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Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Josh Reddick homered and the Boston Red Sox rallied from an early three-run deficit against All-Star James Shields to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 9-5 on Saturday.
John Lackey (7-8) struck out seven while allowing four runs and 10 hits over 5 2-3 innings for the AL East leaders, who retained a 11/2-game lead over the New York Yankees and dropped the third-place Rays a season-high six games off the pace in the division. The Red Sox have won seven of their last eight and 11 of 13 since June 30.
Reddick's two-run homer got Boston rolling after Casey Kotchman, Matt Joyce and B.J. Upton staked Shields (8-8) to a quick lead with RBI singles in the first inning. Ellsbury went deep for the second day in a row with a solo shot off Shields in the fourth.
Pedroia homered for the third consecutive game, extending his season-high hitting streak to 14 games when he connected off reliever Juan Cruz in the seventh.
David Ortiz had three RBIs for Boston, including a two-run double off Shields, who dropped his fourth straight decision . The Rays' starter, who leads the majors with seven complete games, allowed six runs and six hits in six innings.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth in a non-save situation, giving up a triple to Kotchman and Evan Longoria's RBI single.
Shields, coming off a 1-0 complete-game loss to the Yankees in which he allowed the lone run on an errant pickoff throw to third base, gave up four extra-base hits after yielding just five while holding opposing batters to a .178 average over his previous six starts. Ellsbury and Pedroia also homered off Tampa Bay's other All-Star pitcher, David Price, during Boston's 9-6 loss to the Rays on Friday night.
Lackey settled after a shaky first two innings, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the second when Kotchman grounded into an inning-ending double play and striking out five of eight batters he faced during the stretch of the game in which the Red Sox turned their three-run deficit into a 6-3 lead.
Joyce's 13th homer, one pitch after the first-time All-Star fouled a ball off his right knee cap and crumpled to the ground in pain, trimmed Tampa Bay's deficit to 6-4 in the fifth. Upton followed with a single before stealing second, however Lackey fanned Sam Fuld to avoid more damage.
The Rays threatened again in the sixth when Johnny Damon reached on an error and Lackey hit Ben Zobrist with a pitch with two outs, however Randy Williams came out of the bullpen and only needed one pitch to retire Kotchman on a grounder to second base.
This program aired on July 16, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.
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