Alejandro De Aza had two RBIs in the Red Sox' over the Rays Friday night. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Closing Time: Mike Napoli's 2-run home run leads Red Sox to comeback win over Rays

Ryan Hannable
July 31, 2015 - 6:25 pm
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Friday night's Red Sox-Rays game was a battle for the worst record in the majors over the month of July and it certainly looked that way, as it was a sloppy game with the teams combining for five errors and both teams blowing leads late. In the end, the Red Sox rallied to beat the Rays 7-5 and will finish the month 10-15, while the Rays will finish 9-16. With two outs in the seventh inning, David Ortiz and Rays reliever Jake McGee battled in an 11-pitch at-bat before the lefty slugger worked a walk to set the stage for Mike Napoli, who hit a towering home run to left field that just barely cleared the wall of the Green Monster. It was his second home run in three games and gave the Sox a 6-5 lead. "Two fantastic at-bats in the seventh inning," manager John Farrell said. "David with an outstanding at-bat. Just misses a double, able to work out the walk against probably a premium left-handed reliever and then Nap seemingly tomahawks a pitch that has just enough to get out of here. Sea-saw game back and forth. Great to see us respond with the two-run home run by Nap." Blake Swihart scored on a wild pitch in the eighth for an insurance run. Junichi Tazawa got a double-play in the eighth to end a potential Rays rally and Koji Uehara pitched the ninth to close out the win. The Red Sox grabbed a 4-3 lead in the fifth inning on Alejandro De Aza's second RBI of the game, but the bullpen couldn't hold it. In the seventh inning Robbie Ross Jr. allowed a walk and hit another batter to set up runners on first and second with two outs before departing from the game. Tazawa couldn't escape as he allowed a pinch-hit double to John Jaso, which scored two runs and gave the Rays the 5-4 lead. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez didn't have the best command of his fastball, but made up for it with one of his better changeups of the season. The left-hander went five innings and allowed three runs on six hits, while striking out four. The issue was he walked four batters on the way to throwing a career-high 110 pitches. "On a night where Eddie battled himself, never really got into much of a rhythm, but to his credit made some pitches with runners in scoring position to minimize the damage," Farrell said. The Red Sox scored three times in the first inning to take a 3-1 lead early on. De Aza singled home Xander Bogaerts and then Swihart came through with a two-run single to shallow left field. Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox' win: WHAT WENT RIGHT -- Holt collected two hits out of the leadoff spot. The Red Sox' lone All-Star has a four-game hit streak and has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 home games. -- De Aza's two hits and two RBIs in the game played a major role in the win. He has a four-game hit streak like Holt and has reached base in 7 of his last 11 plate appearances. WHAT WENT WRONG -- Ross Jr. was charged with two runs. It's the second time in his last three outings where he's allowed multiple runs. Prior to that he had five straight scoreless outings. -- Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts and Rusney Castillo all went 0-for-4.

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