• Summary: The Red Sox used a five-run fourth to drop the Devil Rays to season-worst 31 games under .500 at 47-78. Meanwhile, AL East-leading Boston handled their end of business, picking up another crucial win.
• Turning point: Coco Crisp and Julio Lugo each had two-run doubles during the fourth-inning flurry.
• Figure this: David Ortiz drove in a run on a rare triple, his first triple of the season. In 1,157 career games, Ortiz has 12 triples.
• Quotable: "When you get something one through nine, it certainly enhances your chances to win." -- Red Sox manager Terry Francona
-- ESPN.com news services
Red Sox 8, Devil Rays 6
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- The bottom of the Boston lineup came up big.Coco Crisp and Julio Lugo had two-run doubles during a five-run fourth to help the AL East-leading Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 8-6 on Tuesday night."We were able to keep putting hits together," Lugo said. "And the most important thing, scoring runs."Jason Varitek hit an RBI single before consecutive doubles by the eighth- and ninth-place hitters, Crisp and Lugo, gave Boston a 7-2 lead. Crisp had driven in just two runs in his previous 19 games."Crisp and Lugie, they're very good players," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "There is no real let up in that lineup. And when they're playing for something like they are right now, everybody mentally is at a little higher state."David Ortiz, who hit a rare triple, and Manny Ramirez had first-inning RBIs as the Red Sox improved to 23-16 since the All-Star break. With the win, the Red Sox increased their lead to
six games over the Yankees, who lost at the Los Angeles Angels."When you get something one through nine, it certainly enhances your chances to win," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.Jon Lester (2-0) allowed five runs and four hits over 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander, who struck out four and walked four, won for the first time since beating Cleveland on July 23, when he returned to the mound after undergoing treatment for lymphoma.Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect 1 1/3 innings, striking out three, for his 30th save in 32 opportunities. He became the first Red Sox pitcher to have at least 30 saves in two different seasons."It's a testament to how important he is to this team," Varitek said. "He's been extremely important."Carlos Pena and Akinori Iwamura homered for the Devil Rays, who dropped to a season-worst 31 games under .500 at 47-78. Pena's shot was his 28th this year, a new career high for him.Iwamura pulled Tampa Bay within 7-5 on a three-run shot in the fifth. It was his fourth this season and his first since June 23.Boston took an 8-5 lead in the seventh when Dustin Pedroia doubled and later scored from third when Devil Rays shortstop Josh Wilson was charged with an error for misplaying Ramirez's two-out grounder.Tampa Bay got the run back in bottom of the seventh when Pedroia mishandled Carl Crawford's two-out liner for an error that allowed Wilson to score from third.Ortiz drove in a run with his first triple of the season and Ramirez followed with a sacrifice fly to put the Red Sox up 2-0 in the first. Ortiz has 12 triples overall in 1,157 career games.Pena's two-run shot tied it at 2 in the bottom of the first.Devil Rays right-hander Andy Sonnanstine (2-9) gave up seven runs and eight hits in five innings. He is 1-9 over his last 13 starts, with the lone victory coming August 15 at Boston."I think I was a little less aggressive," Sonnanstine said. "Too many times trying to make the perfect pitch."
Red Sox RHP Curt Schilling has spoken highly about Tampa Bay starters Scott Kazmir and James Shields, and on his weekly show on WEEI-Radio in Boston said if an ideal situation came about he would consider joining the Devil Rays next year. "You know it's one of those situations you certainly look at," Schilling said. "If circumstances were to happen and they were to make some moves that were positive, I'd love nothing more than to finish my career working on a pitching staff where I know that there were young guys that were going to be positively impacted by me being around." ... Francona said Ramirez would "probably" get Wednesday off. ... Tampa Bay CF Rocco Baldelli went 0-for-3 in his second minor league rehab game with Class-A Vero Beach. ... Highly-regarded Devil Rays minor league RHP Jeff Niemann allowed three runs and six hits over four innings for Triple-A Durham in his first start since being sidelined late last month by right shoulder fatigue.