacrifice fly off Junichi Tazawa. It was the Rays’ first run in
Price’s last three starts at home.

Buchholz struck out four and walked two. The right-hander is 0-3
with a 4.07 ERA in his last six starts.

Jacoby Ellsbury was out of Boston’s starting lineup, but
replaced Pedro Ciriaco after the center fielder lost two fly balls
against the Tropicana Field roof. Both fell for doubles, the Rays’
only hits in the first four innings.

NOTES: The eight combined strikeouts by Price and Wade Davis
left the Rays with 1,264 for the season, two short of the American
League record set by the New York Yankees in 2001. … With two
games left at Boston next week, the Red Sox lead the season series
9-7. … Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia went 0 for 16 in the four-game
series. … Lavarnway has seven RBIs in his last seven games.

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


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