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Rays Sac Fly In Eleventh Inning Beats Bo-Sox; 9-8 Series Tied 1-1

Game one of the ALCS at Tropicana Field between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox was dominated by pitching, as Boston won the contest 2-0. Game two of the ALCS had some strong performances from both teams bullpens, but this time offense ruled. The two teams combined to hit seven home runs, but ironically it was a sacrifice fly by B.J. Upton that won the game in the eleventh inning and gave the Rays the victory over Boston 9-8. With the win the series is now tied at a game apiece.

Boston starter Josh Beckett and Tampa Bay starter Scott Kazmir were ineffective to say the least. Both pitchers were yanked with just one out in the fifth inning, Beckett giving eight runs, all earned, while Kazmir gave up five.

The two teams scored early and often, as Boston opened up the game with Jason Bay driving in two runs with a double in the top of the first. Evan Longoria tied the game in the bottom of the frame with a two run homer off of Beckett. The Red Sox took the lead back in the top of the third as Dustin Pedroia hit a solo blast making it a 3-2 game. But the lead did not last long, as Upton tied the game with a round-tripper in the bottom of the frame. Carl Crawford had a RBI single, and at the end of three the Rays had the lead 4-3. Cliff Floyd hit a dinger for Tampa Bay in the fourth, and made it a 5-3 contest.

Boston took the lead back in the top of the fifth knocking Kazmir out of the game in the process. Pedroia hit his second homer of the game, and after Kazmir got David Ortiz out he gave up another long ball to Kevin Youkilis which tied the game, and ended night for the Rays pitcher. Reliever Grant Balfour faced just one batter Jason Bay who put the Bo-Sox on top with another dinger making it a 6-5 game. J.P. Howell came in to the game and ended the inning without further damage.

The Rays answered back with a vengeance in the bottom of the inning. Carlos Pena tied the game with a RBI single, and then scored on a Longoria double. Beckett was replaced by Javier Lopez, who also just faced one batter, Carl Crawford who made it 8-6 with a RBI single. Manny Delcarmen shut Tampa bay down but the damage had been done.

The Red Sox chipped away as Bay had a RBI single driving in Pedroia in the sixth. Boston tied the game in the eighth as Pedroia scored on a wild pitch by Rays pitcher Dan Wheeler. The game was tied 8-8, and would remain that way until the bottom of the eleventh.

Boston reliever Mike Timlin committed the cardinal sin of giving up back to back walks at the start of the inning. The base runners advanced to second and third, setting the stage for Upton. The Rays center fielder hit a fly to right field, Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew made an off balance throw, and pinch runner Fernando Perez crossed the plate with the game winning run.

The game took 5:27 to play, Timlin gets the loss for Boston rookie David Price got the win for Tampa Bay. After a day off Sunday the series resumes in Boston Monday. Matt Garza will get the start for the Rays, Jon Lester gets the nod for the Red Sox.

© Copyright 2008 thesackattack.net

I was very disappointed at Beckett, he was just too sloppy. But still, I think the Sox will take this one again.

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