In a game where the Red Sox weren't as sharp as they've been of late, blowing a two-run lead late in the game, they were still able to defeat the Rays 7-3 Wednesday night in Tampa by the way of a pinch-hit grand slam from Mike Carp in the tenth inning. The Red Sox have now taken the first two games in the three-game set.
With the game knotted at three in the tenth, Carp crushed a grand slam to dead center field to lead the Red Sox to the win. The Red Sox scored their first three runs all in the fifth inning with Mike Napoli leading the way with a two-RBI double which plated Dustin Pedroia and Shane Victorino. Daniel Nava knocked in the third run with an RBI ground out scoring Napoli. Pedroia and Nava led the offense with two hits apiece.
Ryan Dempster gave the Red Sox five innings of one-run ball allowing four hits while walking five and striking out seven. He wasn't sharp by any means, but was able to pitch out of jams when he needed to, limiting the Rays to just the one run. Franklin Morales came in and pitched a 1-2-3 sixth, followed by Brandon Workman who allowed two runs in two innings of work, which allowed the Rays to tie the game at three. Koji Uehara pitched a 1-2-3 ninth followed by Junichi Tazawa shutting the door in the tenth.
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The series will conclude tomorrow night (7:10, NESN) with Jake Peavy going up against Jeremy Hellickson.
What they'll be saying: The Red Sox continue to get late game heroics with this time it being Carp. It was the Red Sox' seventh pinch-hit homer of the season and the first pinch-hit grand slam since Kevin Millar in 2003. The Sox now have 22 wins in their last at-bat ... Dempster certainly didn't give his best outing of the season, throwing 106 pitches in just five innings, but he was able to make big pitches when he needed to when the Rays were threatening to score. It seems likely he will be one of the starters moved to the bullpen for the playoff roster, possibly in a Tim Wakefield like role.