BOSTON -- Evan Longoria belted two homers over the Green Monster on Wednesday night to lead the Rays to a 5-3 victory over the Red Sox in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Longoria's first homer was a game-tying shot in the top of the fourth against Justin Masterson. In the ninth, the third baseman provided some insurance by hitting a towering blast against Alexei Ogando.
"We swung the bats well enough tonight," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I know we left a lot of guys on base, but we got some timely hits. Joey Butler, big knock. And Longo, that second knock, towering."
The power surge was a welcome sight for the Rays, as Longoria hadn't homered since Opening Day on April 6, a span of 90 at-bats.
The Red Sox had just gotten to within a run in the bottom of the eighth when Mookie Betts smoked his third homer in two games. But with the bases loaded and one out later in the inning, Boston wasn't able to tie it.
"What we continue to do is create opportunities," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "And I know that we've talked about this a lot recently, and a lot over the past year-plus. We still take an all-field approach as to not be susceptible to one pitch or another. We square some balls up that don't fall with men in scoring position."
Alex Colome went five-plus innings (four hits, two runs) to earn the win. Masterson suffered his first loss of the season, lasting just 4 1/3 innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Masterson loses steam: The night started auspiciously for Masterson, as he got double-play balls to end the first and second. But Masterson labored in the third and fourth, giving up a run in both innings. And in the fifth, after retiring the first batter, Masterson allowed a single, two walks, a wild pitch and a two-run single, allowing the Rays to reclaim the lead at 4-2.
"Just a lack of control as we got later on in the game," said Masterson. "The first part was great, the first three innings. The fourth, mixed through it. The fifth was just a culmination, just couldn't make the adjustment out there to get into throwing strikes. Close, but not close enough." More >
Middle relief help: Alex Colome pitched the first five innings, but he was lifted in the sixth with the Rays leading, 4-2, after Dustin Pedroia singled to open the inning. David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Pablo Sandoval were scheduled to follow with the game hanging in the balance in the middle innings. Xavier Cedeno retired Ortiz on a groundout before Steve Geltz took over to retire Napoli on a groundout and Sandoval on a lineout to center field to end the threat. More >
Tough decisions backfire on Farrell: When the Red Sox rallied against Kevin Jepsen in the eighth, putting two on with one out, Farrell had Luis Jimenez pinch-run for David Ortiz. The rally was squandered, and when the Sox had two on and two outs in the ninth, Ortiz was due to hit. Instead, Jimenez had to bat and he tapped out to end the game. With the bases loaded and one out in the eighth, Farrell had Daniel Nava (hitless in his 17 previous at-bats) pinch-hit for Allen Craig. Nava grounded into a forceout, and Brock Holt followed with a groundout of his own, ending the threat. More >
"The one thing about Loney, he's like a left-handed shortstop down there. He's just very agile." -- Cash, on first baseman James Loney, who threw out the potential tying run on a forceout at the plate in the eighth inning
"You guys look at one-game seasons. We look at 162. Guys that are [bad] right now with runners in scoring position, that [stuff] will change. Fact. So, there's your answer. Thanks." -- Pedroia
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Rays finished 12-10 during their 22-game stretch against American League East opponents while improving to 27-22 at Fenway Park since 2010.
PEDROIA, MUJICA FLASH THE LEATHER
Pedroia made a brilliant play in the third inning, making a leaping grab on a Loney grounder in the hole and firing to first base to end the frame. In the sixth, reliever Edward Mujica made a behind-the-back snag on a grounder by Logan Forsythe and alertly threw home to get Rene Rivera. More >
Farrell got a call overturned for the Red Sox on a bunt by Kevin Kiermaier in the top of the sixth. Sandoval fielded it and made a strong throw to first, but Kiermaier was ruled safe. After a review of one minute and 32 seconds, the call was overturned and the replay showed that the ball reached the interior of Pedroia's glove before the runner touched first. Kiermaier was awarded with a sacrifice that moved Rivera to third.
WHAT'S NEXT Rays: The team returns to St. Petersburg to begin a four-game series against the Rangers on Thursday at 7:07 p.m. ET. Chris Archer will start for the Rays. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Archer is the only pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) to have three scoreless starts in his first five of the season in which he pitched at least seven innings and allowed two hits or fewer. More >
Red Sox: The Red Sox will get a day off on Thursday, prior to a three-city road trip which opens in Toronto on Friday at 7:07 p.m. Lefty Wade Miley draws the start in the opener of the three-game series. More >