Bottom of the 8th: Red Sox 5, Rays 1: Ramos retires the side (Middlebrooks, Drew and Ellsbury) for a quick inning. Last licks here for the Rays in a game that has now spanned six hours. Breslow will pitch the ninth.
Top of the 8th: Red Sox 5, Rays 1: Koji Uehara in and he allows a leadoff walk to Joyce. Saltalamacchia and Uehara chat quickly on the mound, before he faces Jennings. Jennings falls behind 0-2 in the count then grounds out, though it advances Joyce to third base with one out. After a nine-pitch at bat, Zobrist walks. Longoria pops out as Uehara’s pitch count reaches 22 and Craig Breslow begins warming up in the pen. Another long at bat (nine pitches) but Uehara finally catches Loney swinging on a slider.
Bottom of the 7th: Red Sox 5, Rays 1: Cesar Ramos in for the Rays, and he strikes out Ortiz on three pitches. Since the rain delay, there have been eight strike outs. Napoli singles on a line drive to left field but Nava pops out and Saltalamacchia strikes out swinging.
Top of the 7th: Red Sox 5, Rays 1:Miller in to pitch. He strikes out Myers in four pitchers. The 22-year-old is now 0-for-3 in his major league debut. Scott, too, strikes out. He was caught swinging on an 87 mile per hour slider. Molina bangs one off the top third of the Green Monster, a two-out single. Escobar grounds out.
Bottom of the 6th: Red Sox 5, Rays 1:Should have noted before that Lueke --Tampa Bay’s pitcher who was warming up as the game was delayed -- stayed in for the Rays. Here in the sixth, he strikes out Middlebrooks in four pitches. Two pitches later, Drew grounds out to second. And then Ellsbury rips a ball into the right field corner, a solid triple. He just needs a home run for the cycle. He has one home run in more than 300 plate appearances this season but hey, given today’s wackiness, I wouldn’t rule anything out. Victorino hits the ball in nearly the same exact spot. Back-to-back triples and the Sox grab a four run lead. Pedroia strikes out.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 4, Rays 1: Aceves day is done. His final line: 5 IP, 3H, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 K and 75 pitches. Likely could have kept pitching if not for the nearly three hour delay. Junichi Tazawa gets the call for the sixth. Pace of game issues are definitely at play here -- it’s tough getting back into it after spending three hours holed in the club house. Tazawa, though, has no such issues. He retries the side in 12 pitches, including back-to-back strikeouts to start things off. Andrew Miller is warming up in the pen.
Bottom of the 5th: Red Sox 4, Rays 1: The rain delay ends, after two hours and 59 minutes. (Second) first pitch is at 5:57 p.m. Saltalamacchia ends the inning striking out. The crowd here is pretty sparse and it appears ushers have blocked off the bleacher area altogether.
5:24 p.m. update: The skies are brightening and the tarp has been removed. The Red Sox have announced they expect to resume game one of the double header at approximately 5:55. Game two of the doubleheader would begin 35-45 minutes after the conclusion of game one. Fans who have tickets to game one are allowed to stay for game two if they wish.
Rain delay:At 2:58, the umpires called for the tarp. Reliever Josh Lueke was just warming up. There were two outs in the bottom of the fifth with bases loaded. The Sox were up, 4-1. Lightning was spotted at 3:10 so it could be a bit before we get started again. Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted on game one of today’s scheduled doubleheader.
Bottom of the 5th: Red Sox 4, Rays 1: Still a cloud, still moving in, still no rain. Ellsbury flies out to deep center field. And it looks like maybe there’s a few drops falling as fans file to the concourses. But we play on as Victorino reaches first on a throwing error by Loney, the first baseman. It’s definitely raining now. Pedroia walks. Runners on first and second with one out for Big Papi as a local flash flood warning appears on my phone. Bad omen for Ortiz? Not quite. He smacks an RBI single to right field. That’s his 17th of the month, which leads the American League. Conference on the mound for Tampa Bay and there’s activity in the Rays bullpen. Archer (nearing 100 pitches) stays in for now and Napoli strikes out. Runners on the corner with two outs for Nava, who walks. Bases loaded and that’ll do it for Archer, who threw 109 pitches (64 for strikes). His final line: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 5 K. Josh Lueke warms up but he will not pitch. It’s really pouring. Rain delay! Stay tuned...
Top of the 5th: Red Sox 3, Rays 1: Aceves enters the inning on 66 pitches. He needs just three more to entice Molina into a groundout to begin the fifth inning. Escobar singles on a hit to center field. Joyce, too, grounds out. And with a runner on second with two outs, Jennings grounds out as well. Aceves exits the inning with 75 pitches, 43 for strikes.
