Lobaton's walk-off homer lifts Rays, brings series back to Boston
Jose Lobaton delivered a walk-off solo homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to keep Tampa Bay's season alive as the Rays edged Boston in Game 3 of the American League Division Series.
Closer Koji Uehara (0-1) came on after the Red Sox tied it up in the top of the ninth and retired the first two quickly before Lobaton reached down for an 0-1 splitter and belted it out to center. Evan Longoria hit a three-run homer and Fernando Rodney (1-0) got credit for the win in relief for the Rays, who will host Game 4 on Tuesday.
Clay Buchholz was reached for three runs on seven hits in six innings for Boston, which owns a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits and scored twice as the Red Sox squandered a lead for the first time in the series.
Ellsbury scored in the first inning when Ben Zobrist threw the ball away on a double-play attempt and raced home on a wild pitch in the fifth before Ortiz's RBI single to left made it a 3-0 gap. Buchholz failed to hold onto that advantage in the fifth when Evan Longoria came up with two on and two out and slammed an 0-1 changeup into the seats in left to tie the game.
The ball never left the infield in the eighth, but the Rays put together the go-ahead run on a walk, two infield singles and Delmon Young's ground out to grab the lead. The Red Sox pulled even in similar fashion when Will Middlebrooks drew a leadoff walk against Rodney, Ellsbury followed with a bloop single and Shane Victorino bunted the runners over before Dustin Pedroia's groundout brought in pinch runner Xander Bogaerts.
GAME NOTEBOOK: The Red Sox had a pair of chances to slow the eighth-inning rally by the Rays but Pedroia failed to cover first on a bunt by Desmond Jennings and then collided with SS Stephen Drew on Yunel Escobar's grounder up the middle instead of going to the base for what would have been an inning-ending double play. … Longoria (28 years old) and Rays starter Alex Cobb (26) both celebrated their birthday Monday. Cobb allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks in five innings. … Tampa Bay rookie Wil Myers, who is 0-for-12 in the series, was lifted after the seventh due to cramping in both legs and given an IV treatment.