ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Andrew Bailey took the blame for costing Clay Buchholz and the Boston Red Sox a victory.
B.J. Upton hit a game-ending, three-run homer off Vicente Padilla, capping Tampa Bay's six-run ninth inning and lifting the Rays to a sorely needed 7-4 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday night.
Bailey (1-1) gave up four hits and a walk before Padilla came in to face Upton, who drove a 2-1 pitch over the wall in center for his 24th homer. It was the Bailey's second blown save in seven opportunties since returning from right thumb surgery on Aug. 14.
"It's inexcusable. There's no other way to describe it," Bailey said. "I've got to get that job done. Find a way to get out of the inning. Buchholz, obviously, deserved a 'W'. I let him down. I didn't get ahead of guys. Couldn't put guys away. Just didn't pitch. There's no excuse. There's nothing I did right that inning."
Bailey has allowed a run in just three of 15 appearances this season.
"Got to give him a chance to get out of it," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said.
Buchholz outpitched Tampa Bay ace David Price, tossing seven innings of four-hit ball before handing a 2-0 lead to the Boston bullpen. Mauro Gomez hit a two-out RBI triple in the eighth for the Red Sox, but they couldn't hold on for the victory.
"Stuff happens," Buchholz said. "It happens that way sometimes. Other times, like the beginning of the season when I gave six or seven runs and came out with the win."
Valentine said Buchholz experienced back tightness, but added that the right-hander will make his next start.
"It's basically just everyday soreness was all it was," Buchholz said. "It's fine."
Tampa Bay salvaged a split of the four-game series and remained 5 1/2 games back in the AL wild-card race. The Rays (80-70), who have 12 games left on their schedule, are 6 1/2 games in back of the AL East-leading New York Yankees.
Burke Badenhop (2-2) recorded one out to get the win.