MARK DIDTLER, Associated Press
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Will Middlebrooks had a three-run double off closer Fernando Rodney with two outs in the ninth inning that lifted the Boston Red Sox past the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 on Thursday night.
Middlebrooks lined a shot to left on a 1-2 pitch from Rodney (1-2) with the base loaded, giving the Red Sox the lead. Rodney, who blew just two saves last year, is 7 for 10 in save opportunities this year.
After walking Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz, Rodney struck out Mike Napoli before loading the bases with a walk to Daniel Nava. Stephen Drew struck out, but Middlebrooks then came up with his bases-clearing hit.
Junichi Tazawa (3-2) pitched two scoreless innings for the win. He retired James Loney on a grounder with two on and two outs in the ninth.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.