53-31: Bats come alive against Tampa


The Red Sox pummeled the Rays from the get go yesterday, tallying 21 hits and 10 walks in a 15-4 victory. The loss marked a three-game sweep and was Tampa’s 11th defeat in a row.

Tampa starter J.P. Howell (1-3) failed to last even one inning, allowing six runs on six hits and two walks. The Rays’ bullpen continued to hemorrhage runs for two more innings, and by then the game was a 13-2 debacle already. The Sox lineup did a great job of working pitchers, and manager Joe Maddon was forced to go through six relief pitchers to get out of the game.

Coco Crisp, batting seventh, belted a grand slam in the first inning to really break the game open. He also walked a run home in the third to give him 5 RBI on the day. In all, he came to the plate an incredible four times with the bases loaded. This was probably his best game in a Red Sox uniform, and I hope he can build on that confidence going forward. Mike Lowell also had a home run and 5 RBI, going 5-6 at the plate. Let’s hope there’s no second half slowdown for him. David Ortiz had three hits and scored four times, and Manny Ramirez went 2-3 with a double and a walk. When those guys are right, you know the Sox are gonna score runs.

Josh Beckett (12-2) was not at his sharpest, but with the lead he was given, he didn’t have to be. He pitched a solid six innings, striking out nine batters, matching his season high. The victory moved him into a tie with the Indians’ C.C. Sabathia for the league lead in wins. Sabathia suffered his worst outing of the year yesterday in a loss to Detroit.

Mike Timlin pitched two scoreless innings to finish the game, and looked better than he has since he returned off the DL. He needed only 20 pitches to dispatch the Rays in the eighth and ninth.

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