St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Will Middlebrooks' three-run double in the ninth inning lifted the Boston Red Sox over the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-3, in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Holding a 3-1 lead, Tampa Bay sent Fernando Rodney (1-2) to the mound in the top of the ninth. Rodney walked Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz to start the frame. After striking out Mike Napoli, Rodney walked Daniel Nava to load the bases. Two batters later, Middlebrooks cleared the bases with a double to left-center field.
Felix Doubront got the start for the Red Sox and allowed two runs on three hits while striking out seven and walking six over five-plus innings. Junichi Tazawa (3-2) tossed the final two innings to get the win.
Ortiz had an RBI for Boston, which has won two in a row since a three-game skid.
Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb gave up one run on three hits while striking out six and walking two over 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander allowed three runs last Friday to the San Diego Padres, but also struck out 13 batters in just 4 2/3 innings and received a no-decision. He became the first pitcher in major league history (reliever or starter) to strike out 13 batters in an appearance lasting fewer than five innings.
Ryan Roberts hit a solo homer for the Rays, who went 6-4 on a 10-game homestand. Desmond Jennings and Luke Scott each knocked in a run.
The Sports Network