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American League Game Summary - Boston at Tampa Bay
(Saturday, July 26)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 3, Boston 0
St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Ben Zobrist homered, while Matt Joyce added two hits and drove in a run as Tampa Bay claimed a 3-0 victory against Boston in the second edition of a three-game series.
Kevin Kiermaier also collected two hits and drove in the other run for the Rays, who cruised to their ninth straight win and second by shutout in their last three outings.
"It's really impressive. We've just been playing good baseball," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "We're playing good baseball again at home. We have to play really well here in order to make this all work."
Grant Balfour (1-3) worked 1 2/3 scoreless relief innings for the win. Recalled from Double-A prior to the contest, Jeremy Hellickson worked the first 4 2/3 frames, allowing five hits and walking two while fanning five.
Jake McGee turned in a perfect ninth to earn his 11th save.
John Lackey (11-7) gave up three runs -- two earned -- on eight hits over seven innings for the Red Sox, who have dropped the last five contests on their seven-game road trip which concludes on Sunday.
In the top of the first, David Ortiz was given a ground-rule double after a fly ball he hit deep to right was snared by a Red Sox fan just in front of the yellow home-run line which runs across the top of the fence. He was stranded after Mike Napoli struck out looking.
Tampa capitalized in the home half, as Desmond Jennings reached on an error, Zobrist walked and a Joyce single brought in Jennings. The Rays then failed to add to their lead despite having two on in the second and third frames, but tacked on a run in the fourth.
Yunel Escobar began the frame with a single, moved up on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Kiermaier's base hit to center.
Despite retiring the first two batters in the fifth, Hellickson was removed at 96 pitches for Jeff Beliveau, who retired Ortiz on a liner to first.
The Sox wasted a first-and-third, one-out situation in the sixth, as Balfour fanned Xander Bogaerts and induced an inning-ending grounder from Jackie Bradley, Jr.
Zobrist found the right-field seats with two out in the seventh and Tampa led 3-0.
Brad Boxberger worked around a walk to Napoli in the eighth, and McGee struck out Bogaerts and Bradley before a Christian Vazquez fly out locked up the shutout.
The Rays are three wins away from tying their franchise record of 12, set from June 9-22, 2004 ... Tampa designated pitcher Juan Carlos Oviedo for assignment to make room for Hellickson ... Boston acquired minor-league pitchers Heath Hembree and Edwin Escobar from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for struggling lefty starter Jake Peavy ... The Red Sox also announced that pitcher Allen Webster was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to start in Sunday's series finale.
07/27 01:03:27 ET