Bottom of the 4th: Red Sox 3, Rays 1: Semi-regular weather report: There’s a really dark cloud looming over the park. But no rain yet (hope I didn’t just jinx it) so we’re still playing. Saltalamacchia strikes out swinging and Middlebrooks grounds out softly. Drew makes it a 1-2-3 inning by striking out swinging on a slider.
Top of the 4th: Red Sox 3, Rays 1: Loney grounds out. Myers’ second big league at bat is a bit better than his first: He draws a full count, but flies out. Scott grounds out to end the inning.
Bottom of the 3rd: Red Sox 3, Rays 1:Top of the order for Boston, too, and Ellsbury leads off with a single. Victorino also singles and the speedy Ellsbury scoots to third, easily. Another conference for Archer as Pedroia looms on deck. Pedroia works a 3-1 count when Victorino darts for second, stealing his seventh base of the season. Pedroia lines out bringing Ortiz up with runners on second and third with no outs. Big Papi cashes in with a two-run single down the middle. With the shift, nobody was close to fielding it. Napoli and Nava strike out to end the inning. Semi-regular weather report: It’s getting pretty windy here.
Top of the 3rd: Rays 1, Red Sox 1:It’s the top of the order for Tampa Bay, and Joyce grounds out to lead things off. Jennings strikes out. Zobrist doubles on a hard hit ball to the edge of the Tampa Bay bullpen, but Longoria grounds out to end the inning. Should be noted the lights came on about halfway through the inning as dark clouds loom. Storm coming?
Bottom of the 2nd: Rays 1, Red Sox 1: Tampa Bay starter Chris Archer, like Aceves, walks two straight batters (Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava) to start the second inning. That calls for a Tampa Bay conference at the mound. And hey, just like Aceves, whatever was said seemed to have worked -- Saltalamacchia, the next batter, grounds into a double play. Middlebrooks then walks, bringing runners on the corner with two outs. Of the game’s first 17 batters, six have walked. But Drew grounds out to end the inning.
Top of the 2nd: Rays 1, Red Sox 1:Evan Longoria works a full count and eventually a leadoff walk. Aceves then throws four straight balls to walk James Loney, as well. Then it’s Wil Myers, whose much-anticipated first big league at bat is, well, unmemorable. He pops out to shallow center field for Aceves’ first out of the inning. Myers swung on his first pitch -- probably not what you want to do after a pitcher yields back-to-back walks but hey, he’s new at this. Luke Scott hits one down the right field line for an RBI double. Jose Molina walks. That’s Aceves’ third walk of the inning and prompts a quick mound conference from Nieves (30 seconds, tops). Whatever was said worked -- Yunel Escobar grounds into a double play to end the inning.
Bottom of the 1st: Red Sox 1, Rays 0: Fenway Park is perhaps two thirds full, a byproduct of today being a makeup game and today being a work day. Regardless, those who are here cheer loudly as Jacoby Ellsbury leads off with a double, hitting the Green Monster right by the W.B. Mason sign. Ellsbury advances to third on a flyout from Shane Victorino. Dustin Pedroia hits one deep to center field. Another 10 feet -- maybe less -- and it would have gone over the fence. It was caught, but it’s an RBI as Ellsbury easily tags home. David Ortiz flies out to end the inning.
Top of the 1st: Rays 0, Red Sox 0: Steady start for Aceves, who strikes Matt Joyce out looking at a 94 mile per hour fastball. Will Middlebrooks makes an athletic play look easy, as Desmond Jennings grounds out. Then Ben Zobrist pops out for a quick, 10 pitch inning for Aceves, looking to build off his past two strong starts. Should be noted last week Joe Maddon commented on Aceves and said: “We can’t hit that guy.”
Pregame Welcome to Fenway Park. Emily Kaplan here to provide update for today’s doubleheader between the Rays and the Red Sox. It’s a rare two-day homestand for the Sox who are coming off a four-game series in Baltimore and will head to Detroit later this week. Alfredo Aceves (3-1, 5.58 ERA) will start the first game. Aceves has posted quality starts in his past two outings (both spot starts) going 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA. Over those two games, Aceves allowed only two runs -- both on solo home runs. A big story to follow is the big league debut of Wil Myers for Tampa Bay. Myers, 22-years-old, is considered one of the top -- if not the top -- prospects in baseball The outfielder (.286 with 14 home runs and 57 RBIs in 64 games at Triple-A Durham this season) was the big return in the December trade that sent pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis to Kansas City. How will he fare? Stay tuned for updates throughout the game.