Going, going ... gone: Sox season ends

BALTIMORE — The Boston Red Sox completed their September collapse in horrific and historic fashion, falling out of the playoff chase by allowing two ninth-inning runs in a 4-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night.

The Red Sox held a nine-game lead in the AL wild-card race after Sept. 3, but a 7-19 swoon left them tied with Tampa Bay entering the final day of the regular season.

Only minutes after this game ended, the Rays completed their comeback from a 7-0 deficit with an 8-7 win over the New York Yankees in 12 innings.

Even if Tampa Bay lost, the Red Sox faced the prospect of a quick turnaround following a long night at Camden Yards that included a rain delay of 1 hour, 26 minutes in the middle of the seventh inning.

When the rain came, Tampa Bay trailed 7-0. By the time play resumed, the Rays and Yankees were tied at 7 heading into the 10th inning.

The Orioles won the game in the ninth against Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon (4-1), who struck out the first two batters before giving up a double to Chris Davis. Nolan Reimold followed with a double to score pinch-runner Kyle Hudson, and Robert Andino completed the comeback with a single to left that Carl Crawford couldn’t glove.

Boston became the first team to miss the postseason after leading by as many as nine games for a playoff spot entering September, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Jim Johnson (6-5) worked the ninth for Baltimore.

Dustin Pedroia homered for the Red Sox, who went through the entire month of September without winning consecutive games.

Pitching on three days’ rest, Jon Lester limited the last-place Orioles to two runs and four hits over six gritty innings. But it wasn’t enough to prevent the Red Sox from absorbing one final blow.

Boston had several chances to pad a 3-2 lead it took in the fifth inning but was never able to complete the task.

After Pedroia hit a solo homer off Alfredo Simon in the fifth, the Orioles got the potential tying run to third base in the bottom half and in the sixth before Lester worked out of trouble.

In the seventh, Boston’s David Ortiz was thrown out trying to stretch a single, and with two outs rookie catcher Ryan Lavanway bounced into a fielder’s choice. Lavanway, who homered twice in an 8-7 win Tuesday, went 0 for 5 and stranded nine runners.

The Red Sox blew another chance to increase the lead in the eighth when Marco Scutaro took off from first base on a double by Crawford. But Scutaro stutter-stepped before getting to third and was out at the plate.

In the ninth, Lavanway grounded into a double play with one out and the bases loaded. It was the third time he came to the plate following an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez.

The Red Sox went up 1-0 in the third when Mike Aviles walked, took second on a single by Jacoby Ellsbury and scored on a single by Pedroia. Ellsbury’s single extended his hitting streak against Baltimore to 36 games, dating to April 2009.

J.J. Hardy hit a two-run homer in the bottom half, only minutes after the scoreboard showed the Yankees increasing their lead over Tampa Bay to 5-0. Hardy’s 30th homer followed a leadoff walk to Davis.

Boston pulled even in the fourth when Scutaro doubled, advanced on a groundout and scored on a balk.

NOTES: Boston activated RHP Clay Buchholz (back strain) from the 60-day DL and placed 3B Kevin Youkilis (back strain) on the 60-day DL. ... Hardy’s homer gave Baltimore two players with 30 (Mark Reynolds 37) for the first time since 1996, when Brady Anderson had 50 and Rafael Palmeiro hit 39. ... Lester’s performance lowered the ERA of Boston’s starters this month to 7.08. ... Baltimore RF Nick Markakis left after eight innings with a bruised pelvis.

Rays stun Yankees in extras

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays clinched the AL wild card with a stunning rally Wednesday night, overcoming a late seven-run deficit and then beating the New York Yankees 8-7 on Evan Longoria’s home run in the 12th inning.

The Rays’ win came four minutes after Boston blew a one-run lead in the ninth at Baltimore and lost 4-3. The Red Sox, who held a nine-game lead over the Rays in early September, and Tampa Bay began the final day of the regular season tied for the wild card.

Longoria hit a three-run homer in the eighth that capped a six-run burst. Pinch-hitter Dan Johnson’s two-out, two-strike solo homer in the ninth tied it for Tampa Bay.

Longoria won it with a one-out shot barely inside the left-field foul pole.

Tampa Bay will open the playoffs Friday at Texas.

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Comments

David  Cote's picture

What???

How's this Tito's fault? He was one strike and a Dan Johnson out from managing his team tonight in Arlington. For all the work this guy has done for eight years and the way he protected his players the finger pointing should be directed at them for pooping their pants as they did. The players are veterans making millions of $$$. What's Tito supposed to do? Pitch the ball and swing the bat, too?

the red sox didnt want it ,

the red sox didnt want it , you could tell how they played for the last month, i will be cheering for the rays! to fix the problem the sox have the first step is to not re-sign the manager.

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