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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Like old times, regrettably
Up 8-1 in the fourth, Rays pitching melts down in an ugly loss.
By EDUARDO A. ENCINA
Published September 12, 2007
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BOSTON - Opportunity presented itself to the surging Devil Rays on Tuesday night in Boston.
The Rays seemed to have eradicated some of their past demons at Fenway Park by winning the first game of their three-game series here with a playoff air. And on Tuesday, they had the opportunity to pass last season's win total, and entering the night one game behind struggling Baltimore, they could make a push into fourth place.
Ten runs and 18 hits would be enough on most nights, but the Rays pitching - which has been solid through a late-season surge - reverted to its past self.
Tampa Bay blew a seven-run fourth-inning lead as the Red Sox unleashed a 20-hit attack against six different pitchers, coming back for a 16-10 win over the Rays (61-84) at Fenway.
"We can't do that, obviously," manager Joe Maddon said. "We're playing at a high level and there's a lot of positive energy going on and to get that kind of lead here against (Tim) Wakefield, we can not give that up. We just did not pitch well today."
The Rays jumped on Wakefield - the winningest pitcher against the Rays in club history - early, chasing the knuckleballer after just three innings plus three batters for his shortest outing in four seasons.
Wakefield, who remains 19-2 against Tampa Bay, was charged with seven runs on 10 hits. Two runs came off inherited runners who scored when Carlos Pena hit his team-high 39th homer, a three-run shot off Kyle Snyder to give Tampa Bay an 8-1 lead.
The Rays added one in the fifth on Akinori Iwamura's double. An insurance run it was not. Their 18 hits would tie a team record for a loss.
Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine, who had won three straight starts, suffered his shortest outing of his major-league career, lasting just 31/3 innings and allowing five runs on eight hits.
"I thought I threw a lot of quality pitches that were just off the plate," Sonnanstine said. "Anytime you do that against this lineup and put these guys into hitters' counts, especially when they're swinging the bats like they are right now, you're setting yourself up for trouble.
"Whenever you get eight runs early, it's my job to protect that lead and get us back in the dugout, and I didn't do my job," he added.
But that was just the beginning. The Red Sox sprayed the ball all over Fenway's vast outfield, pinging balls off the Green Monster in left and hitting four home runs.
Every Red Sox starter had a hit. Eight had multiple hits. All but one, catcher Kevin Cash, scored a run.
Between the fourth and sixth innings, the Red Sox put 17 runners on base. Fourteen of them scored.
The worst came in the sixth, when the Red Sox sent 10 batters to the plate and six of them scored. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia led off with a tying home run off left-hander Jon Switzer. But it was Youkilis' three-run triple off reliever Grant Balfour that opened up the game and gave the Red Sox a 12-9 lead.
The Rays never got closer. Despite having a runner on in every inning, they scored just one run - Dioner Navarro's career-high fourth hit in the ninth that plated Brendan Harris - after Iwamura's hit in the fifth.
"We just didn't get the job done today," reliever Scott Dohmann said. "But it's been going well, and with the experience factor in the bullpen we know hiccups are going to happen, but you learn to forget about it and have a thick skin."