Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Rays 5, BoSox 3: Notes from a win
Posted Jul 15, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Jul 15, 2012 at 12:24 AM
ST. PETERSBURG Who needs hits, right?
The Rays managed only five Saturday but beat the Red Sox 5-3 with the help of two sacrifice flies, a bases-loaded walk and an error by BoSox shortstop Mike Aviles.
Oh, and B.J. Upton homered in the eighth to show the Rays can still get a big hit.
The win enabled the Rays to remain a half-game behind the Orioles for the last Wild Card spot in the American League while picking up a full game on the Wild Card-leading Angels.
The Rays can win the first series of the second half this afternoon when James Shields meets Josh Beckett at the Trop.
Here are some notes from a whacky win …
—The winning rally was a product of a leadoff walk, a hit batter, a sacrifice bunt, an intentional walk, a bases-loaded walk and a sac fly.
—David Price took over the American League-lead with his 12th win. He has won his last four and five of his last six. The victory matches his win total from 2011.
Opposing hitters were 2-for-40 this season when down 0-2 to Price coming into the game, but Will Middlebrooks gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning when homered on an 0-2 pitch.
Price has a 2.87 ERA against the AL East this season and a 2.95 ERA for his career against the division.
He is 8-3 this season against the division.
—Desmond Jennings became the first Rays position player with two sac bunts in the same game since Dioner Navarro on Sept. 10, 2007 at Boston. The last Rays player to do it was Wade Davis on June 25 of last season in Houston.
—Sean Rodriguez has an RBI in each of his last four home games.
—Jose Molina, who matched his 2011 total of playing in 55 games with a start Saturday, drove in his 16th run of the season in the victory. He had 15 RBI last year.
—Fernando Rodney is now 26-for-27 in save opportunities. He has not allowed a walk in his last 12 outings. He also lowered his ERA at the Trop this season to 0.39.
—Jeff Keppinger has a pair of doubles.
—B.J. Upton hits his eighth homer of the season. He needs two more by his birthday on Aug. 21 to become only the eighth player in major league history with 100 homers and 200 stolen bases before the age of 25.
He has three home runs in his last nine games. Before that, he had three home runs in his previous 50 games.
—The Rays are 21-16 against the AL East