ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Take a bow, Pawtucket.
The emergency imports shipped by the PawSox to the Red Sox could not have given the big club more than they did the last two nights.
Jose De La Torre saved an overworked Sox bullpen Tuesday night, and Wednesday, Alfredo Aceves made his second impressive emergency start in 16 days, holding the Rays to a run in six innings, allowing four hits while walking four.
Closer Andrew Bailey quickened a few pulses in the Sox dugout in the ninth inning, when James Loney of the Rays led off with a drive that caromed off the right-field fence, Loney held to just a single. It was distressingly similar to how Bailey’s outing began Monday night, when he inherited a two-run lead in the 10th, then gave it back by allowing a leadoff home run to Jose Lobaton, then walking home the tying run.
That brought up Lobaton. Pinch runner Sam Fuld stole second, putting the Rays within a base hit of tying the score.
But Lobaton went down swinging, sending the Sox to Baltimore with another series win over the Rays. They beat Tampa Bay two out of three here in the Trop, despite being outhomered, 9-1, in the series.
Eight of those nine Tampa Bay home runs were solo shots, while Boston’s only home run was a two-run homer by Daniel Nava, which accounted for the winning difference Wednesday. Evan Longoria’s 13th home run in the sixth off Aceves accounted for the Rays' only run.
The Sox have won seven of nine from the Rays this season. In four of those wins, the Sox scored in their last at-bat.