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Papi Homer Holds Up, Halts Rays Win Streak

 

David Ortiz celebrated his third-inning homer like it was a game winner.

Turned out, it was.

Ortiz's long-admired blast made the score 3-0, and the Rays never caught up in losing 3-2 Sunday afternoon at the Trop. Tampa Bay's win streak ends at nine games.

The Ortiz shot to deep right off Chris Archer was followed immediately but a long bat flip, pause, and head bob by Ortiz before he settled in for a 40-second trot around the bases. There was no retaliation, and really not much else from Boston's offense the rest of the way as Boston had just one more hit.

Tampa Bay didn't take long to get back in the game, with Desmond Jennings stroking a two-run double in the bottom of the third. But after that the Rays would start a long line of missed scoring opportunities, getting a runner on base in all but one inning the rest of the way.

Archer did well to go six innings and Jeff Beliveau threw the final two for Tampa Bay. Fill-in starter Allen Webster walked five in 5 1/3 innings but managed to get the victory. Koji Uehara gave up a leadoff single in the ninth but struck out the side for his 21st save.

After Jennings hit scored Curt Casali and Kevin Kermaier, Ben Zobrist got on and then a double steal had the go-ahead run in scoring position with one out. But then Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria both struck out and Boston stayed ahead.

As Webster was struggling with control, Joyce swung on a 3-0 pitch in the fifth, and hit into a double play. In the sixth Evan Longoria crushed a ball to lead off but it was run down by Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field, ending Webster's day.

More frustration came in the seventh after a sac bunt by Kevin Kiermaier, with both Jennings and Zobrist unable to come through.

 

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