Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/15/12

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Josh Beckett said he was so "zapped" from taking an antibiotic, he was having "borderline blackout periods" between his pitches Sunday."

The right-hander fought through it and got stronger as he went.

After allowing three runs in the first inning, Beckett rallied to go five more frames without allowing a run. And the Boston Red Sox, with 14 hits and two home runs, beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-3 at Tropicana Field.

Mike Aviles hit a two-run homer, Daniel Nava had a solo shot and Jacoby Ellsbury and Will Middlebrooks each had three hits for the Red Sox, who took two of three in the series and moved back to one game over .500.

Adrian Gonzalez, who missed the first two games in the series with back spasms, went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

"Physically, I don't think it was a problem as far as my body goes," Beckett (5-7) said after improving to 5-0 with a 2.12 ERA against the Rays since September 2009. "It was, like, in-between pitches, it was like borderline blackout periods.

"The only thing I can think it is is the medicine. I've taken Z-packs in the past, (but) I don't think I've ever taken them as fast as I took this one."

Tampa Bay lost for the 11th time in 17 games and the 14th time in 22 games, and they fell to 25-21 at home after starting 13-1.

James Shields (8-6), who entered the game leading the majors in hits allowed, gave up six runs on 11 hits, including the two home runs, in only five innings. He has allowed 61 hits over his last six starts, including double-digit hits in each of his last four outings.

"I need to do a better job of making my pitches, not walking guys or putting guys into scoring position," Shields said. "I need to minimize my damage. The only two hits I allowed with balls up (in the zone) were the home runs."

The Rays failed to score over the final eight innings but managed to get the tying run to the plate in the ninth.

Alfredo Aceves walked the bases loaded with two out to bring up Hideki Matsui, but the veteran flew out to deep right to end the game.

"Well, two out of three is good, with a near-miss on the sweep," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "I like the way we're coming together."

Gonzalez's RBI single in the first after Shields walked Nava and David Ortiz gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead.

The Rays came back with three in the bottom of the frame, opening with consecutive singles against Beckett by Will Rhymes, Carlos Pena and Ben Zobrist.

The latter hit off Beckett's glove and drove in a run.

Beckett struck out B.J. Upton and Matsui but then hit Jeff Keppinger with a pitch, and Desmond Jennings followed with a two-run single.

"Even in the first inning, they only hit one hard ball," Beckett said. "You can't give up four singles in one inning, especially with a hit batter mixed in there."

It was almost all Red Sox after that.

Aviles tied the game 3-3 in the second, teeing off on a first-pitch slider from Shields for a two-run homer after Middlebrooks singled.

The Sox then powered to a 6-3 lead in the fifth.

Nava homered to right to start the inning. After Ortiz and Cody Ross reached on one-out singles and Jarrod Saltalamacchia walked, Middlebrooks ripped a single past a diving shortstop Elliot Johnson for a two-run single.

Shields didn't come out for the sixth, and reliever Jake McGee wasn't sharp while facing five batters.

Ellsbury singled, Nava walked and Ortiz singled to load the bases before McGee struck out Gonzalez for the first out.

Manager Joe Maddon called on righthy Burke Badenhop to face Ross with the bases loaded. Ross lifted a fly ball to center for a sacrifice fly, and Boston led 7-3.

The Rays threatened to rally in the seventh when Pena opened with a single against newly recalled Junichi Tawaza, and Zobrist laced a single to right. But Zobrist was thrown out after rounding first, and Mark Melancon came on to retire Upton and Matsui.

NOTES: There was no official announcement from the Red Sox, but manager Bobby Valentine said he "got the word" from left fielder Carl Crawford that he'll be joining the team Monday in Boston for the start of a seven-game home stand. Crawford went 2-for-5 with a run for Triple-A Pawtucket in what apparently was his final minor league rehab start Saturday night. ... The Sox placed reliever Scott Atchison in the 15-day DL with right forearm tightness and recalled Tazawa from Triple-A Pawtucket. Atchison leads the Boston pen with a 1.76 ERA over 37 appearances and 46 innings. ... ... Sunday marked the first time Boston had Ellsbury, Ortiz and Gonzalez in the lineup on the same day since April 13. .. Ortiz extended his season-high hit streak to 10 games and has also drawn at least one walk in his last nine games. ... Rays right fielder Matt Joyce (oblique strain) joined Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday for a planned brief rehab assignment. ... Johnny Damon and Casey Kotchman, key players for the Rays 2011 playoff team, return to Tropicana Field on Monday with the Indians. ... Matsui made his first start since July 2, when he left a game with a hamstring injury. Since hitting two home runs in his first three games of the season, Matsui has hit .160 with no home runs in 26 games.

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