Nava’s 14th-Inning Single Lifts Red Sox Over Rays
By: FRED GOODALL
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Daniel Nava hit a tiebreaking single in the 14th inning and the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 10-8 on Monday night after squandering two late leads in a testy game that included a bench-clearing scrum.
Red Sox starter John Lackey hit Matt Joyce in the back with a pitch in the sixth inning. Joyce, who homered earlier, shouted at the pitcher but was restrained by Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia as players from both teams streamed out of the dugouts.
There was pushing and shoving along the first base line, but it appeared no punches were thrown and the umpires did not eject anyone.
Shane Victorino opened the 14th with a single off Cesar Ramos (1-2), then tagged up and hustled to second when Dustin Pedroia flied out to deep right field. David Ortiz was intentionally walked before Nava singled to center to put the Red Sox ahead. Saltalamacchia singled for his fourth hit of the game, making it 10-8.
Franklin Morales (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.
Saltalamacchia gave the Red Sox an 8-6 lead with a two-run single in the 10th, but closer Andrew Bailey couldn’t hold it.
After Jose Lobaton led off the bottom of the 10th with Tampa Bay’s fourth solo homer, the Rays loaded the bases with no outs on two walks and Ben Zobrist’s fifth hit of the night.
Bailey walked Kelly Johnson on a 3-2 pitch, forcing in the tying run, but escaped further damage when Evan Longoria grounded into a 5-2-3 double play and Sam Fuld was thrown out trying to bunt for a potential game-winning hit.
Pedroia singled to extend his season-best hitting streak to 14 games and drive in the first two runs of a six-run first inning against Alex Cobb, who settled down after the rocky beginning to give the Rays a chance to come back against Lackey.
Pedroia drew a leadoff walk in the 10th and scored when Saltalamacchia singled off Fernando Rodney to give the Red Sox a second lead they couldn’t hold.
Longoria, Joyce and James Loney hit solo homers for the Rays, the latter trimming Boston’s lead to 6-5 in the seventh. Yunel Escobar doubled and later scored on Junichi Tazawa’s wild pitch to make it 6-all in the eighth.
Luke Scott and Zobrist also drove in runs for the Rays, who managed to overcome the big deficit despite going 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position through nine innings.
Nava, Mike Carp and Will Middlebrooks also drove in runs in the first for Boston, which turned seven hits and a walk into its quick 6-0 lead.
The first-place Red Sox improved to 6-1 against the fourth-place Rays, who fell five games off the pace in the AL East. Boston has won eight of 11 to climb a season-best 15 games over .500 at 40-25.
The first eight batters of the game reached base for Boston, which scored six runs before Cobb was able to get an out. The Rays starter didn’t allow another hit, though, and Tampa Bay gradually crept back into the game.
Joyce and Longoria homered off Lackey in the first, and Tampa Bay gave itself a good chance to get back in the game by loading the bases with three singles to begin the third.
Lackey minimized the damage by getting Loney on a line drive to first base and striking out Desmond Jennings after Luke Scott grounded into a force play that drove in Tampa Bay’s third run of the night. The Red Sox starter allowed four runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings, departing with a 6-4 lead.
Zobrist had an RBI single off Lackey in the fourth, and the Rays continued to cut into their deficit with Loney’s homer off Andrew Miller.
Tampa Bay pulled even in the eighth. Escobar doubled with one out, moved to third when Joyce grounded out and scored on Tazawa’s wild pitch to make it 6-all.
Cobb lasted four innings, allowing six runs and seven hits. He walked three and struck out four.
NOTES: Rays LHP David Price, on the 15-day disabled list since May 16 with a left triceps strain, said he felt as good as he has all year after throwing 45 pitches in a bullpen session. The plan is for the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner to throw again Wednesday, then pitch a simulated game on Saturday. If all goes well, he’d then begin a minor league rehab stint and possibly return to the rotation late this month or in early July. … Boston RHP Clay Buchholz could have his next start pushed back at least a couple of days. Buchholz, who is 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA, left his last start in the seventh inning with what the Red Sox called “neck tightness.” Manager John Farrell said the right-hander may not be ready to throw his normal between-starts bullpen session on Wednesday. His next scheduled start is Friday. … The Red Sox reinstated Middlebrooks (lower back strain) from the DL before the game.