Smyly continues to own Red Sox

Lefty yields one hit, fans 11 over eight scoreless frames

Smyly continues to own Red Sox

BOSTON -- Receiving a no-decision Tuesday night did nothing to diminish the fact Drew Smyly did it all in the Rays' 3-0 win over the Red Sox in 10 innings.

First and foremost, Smyly continued his mastery of the Red Sox.

The left-hander fired eight shutout frames, allowed just one hit, two walks and tied a career high with 11 strikeouts. In addition, he extended his scoreless streak against the Red Sox to 20 1/3 innings.

"Yeah, I was just real sharp today," Smyly said. "I had command of all four of my pitches. I was able to get ahead and work the counts."

En route to those eight scoreless innings, Smyly pitched a scoreless first, which translated to a 0.00 ERA in the first innings of his past 11 starts.

When Smyly wasn't mowing down Red Sox, he was flashing the leather.

With one out in the eighth, Chris Young popped up in foul territory on the first-base side of the field. First baseman Logan Morrison and catcher Curt Casali charged after the ball. The surprise came when Smyly entered the race.

The three converged on the ball simultaneously, resembling three cars approaching an intersection, alerting any bystanders watching that a wreck was about to happen -- and it did.

"I knew [Morrison] was probably playing back," Smyly said. "I didn't want to let it drop. I'm like, 'I'm not letting this ball drop.' I knew I had a chance at it. ... I was yelling, 'Ball,' because I knew I had it. I wasn't not going to catch it."

Smyly's catch in foul territory

Smyly kept after the ball and made the catch, getting his legs wiped out from under him by Morrison. Once the dust cleared, everybody was fine and Smyly had recorded the second out of the inning the hard way.

Manager Kevin Cash and assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker quickly ran onto the field to check on Smyly and then backed off.

"I was just hoping nobody got hurt," Cash said. "I definitely don't want to see him get hurt. He came up and was kind of a fine line and I looked at Paul Harker and said, 'Hey, if he says he's good let's get out of here,' because the last thing you want to do is break his rhythm. So he looked at me and said he was good, so I just turned around."

Smyly was perfect in seven of the eight innings and managed to escape the one frame when he experienced trouble. In the third, the Red Sox seemed all but certain they would take the lead when they loaded the bases with nobody out.

Young and Ryan Hanigan opened with walks, followed by a single to center by Jackie Bradley Jr. Mookie Betts followed with a crisp grounder to third, and Evan Longoria easily cut down the run at the plate. Dustin Pedroia then hit into a 6-4-3 double play, and the Rays were out of the jam.

Rays turn two

"Just kind of lost my feel for a couple of batters," said Smyly of the third. "I was struggling to throw a strike. I was just thinking run for an out when Mookie was up, and then I was able to get that out at home plate. And then I was like, 'If I can make a good pitch here, I can get out of this inning with no runs.' It worked out for me. After that, I just kind of cruised."

Smyly is not one to show emotion, but he was visibly happy after the inning-ending double play.

"It was my first double play of the year," Smyly said. "So no better moment than that."

As for not getting the decision, Smyly did not seem upset in the least, calling Tuesday night's victory "a good team win."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.