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September 11. 2013 11:40PM

Carp's pinch-hit slam in 10th lifts red-hot Sox over fading Rays

From left, Boston's Mike Napoli, David Ortiz, and Dustin Pedroia wait at the plate to congratulate Mike Carp after Carp's pinch-hit grand-slam during the 10th inning of Wednesday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. (REUTERS/Steve Nesius)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Mike Carp delivered a pinch-hit grand slam in the 10th inning as Boston struck another blow to host Tampa Bay's hopes in the American League East with a 7-3 win.

The Red Sox put two on in the 10th against Joel Peralta (2-7) before the Rays brought in right-hander Roberto Hernandez to face Mike Napoli. Hernandez walked Napoli on four pitches and Carp followed by belting the first pitch to straightaway center field as Boston increased its lead in the East to 9 1/2 games over Tampa Bay.

James Loney tied it with a solo home run in the eighth but the Rays could not get anything done against Koji Uehara (4-0) in the ninth.

Evan Longoria and David DeJesus each recorded an RBI double for Tampa Bay, which had its lead for the second AL wild card trimmed to one game over the New York Yankees.

The Red Sox grabbed a 3-0 lead in the third inning on Napoli's two-run double and an RBI groundout from Daniel Nava.

The Rays fought back for a run on DeJesus' double in the bottom of the third and drew to within 3-2 in the seventh when Longoria pushed an RBI double to right-center.

Loney came up with one out in the eighth and lined a high fastball from Brandon Workman into the stands in right to tie it up but Tampa Bay still dropped its 13th game in the last 17 contests.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster allowed a run on four hits and five walks in five innings while Rays starter Alex Cobb was charged with three runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 frames. ... Uehara struck out Wil Myers in the eighth to retire his 33rd consecutive hitter, passing Ellis Kinder (1952) for the longest streak in Red Sox history. He finished off a perfect ninth to run the streak to 34 straight. ... The Red Sox clinched their 31st series win of the season - most in the majors.

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