Victorino Gets 4 Hits, Red Sox Beat Rays
BOSTON (AP) _ Shane Victorino had four hits and his first two RBIs of the season, John Lackey pitched eight strong innings and the Boston Red Sox beat the slumping Tampa Bay Rays 7-4 on a chilly Tuesday night.
Victorino, activated from the disabled list last week after missing the first 22 games with a hamstring injury, finished 4 for 4 to hike his batting average from .133 to .316. He singled in his first two at-bats, hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth and added an RBI double during Boston’s five-run sixth.
Lackey (4-2) scattered six hits and allowed two runs, striking out five and walking one. After the Rays scored twice in the ninth, Koji Uehara came in and struck out Ben Zobrist on three pitches for his sixth save.
Jackie Bradley Jr. had a pair of doubles and two RBIs as the Red Sox won for the third time in four games.
The Rays lost for the seventh time in eight road games and are 4-9 away from home.
Wil Myers had two hits and scored a run for the Rays. James Loney hit two doubles and joined Myers as the only Tampa Bay players with more than one hit. Both scored in the ninth on a throwing error by shortstop Xander Bogaerts, the only Boston starter who didn’t get a hit.
The Rays began the second leg of a 10-game road trip, which they started 1-3 in Chicago. Erik Bedard held Boston to one run through five innings, but the Rays’ bullpen could not stop the Red Sox in the sixth.
Brandon Gomes (1-1) started the inning and immediately walked Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes. Juan Carlos Oviedo took over with one out and fared no better. A.J. Pierzynski hit an RBI single, then Will Middlebrooks and Bradley hit back-to-back doubles.
Bradley’s shot to center bounced off the wall in one of the deepest parts of Fenway Park, scoring Pierzynski and Middlebrooks easily. Bradley went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Victorino’s ground-rule double.
The Red Sox scored three more on three hits off Oviedo. Boston scored five times in the inning and sent nine batters to the plate.
Bedard got his third no-decision in four starts. He allowed four hits, striking out four and walking three.
Middlebrooks walked to start the fifth and went to third when Bradley doubled to center. The Rays nearly got out of it when Dustin Pedroia lined out to third baseman Evan Longoria, who made a dive for the bag. Middlebrooks was diving in the other direction and barely beat the tag, then scored on Victorino’s fly to center to put Boston up 1-0.
The Rays got the run back in the sixth when Desmond Jennings doubled with one out and scored on a sacrifice fly by Longoria.
Ryan Hanigan’s single in the seventh drove in Myers, who led off the inning with a double that was just a few feet left of being a homer to center.
NOTES: Napoli has reached base in 24 of 25 games this season. … It was the 28th anniversary of Roger Clemens’ first 20-strikeout game for Boston, when he broke the major league record for a nine-inning game against Seattle. … Red Sox DH David Ortiz played in his 1,994th game. … Tampa Bay played its 1,000th game since shortening the team’s name to Rays in 2008.
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