Rays rally past Red Sox to avoid sweep – Boston Globe
Comments PrintMatthew J. Lee/Globe staff
It was a rough outing for reliever Junichi Tazawa, who gave up a pair of runs in the eighth inning.
For most of the 6⅔ innings he was on the mound Sunday, Wade Miley was on cruise control. But after giving up a two-out triple to Kevin Kiermaier in the seventh, Red Sox manager John Farrell wanted to make sure all of Miley’s work didn’t go to waste.
The Sox were hanging on to a one-run lead, and Farrell already had arms getting warm in the bullpen an inning earlier. Robbie Ross Jr. was the first person he called on to build the bridge to the ninth inning.
The bridge looked rickety when Ross hit his first batter, pinch hitter Curt Casali, and walked Brandon Guyer to load the bases. But he kept it together by striking out Joey Butler.
At that point, Farrell figured the planks on the bridge were still intact. He could go to Junichi Tazawa in the eighth then have Koji Uehara slam the door.
“When Robbie gets the key strikeout and shuts down the seventh inning, we felt like things were going to set up good,” Farrell said.
Strong rebound start by the Sox’ Wade Miley
Miley threw a career-high 120 pitches and gave up just two runs over 6⅔ innings.
If there was a reliever Farrell trusted in a high-pressure situation, it was Tazawa — even with Tazawa coming off his second blown save of the season Friday night, when he let a pair of inherited runners score in the seventh inning in the series opener against the Rays.
“The confidence in him is as high as anyone on our staff coming into games late, even in tight situations,” Farrell said. “So it was setting up well.”
But on the way to a 4-3 loss, things fell apart for the Sox when Tazawa took the baton.
Tazawa found himself in immediate trouble when he left a 93-mile-per-hour fastball in Evan Longoria’s sweet spot, down and in. Longoria shot it off the CVS sign in the left-field corner for a double.
Two batters later, Tazawa fed Asdrubal Cabrera five straight fastballs, “which is a little bit uncommon for him,” Farrell said.
Cabrera launched the last one to right field and it bounced into the Rays bullpen for …Read More