Tampa Bay Rays defeat Boston Red Sox, 8-5

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The bases were loaded.

The dugout was filled with extra players, including Mike Lowell and Rocco Baldelli, and yet Alex Gonzalez strode to the plate with the Red Sox down a run in the eighth inning at Tropicana Field. Lefthander J.P. Howell, Tampa’s fourth pitcher of the inning, had just entered and prepared to deliver to a shortstop obtained for his glove, not his bat.

Sure, Gonzalez was hitting .393 in his last eight games. But two righthanded h...