Ryan Dempster gave the Sox another quality start going six innings allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out three. Dempster settled down after allowing two runs in the first as he retired seven straight between the second and fourth innings. Craig Breslow came in to relief Dempster and things didn't go the way he and the Sox would have hoped as he allowed three runs in just 2/3 inning to allow the Rays to blow the game open in the seventh inning.
"I think once he settled down after the first four or five hitters where he left a couple of balls over the plate he gave us a quality outing and kept us in the ballgame," manager John Farrell said. "Once again I thought Ryan was solid for us, six quality innings."
The Sox couldn't get much going offensively as they could only score two runs, both on RBI infield singles from Jonny Gomes in the second and fourth innings. Jacoby Ellsbury finished with two hits in the loss and Jose Iglesias' hitting streak was stopped at 18 games.
The Red Sox will now depart to Detroit for a four-game weekend series with the first place Tigers beginning tomorrow night (7:10, NESN) as John Lackey will take on Jose Alvarez.
What they'll be saying: Dempster took the loss and now falls to 4-8 on the year, but his record really isn't indicative of the way he's pitched this season as Wednesday was his fifth quality start in a row dating back to May 28. He is the victim of not getting the run support he deserves as in eight of his 15 starts he's received two runs of support or fewer ... Even though the Sox lost, sweeps are very hard to come by and if they can just keep winning series' they will be fine come the end.