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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Red Sox blow early lead, lose to Rays in 15th

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Andrew Miller threw a force attempt at second base into center field, allowing pinch-runner Cole Figueroa to score in the bottom of the 15th inning as the Tampa Bay Rays handed the Boston Red Sox their ninth consecutive loss, 6-5 Saturday.

James Loney opened the 15th with a single off Miller (1-4). Figueroa ran for Loney and went to second on Brandon Guyer’s bunt single. He scored when Miller threw the ball into center field while attempting to get a double play on Desmond Jennings’ grounder. ...

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Andrew Miller threw a force attempt at second base into center field, allowing pinch-runner Cole Figueroa to score in the bottom of the 15th inning as the Tampa Bay Rays handed the Boston Red Sox their ninth consecutive loss, 6-5 Saturday.

James Loney opened the 15th with a single off Miller (1-4). Figueroa ran for Loney and went to second on Brandon Guyer’s bunt single. He scored when Miller threw the ball into center field while attempting to get a double play on Desmond Jennings’ grounder.

Cesar Ramos (2-3) allowed an infield single and two walks in three scoreless innings for the win. Five Tampa Bay pitchers limited Boston to six hits, with just two coming after the first inning.

A.J. Pierzynski homered for the Red Sox, who last lost nine in a row Aug. 25-Sept. 4, 2001.

Before the game, the Red Sox placed right fielder Shane Victorino on the 15-day disabled list for the second time this season.

Both times it’s been because of a strained right hamstring. He was sidelined from the start of the season until he was activated April 24. Outfielder Daniel Nava was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Also, designated hitter David Ortiz and first baseman Mike Napoli were not listed in Saturday’s lineup because of injuries.

Manager John Farrell said Ortiz has a calf injury. Napoli is still feeling the flu-like symptoms that sidelined him Wednesday and Thursday in addition to hamstring, calf and finger issues.

“We’re beat up,” Farrell said.

Saturday was a planned day off for Ortiz to deal with his injury.

“This is what his situation called for,” Farrell said.

Napoli could miss a few days.

“I can’t say this is a one-day thing,” Farrell said. “It might be more days needed than that, and we’re hopeful to avoid a down time on the DL as well with him.”

Victorino aggravated a hamstring injury from spring training running to first base in the ninth inning of Friday night’s 1-0 loss to Tampa Bay.

“We recognize where we’re at,” Farrell said. “You have to separate the individual from the team’s win-loss record and the streak we’re on.’’

It’s compounded by the stretch that we’re in, but at the same time, you can’t push a guy past a point where it’s detrimental for him and the risk-reward bar is swayed into the risk category.”

Victorino missed 22 games early in the season.

“We think, through the exams so far, it’s not as severe as the injury at spring training, but in combination with hamstring and just overall physical ailments that he’s battling right now, the two-week break is needed,” Farrell said.

In 21 games this season, Victorino hit .242 with one homer and 10 RBIs. Nava began the season with Boston. He hit .149 with two homers and three RBIs in 17 games before being sent to Pawtucket on April 22. Last season with Boston, Nava batted .303 with 12 homers and 66 RBIs in 134 games.