ST. PETERSBURG (WDAE) -- When a team is struggling, it seems like everything conspires against them. But to overcome that situation could be a boost for the schedule to come.
The Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday overcame a two-run deficit to David Price, then withstood a long delay as the Boston Red Sox argued Kevin Cash's late defensive changes to salvage the finale of their three-game series with a 3-2 win.
With the bottom of the order coming up in the eighth inning, Cash decided to go to his bullpen, bringin in Adam Kolarek to face what would end up being pinch-hitter Sam Travis. After getting Travis to pop out to forst base, Cash then moved Kolarek to first base and brought in Chaz Roe to face Mookie Betts, who hit a fly ball to Tommy Pham in left. Cash then went to put Kolarek back on the mound and bring Nate Lowe in to play first base, which drew Cora's cross-examination. Cora questioned the move, and after the answer he got from home plate umpire and crew chief Angel Hernandez was not to his liking asked the crew to huddle to discuss the ruling. When that discussion also did not meet Cora's liking, he decided to protest the game, causing a delay of nearly 15 minutes.
"The dispute on the field was about what the batting order was following the pitcher going to a defensive position," Hernandez explained to a pool reporter after the game.
Finally, Kolarek needed one pitch to retire Devers and end the inning.
Boston jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the third inning, as Brock Holt started the inning with a base hit, and Mookie Betts doubled him to third two batters later, forcing Cash to bring the infield in for Devers, whose slow ground ball got in to left field and scored both runners.
Pham cut the deficit in half leading off the fourth, as he took a 1-1 pitch and sent it into the first row in left for his 16th home run of the year, tying Brandon Lowe for most on the team.
Tampa Bay added two more runs an inning later off Price. Joey Wendle's base hit brought in Mike Brosseau, who led off the inning with a single and moved to second in Wendle's at-bat on a wild pitch, and Guillermo Heredia followed by doubling in Wendle to break the tie.
Morton (12-3) would not allow another run while getting through the seventh inning, striking out 11 and not walking a Boston batter.
Emilio Pagan worked a perfect ninth to earn his seventh save of the year.
The win allows Tampa Bay to again move ahead of Boston for second place in the American League East by one game.
Tampa Bay Rays (58-47) at Toronto Blue Jays (39-64), 7:07 pm first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch.
Rays starter: TBD
Blue Jays starter: RHP Jacob Waguespack (1-0, 5.68 ERA)