Middlebrooks’ clutch double pushes Sox past Rays

Down to their last strike, and trailing by two runs, Will Middlebrooks delivered a 3-RBI double with the bases loaded off of Rays closer Fernando Rodney, which proved to be the game-winning run in the Red Sox’ 4-3 win over the Rays Thursday night at Tropicana Field. The Red Sox took two-of-three from the Rays.

Going into the ninth inning the Red Sox once again couldn’t get anything going offensively, only having three hits before the ninth. David Ortiz had the lone RBI, a single in the fourth. Dustin Pedroia and Shane Victorino also hit safely for the Red Sox in the win.

Felix Doubront went five innings allowing two runs on three hits and struck out seven, but the big issue for Doubront were six walks and throwing 104 pitches in just five innings of work. Clayton Mortensen allowed a run following Doubront in a 1/3 of an inning. Andrew Miller, Craig Breslow and Junichi Tazawa (two innings, win) pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief following Mortensen to complete the win.

The Rays scored the first run of the game on a Ryan Roberts home run in the second inning and then two more in the sixth on two RBI singles, the first from Desmond Jennings and the second off the bat of Luke Scott.

The Red Sox will now travel to Minnesota for a weekend series with the Twins beginning tomorrow night (8:10, NESN) as Clay Buchholz will get the nod for the Sox and be opposed by Vance Worley.

What they’ll be saying: This was a huge win for the Red Sox as it was the first time they’ve won back-to-back games in two weeks. Although the team didn’t do much with the bats, Middlebrooks came through with the clutch hit in the ninth after Rodney had walked the bases loaded … The performance from Tazawa should not be overlooked as well, coming off of back-to-back outings of allowing a run, he pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win … As sub-par of an outing as it was for Doubront, it was a step in the right direction, although he clearly needs to limit the walks to bring down his pitch count so he can pitch deeper into games. As Farrell has noted on many occasions the left-hander is lacking the ability to put away hitters.



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