Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/26/12

BOSTON -- The Tampa Bay Rays used three home runs to overpower Boston left-hander Jon Lester, knocking him from the game after four innings on their way to a 7-4 win over the Red Sox on Friday.

However, the biggest fireworks came in the ninth inning when the benches emptied after Red Sox left-hander Franklin Morales hit Luke Scott with a pitch with two outs and no runners on base. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia had been hit by a Burke Badenhop pitch in the sixth inning. Morales also hit Tampa Bay's Will Rhymes with a pitch last week in Tampa Bay, and Boston first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was hit in that series by the Rays' Matt Moore.

"I'm kind of curious as to who put out the hit," Rays manager Joe Maddon said, "because I know it wasn't one of their players by the way their players reacted to the entire situation. It's kind of incompetent behavior. It's the kind of behavior that gets people hurt.

"That's truly somebody flexing their muscles on the other side that really needs to put them in their back pocket and understand they can hurt someone on their own team."

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said, "I think a guy got hit in the leg, and boys will be boys."

Matt Joyce had the big blow for Tampa Bay, a grand slam into the Red Sox bullpen with two outs in the third inning. The Rays had loaded the bases with two walks sandwiching a single.

The Rays came back the following inning with a two-run shot by Elliot Johnson. Carlos Pena, the next batter, hit a solo home run into the right field seats.

The Red Sox got on the board early, when Kevin Youkilis' first-inning single scored Mike Aviles, who reached on an error by third baseman Drew Sutton and stole second.

The Sox added another run in the fifth when Scott Podsednik singled, stole second and scored on Gonzalez's double off the wall in left field, cutting the Rays' lead to 7-2.

Despite a 1-2-3 first inning and an early one-run lead, Lester was shaky from there. He gave up seven runs on six hits, walking three and striking out four. In nine previous starts this season, spanning 57 innings, he had given up just four home runs. In his previous three outings, spanning 20 innings, he had given up just two walks. His record fell to 3-4 with a 4.72 ERA.

"I wasn't good, didn't locate," Lester said. "Felt like I had to throw the ball in a keyhole. Just one of those nights. When I was missing, I was missing, and when I was around the plate, I was down the middle. Didn't make an adjustment. They did a good job of working counts, getting in hitters' counts, made me pay for my mistakes."

Valentine said, "It looked like he had pretty good stuff going in. In the first inning, he was looking pretty good. The game got away from him a little there with the walk to Pena and then the grand slam to Joyce obviously. The strike zone started eluding him, and a couple left-handers that don't hit left-handers all that well got him."

Rays right-hander Alex Cobb, making his 11th major league start, held the Sox to two runs (one earned) on three hits over five innings. He earned the win, improving to 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA.

Boston got two more runs in the sixth when Tampa Bay sent three relievers to the mound. Left-hander J.P Howell walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Daniel Nava, the only two batters he faced, to open the inning. Saltalamacchia scored on Marlon Byrd's single to center off Burke Badenhop, and Nava scored on Mike Aviles' sacrifice fly. Badenhop was done after he hit Dustin Pedroia with a pitch. Left-hander Jake McGee ended the threat by retiring David Ortiz on a flyout to right.

NOTES: Rays outfielder Brandon Guyer, who has been on the disabled list retroactive to May 13 with a left shoulder strain, needs surgery and will be out for the season, manager Joe Maddon said. Guyer has a torn labrum in his left (non-throwing) shoulder and is expected to have surgery next week. ... Tampa Bay outfielder Desmond Jennings, on the DL retroactive to May 12 with a left knee sprain, could go on a rehab assignment by the middle of next week. ... Rays outfielder/first baseman Brandon Allen, on the DL since May 10 with a right quad strain, was eligible to be activated Friday, but Maddon said Allen would continue to play on his rehab assignment through the weekend. ... Maddon said outfielder Hideki Matsui, who signed a minor league contract April 30, "is not quite ready" to join the major league team. Matsui is batting .189 (7-for-37) in 10 games for Class AAA Durham after going 3-for-4 Thursday. ... The Rays arrived in Boston dressed as "nerds." The attire was inspired by Fox Sports baseball writer Ken Rosenthal, who wears bow ties during Saturday telecasts to raise awareness for a different charity each week. The Rays will make a donation of $3,000, $100 for each bow tie worn on the trip, to bowtiecause.org. ... Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald, on the DL retroactive to May 12 with a right oblique strain, began a rehab assignment Friday with Class AAA Pawtucket. He went 0-for-1 with a sacrifice fly and an RBI. ... Boston right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka is expected to begin his second rehab assignment Saturday with Pawtucket as he makes his way back from Tommy John surgery performed last June. He had already been on a rehab assignment but was called back from it when his right trapezius muscle bothered him. ... Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford, who has been on the DL since the start of the season after surgery on his left wrist in January, hit off a tee Friday and is expected to do so again Saturday.

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