Red Sox end 7-4 trip with 2-1 loss to Rays
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. >> Not even David Ortiz could help the Boston Red Sox overcome missed opportunities in the final game of a long trip away from Fenway Park.
Enny Romero relieved with two outs in the ninth inning and fanned the Red Sox slugger to give the Tampa Bay Rays a 2-1 win Thursday and a four-game split with the Red Sox.
A day earlier, the 40-year-old Ortiz reached 30 home runs and 100 RBIs. Ortiz was rested for the final day of an 11-game road trip that saw Boston go 7-4. The Red Sox, who began the day tied with Toronto for the AL East lead, lost the final two games of the series.
"There are times you look back, today being one of them, that you could have capitalized on situations and had a different outcome," Boston manager John Farrell said.
After Mookie Betts put the Red Sox up 1-0 on a sacrifice fly in the sixth, Jake Odorizzi (9-5) avoided a big inning by getting an inning-ending double play from Jackie Bradley Jr. with the bases loaded.
Tyler Sturdevant struck out Hanley Ramirez and Bradley to begin the ninth, and Romero was summoned. Romero sent Ortiz to the ground with a high-and-tight 1-2 fastball, then got him to look at strike three.
"Ortiz is one of the best hitters I've face in my career," Romero said. "I throw a cutter and he takes it."
Mikie Mahtook ended a stretch of 34 hitless at-bats with a go-ahead double in the seventh off Drew Pomeranz (10-10), who is 2-3 since being traded from San Diego to Boston.
"It was a relief," Mahtook said.
Odorizzi (9-5) improved to 6-0 in eight starts since the All-Star break. He gave up one run and five hits in seven innings.
Betts was thrown out by Mahtook from left field trying to stretch a single into a double in the eighth.
Pomeranz struck out a career-high 11 in six-plus innings.
"Our starting rotation has done a great job," Pomeranz said. "Little things here and there, a little bad luck sometimes has made the difference in games. But we're playing well, we've had a good road trip and now we're going home."
Tampa Bay tied it at 1 in the bottom of the sixth when Evan Longoria doubled and scored on Brad Miller's single. Miller had 31 RBIs since the All-Star break.
Red Sox: LF Andrew Benintendi (left knee sprain) was put on the 15-day disabled list. Farrell is hopeful the rookie will return before the season ends. "There's nothing I can do about it now, so I'll wait until the tests come back," Benintendi said. "I'm going to try to stay as positive as I can." . LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (left hamstring) felt fine after a bullpen session and will start Sunday against Kansas City. . RHP Clay Buchholz, who was moved out of the bullpen for three starts due to injuries, will return to a relief role.
Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia has a hit in 12 straight games against the Rays. He went 3 for 4 Thursday and had seven hits in 16 at-bats over the four-game series.
Red Sox: Knuckleballer Steven Wright (13-5) will be reinstated from the 15-day disabled list after missing 2 1/2 weeks with a strained right shoulder and will start Friday night at home against Royals RHP Ian Kennedy (8-9).
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