Red Sox 9 Rays 5
Winning Pitcher: John Lackey (7-8)
Losing Pitcher: James Shields (8-8)
The Red Sox dug themselves into a hole early in today's game, but used the long ball to dig themselves out of the deficit, taking the 9-6 victory. In the bottom of the first, with John Lackey pitching, the Sox started their day with an error by Marco Scutaro, allowing leadoff man Johnny Damon to reach. After a Ben Zobrist single moved Damon over to third, Casey Kotchman was able to knock in the run on a grounder to short. Two more base hits gave the Rays an early 3-0 lead, and it looked like another bad Lackey start. In the next frame, after Jarrod Saltalamacchia drew a one-out walk, Josh Reddick continued his barrage against Major League pitching, hitting a two run shot and cutting the lead for Tampa down to one. The third started out with an Adrian Gonzalez walk and Kevin Youkilis base hit. David Ortiz, the next batter, then hit a deep double to center, scoring both runners and giving the Sox their first lead of the game. JD Drew then stepped up with a double of his own, and Boston left the inning with a two run lead. The next inning also started off with a bang, as Jacoby Ellsbury built on his career year, hitting his 13th blast of 2011. Lackey continued to soldier on, with the only other run he let up being a solo shot to Matt Joyce. Lackey finished the day with 5.2 innings, allowing 4 runs (3 earned) on 10 hits, one walk and 7 strikeouts. The Red Sox bullpen finished the game off aptly, and Dustin Pedroia contributed yet another home run, and the Red Sox got back on track with their first win of the second half.
Boston: Josh Reddick (3), Jacoby Ellsbury (13), Dustin Pedroia (13)
Tampa Bay: Matt Joyce (13)
The Red Sox and Rays finish off their series tomorrow night at 8:00 PM ET on ESPN. Boston sends Josh Beckett (8-3 2.27) to the mound against Tampa's Jeff Niemann (4-4 4.53).