Rays clobbered by Red Sox, lead narrowed

by Gary Shelton on August 12, 2021

in general

Cash hopes to exceed expectations./JEFFREY S. KING

Thursday, 4 a.m.

This time, the comeback fell just short.

By three grand slams.

The Tampa Bay Rays, winners of five straight, owners of a big lead in the American League East, took it on the chin Wednesday. Also, they took on the nose. And between the eyes. Pretty much, they took it everywhere.

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The Rays lost a 20-8 embarrassment to the Boston Red Sox, and that was despite a seven-run ninth inning. The Red Sox jumped on Tampa Bay for 14 runs in the first five innings, working out the mounting frustrations that losing 11 of 13 games can bring.

The Rays went into the ninth inning trailing by 19 runs and had only three hits. Brett Phillips hit a grand slam and Mike Zunino a solo homer to make the score appear somewhat closer, but there is no running from the humiliation of this loss. Boston closed to within four games in the AL East with the win.

Boston jumped on starter Josh Fleming for 11 hits and 10 runs. Even after 10 runs, it seemed that Rays' manager Kevin Cash was slow to pull Fleming.

“Boston is a very good hitting team," Cash said. "They’re going to jump on pitches they can handle. They just didn’t let us up. They had traffic on the bases the entire night."

The Red Sox had 10 extra base hits, including seven doubles. In the eighth inning, they scored six more runs against catcher Francisco Mejia.

It was the most runs scored against the Rays since 2002, when the team gave up 22 in a loss to Boston.

Brandon Lowe hit his 26th homer for Tampa Bay.

The Rays have a chance to take the series in a 4:10 p.m. game today at Fenway Park. Tampa Bay will start Drew Rasmussen. The Red Sox have not announced their starter.

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