ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays, without a walkoff win in their first 47 games this season, have now done so three days in a row for the first time in franchise history, outlasting the Red Sox 6-5 in 15 innings on Saturday night.
Tampa Bay (22-28) and Boston (20-28) played their longest game of the season before pinch runner Cole Figueroa scored from second on a throwing error by Red Sox reliever Andrew Miller in the bottom of the 15th. Boston has now lost nine games in a row.
The Rays trailed 5-0 in the first inning, then held Boston (20-28) to two hits for the next 14 innings before the bats finally came through in the 15th.
First baseman James Loney singled to open the 15th. Figueroa replaced him, advanced on a bunt single by left fielder Brandon Guyer and scored on a sure double-play ball hit by center fielder Desmond Jennings that Miller instead threw into center field.
The two bullpens were locked in a stalemate, giving up one hit between them from the ninth to the 12th.
Boston had a runner in scoring position in the 13th on a throwing error by reliever Cesar Ramos, but he struck out two to end the threat. The Rays, too, had a double from second baseman Logan Forsythe in the 13th, but a double play ended that rally.
Rays starter David Price allowed five of the game’s first six batters to score — three on a home run by designated hitter A.J. Pierzynski — but then was a different pitcher. He did not allow a hit after the first inning until shortstop Xander Bogaerts’ single to lead off the eighth, allowing the Rays to claw back and tie the score.
The Rays had unlikely stars at the plate — Guyer, a rookie who came in hitting .196, had three hits for the first time and played a role in four of the Rays’ first five runs. Forsythe, who came in hitting .179, drove Guyer in twice.
The Rays had walkoff wins on Thursday and Friday, getting a three-run homer in the 11th inning by Sean Rodriguez to beat Oakland, then an RBI single by rookie Cole Figueroa to beat the Red Sox in the ninth on Friday.
Boston jumped on Price from the start, with third baseman Brock Holt and Bogaerts leading off the game with singles. Price walked second baseman Dustin Pedroia to load the bases and then hit first baseman Mike Carp with the bases loaded to bring in the first run.
Former Rays outfielder Jonny Gomes followed with a sacrifice fly for the first out and Pierzynski followed with a three-run homer for a 5-0 lead.
The Rays got on the scoreboard in the second, when Guyer singled, advanced to third on a bloop single to right by Jennings and scored on a sacrifice fly by Forsythe.
Tampa Bay continued to cut into the lead, with the unlikely Guyer-Forsythe combination striking again in the fourth. Right fielder Matt Joyce singled in designated hitter David DeJesus in the fifth to make it 5-3 and Guyer struck again, doubling off the wall in left to tie the score at 5.
Meanwhile, Price did not allow a hit from the second to the sixth, with one walk as the only baserunner in five innings.
NOTES: After popping out with two runners on in the second, Rays C Jose Molina was not only hitting .119 but slugging .119 as well. He was still seeking his first RBI of 2014 after 59 at-bats. … Boston came in with an eight-game losing streak, but the Red Sox’s last nine-game losing streak was in 2001. They lost the last eight games of the 2012 season. … Red Sox slugger David Ortiz did not start Saturday, but his next home run will move him past Dave Kingman into sole possession of 39th on baseball’s career list.