By MARK DIDTLER, Associated Press
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Andrew Miller threw a force attempt at second base into center field, allowing pinch-runner Cole Figueroa to score in the bottom of the 15th inning as the Tampa Bay Rays handed the Boston Red Sox their ninth consecutive loss, 6-5 Saturday.
Boston scored five runs in the first inning but still lost its ninth in a row for the first time since Aug. 25-Sept. 4, 2001.
James Loney opened the 15th with a single off Miller (1-4). Figueroa ran for Loney and went to second on Brandon Guyer’s bunt single. He scored when Miller threw the ball into center field while attempting to get a double play on Desmond Jennings’ grounder.
Cesar Ramos (2-3) allowed an infield single and two walks in three scoreless innings for the win. Five Tampa Bay pitchers limited Boston to six hits, with just two coming after the first inning.
A.J. Pierzynski homered for the Red Sox in a game that took 5 hours, 16 minutes.
Matt Joyce had an RBI single and Guyer drove in two with a double off Jake Peavy in the fifth as the Rays rallied from a five-run deficit to tie it at 5. Logan Forsythe had a second-inning sacrifice fly and an RBI single during the fourth.
The struggling Boston offense broke out against David Price. After Mike Carp was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Jonny Gomes had a sacrifice fly, Pierzynski connected on a three-run homer.
Boston, which scored just 16 runs in its previous eight games, had just two baserunners _ Gomes’ walk in the third and an eighth-inning single by Xander Bogaerts _ over the next seven innings against Price, who allowed five runs and five hits in eight innings.
Bogaerts left the game due to right hamstring cramps and was replaced defensively at shortstop by Jonathan Herrera in the 11th.
Peavy gave up five runs and eight hits over six innings.
The Red Sox used a makeshift lineup with David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino all out with injuries.
Saturday was a planned off day for Ortiz, who has calf soreness. Napoli could sit out a few games due to lingering affects of flu-like symptoms along with hamstring, calf and finger issues. Victorino was placed on the 15-day disabled list after aggravating a right hamstring injury running to first base in the ninth inning of Friday’s 1-0 loss to the Rays.
Ortiz hit a grounder pinch-hitting in the 10th.
NOTES: Boston recalled OF Daniel Nava from Triple-A Pawtucket. Nava and RHP Brandon Workman, who will start Sunday in place of LHP Felix Doubront (strained left shoulder), were in Syracuse with Pawtucket and left the team hotel at 4 a.m. Saturday. … Rays RF Wil Myers, in a 2-for-26 slide, didn’t start, but walked as a pinch hitter in the eighth. … RHP Jake Odorizzi (2-4) is the Rays’ scheduled starter Sunday. … Tampa Bay 3B coach Tom Foley plans to keep wearing Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer’s uniform No. 66. Zimmer is recovering from heart and lung surgery last month. “Just to let him know we’re thinking about him every day,” Foley said “I’ll wear it until somebody tells me not to.”
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