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Red Sox 3, Devil Rays 2, 10 Innings

June 15, 1998

BOSTON (AP) _ Troy O’Leary got two hits for the sixth straight game, and his one-out single in the 10th inning Sunday gave the Boston Red Sox a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

The Red Sox won their fourth in a row and again O’Leary led the way.

Nomar Garciaparra singled off Albie Lopez (2-2) to start the 10th and Mike Benjamin, who pinch-ran for Mo Vaughn earlier, bunted for a single.

After Reggie Jefferson lined out against reliever Matt Ruebel, O’Leary bounced Jim Mecir’s fourth pitch down the first-base line past Fred McGriff for the winning run.

Lou Merloni collected three singles for the Red Sox, who posted their 10th last-at-bat win of the season.

Bobby Smith had a solo homer and Wade Boggs went 3-for-5 for the Devil Rays, who lost for the ninth time in their last 11 games.

Tom Gordon (4-1) worked two innings for the win.

Smith snapped a 1-for-20 slump when he led off the sixth with a home run that put Tampa Bay ahead 2-1.

Boston evened it at 2 in the bottom half on Vaughn’s RBI single following a leadoff walk to John Valentin and single by Garciaparra.

Devil Rays starter Tony Saunders, who missed his last start because of elbow stiffness, had control problems that led to the Red Sox taking a 1-0 lead in the first. Darren Lewis walked on four pitches and went to third on a wild pitch that completed Valentin’s walk. Garciaparra followed with a sacrifice fly.

Saunders went six innings, giving up two runs on four hits.

The Devil Rays tied it in the fifth on Boggs’ two-out RBI double.

Boston starter Steve Avery had his third straight strong outing, giving up just two runs in six innings. He was attempting to win his third consecutive start for the first time since May of 1994.

Tampa Bay manager Larry Rothschild was ejected in the sixth inning by third-base umpire Rocky Roe. It was Rothschild’s third ejection this year.

Notes: Sunday’s start was moved back to 5:05 p.m. EDT from 1:05 following Saturday’s rainout because of a forecast for heavy morning showers. The skies cleared and it was partly sunny at the original starting time, though. ... Boggs turns 40 Monday. ... There were three runners picked off first, two by Avery and one by Saunders.

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