By DOUG ALDEN Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) _ Jonny Gomes hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, completing a doubleheader sweep.
Daniel Nava was aboard on a leadoff walk when Gomes followed with a towering shot off Joel Peralta (1-3) that cleared the Green Monster and bounced off the sign just to the right of the foul pole.
It was a dramatic ending to a very long day, which started at 1 p.m. with Boston’s 5-1 win in the opener, which was delayed almost three hours by rain.
Nava also homered in the second and Felix Doubront pitched eight shutout innings for Boston in the night game. Doubront struck out six and held the Rays to three singles.
Doubront retired his last 17 batters, but Boston manager John Farrell decided to go to Andrew Bailey for the ninth. It was the longest outing of Doubront’s career.
Bailey (3-0), who picked up his eighth save Sunday despite allowing two runs to Baltimore in the ninth, then blew the save opportunity by allowing a leadoff homer to Kelly Johnson.
Gomes rescued Baily in the bottom half with his fifth homer of the season, drawing his teammates in a sprint from the dugout to mob him at the plate.
David Ortiz drove in three runs in the doubleheader opener, and Alfredo Aceves (4-1) pitched five solid innings for his third straight win. Aceves (4-1) overcame early control problems, allowing one run and three hits.
The first game was marked by a rain delay in the fifth inning of 2 hours, 59 minutes, extending the makeup of an April 12 rainout.
The Red Sox invited fans who stuck out Tuesday’s first game to return for the second for free. The opener ended after the scheduled 7:05 p.m. start time for the nightcap _ by that point, with little turnaround time, Game 2 were already wandering into Fenway Park.
Highly touted Rays prospect Wil Myers made his major league debut and picked up his first career hit in the second game. He went 1 for 7 on the day.
The Red Sox had lost four of six coming into the day, including two of three in a series at Tampa Bay last week.
Chris Archer (1-3) took the only loss for the Rays last week, and Boston beat him again in the opener. He struck out five in 4 2-3 innings, but also walked five while allowing four runs and five hits.
NOTES: Boston placed pitcher Clay Buchholz on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained neck after the first game. Buchholz is 9-0 and leads the majors with a 1.71 ERA. … It was the third doubleheader of the season for the Red Sox, who had been swept by Kansas City in April and split a pair with the Los Angeles Angels on June 8.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)