ESPN 850 WRUF – Gainesville, Florida

Rays drop chance for the top, Marlins rookies shine, Braves split series

By on July 24th, 2013

In Major League Baseball, Boston stayed atop the AL East by dealing Tampa Bay just its third loss in 21 games, handing the Rays a 6-2 loss last night.

Jon Lester gave up two runs and seven hits with no walks over 6 1/3 innings, and matched his season high with eight strikeouts to advance Boston 1 1/2 games ahead of Tampa Bay in the division and the win secures the top spot for Boston for the 58th consecutive day. Rays manager Joe Maddon credits much of their defeat to Lester’s performance.

The Red Sox pitching staff combined for a total of 13 strikeouts. Rays starter Roberto Hernandez gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk, in just five innings.

Wil Meyers and Evan Longoria hit a solo homers for Tampa Bay, which saw its six-game winning streak snapped.

Shane Victorino stole home in the third inning to put the Red Sox ahead to stay. Dustin Pedroia added a sac fly in the fifth to push the lead to two runs.

Boston put together a three run eighth inning to put the game away.  A Jose Iglesias two-run single was a big hit in the inning.

The Sox will send Felix Doubront against David Price tonight to continue the four-game series.

In Denver, rookie Christian Yelich went 3 for 4 with a pair of RBIs in his major league debut to help Miami defeat Colorado 4-2 last night. Yelich was just called up from Double-A Jacksonville earlier in the day, and says he had a case of the nerves early in the game.

Fellow rookie Jose Fernandez, making his first start since appearing in the All-Star game, picked up the win after limiting the Rockies to two runs and five hits while striking out eight through a solid seven innings.

Adeiny Hechavarria, who went 2 for 5 on the night, had a tiebreaking RBI double for the Marlins in the fifth. Yelich then drove in Fernandez on a single to stretch the lead 3-1.

Giancarlo Stanton provided some insurance with a solo shot to left in the eighth for Miami, who has taken two straight in the four-game series against Colorado.

Elsewhere on the diamond, fill-in starter Carlos Torres took control of the mound for a solid six innings, delivered an RBI single and the Mets posted a three-run sixth to advance past the Braves 4-1. Torres scattered seven hits, allowed one run and struck out six.

John Buck had a run-scoring single and Juan Lagares a sac fly in the sixth inning to deliver Atlanta’s Kris Medlen his third consecutive loss. Medlen gave up seven hits and four runs over 5 1/3 innings, as the Braves dropped their third in four games and split the two series.

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