Justin Masterson walked six batters in 4 1/3 innings Wednesday night against the Rays. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Closing Time: Justin Masterson struggles with his control, late rally not enough as Red Sox fall to Rays

Ryan Hannable
May 06, 2015 - 6:32 pm

Justin Masterson didn't have good numbers against the Rays before the game, and they certainly didn't get better after the game. After entering the night 2-7 with a 6.83 ERA against them, Masterson struggled with his control, walking six batters in just 4 1/3 innings, while allowing four runs in the Red Sox' 5-3 loss to the Rays Wednesday night. The Rays took 2-of-3 in the three-game series. The Rays scored single runs in the third and fourth before scoring twice in the fifth leading to his departure. Masterson did allow a solo home run to Evan Longoria in the fourth inning. The right-hander finished the night going 4 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with the six walks and striking out one. It was the sixth time in his career he walked six or more batters with his career-high being seven. His outing was the seventh time out of 28 starts where a Red Sox starter has gone less than five innings and allowed more than four runs. "He contributed with the base on balls in the fourth and then in the fifth inning," manager John Farrell said. "Still, the final at-bat that he faces, he puts Butler on the ground twice, with the comebacker double play and the groundball to short. He's the one guy that he's got the ability to get two outs with one pitch. In the fifth inning, trying to get through that inning and unfortunately those two runs score on the base hit proved to be the difference. Mookie Betts crushed a solo homer in the eighth inning making it a one-run game, but the Red Sox couldn't plate the tying run after loading the bases with one out later in the inning. Pinch-hitter Daniel Nava and Brock Holt each grounded out to first to end the threat. Tampa Bay picked up an insurance run in the top of the ninth on another Longoria home run, which proved huge as the Red Sox threatened in the ninth, with runners on first and second, but couldn't do anything with it. "I think we're doing a great job creating opportunities, but still the finishing through, cashing in, hasn't been there," Farrell said. The Red Sox scored their first two runs in the second inning. Xander Bogaerts and Blake Swihart led the inning off with back-to-back doubles. Swihart later scored on a Dustin Pedroia sacrifice fly. Rays starter Alex Colome, in his second start of the season, went five innings and allowed two runs on four hits to pick up the win. SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Evan Longoria. Longoria homered in the fourth inning and eighth innings and also walked twice scoring three runs. It was his 14th career multi-homer game. He had gone 90 at-bats without a home run before tonight. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at weei.com/rocksolid. Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox' loss: WHAT WENT WRONG -- Holt went 0-for-4 and finished the homestand just 3-for-28 (.107). His average fell to .317, after starting the homestand at .457. -- Alexi Ogando allowed a massive home run to Evan Longoria in the ninth inning to give the Rays a two-run cushion. -- The Red Sox failed to get a clutch hit, which is becoming a trend this season, finishing the game 1-for-12. The biggest threat came in the eighth when they had the tying run just 90 feet away with one out, but couldn't score. -- David Ortiz went 0-for-3 with a walk, which ended his eight-game hit streak. WHAT WENT RIGHT -- Betts unloaded on a Kevin Jepsen pitch to lead off the eighth, crushing it into the Monster seats. It was his fifth home run of the season, and his third in two nights. He has a five-game hit streak and his last six hits have gone for extra bases. -- Swihart's double in the third inning was both his first career extra-base hit and first career RBI. -- In relief of Masterson, Edward Mujica tossed 1 1/3 scores innings, allowing one hit. He saved a run by making a stop on a grounder behind his back and getting Rene Rivera at home.