BOSTON – Tampa Bay Manager Joe Maddon wasn’t hiding his feelings about what happened in the ninth inning Friday night. In his eyes, it was as clear as the Rays’ power against Boston starter Jon Lester.

Matt Joyce hit his second grand slam in six games and Elliot Johnson had a two-run shot to lift the Rays to their third straight win, 7-4 against the Boston Red Sox in a game that saw the benches empty in the ninth.

The Rays’ pounding of Lester was only a subplot to the ninth.

Boston reliever Franklin Morales threw behind Luke Scott with the first pitch of an at-bat and hit him in the hip area on a 3-1 count. Scott was restrained by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and the benches and bullpens emptied. There was a lot of pushing and shoving along the first-base line that carried over behind the plate before order was restored.

“That’s truly somebody flexing their muscles on the other side, and they need to put them in their back pocket and understand they can hurt their own team for something like that,” Maddon said.

“To be really carelessly incompetent on their side and truly try to hit someone and throw behind somebody and hitting them in the leg for all the wrong reasons, eventually they can get their own guys hurt. That was ridiculous. It was absurd, idiotic. I’ll use all those words.


“Our guys got it. We had every reason to be totally into the push-back right there. We didn’t start anything. We don’t start stuff. We’ll finish stuff, but we don’t start it.”

Maddon was asked if it was possible things would continue.

“That’s not up to us,” he said.

Carlos Pena, inserted into the leadoff spot after a slump, added a solo homer for the Rays.

Adrian Gonzalez had an RBI double for Boston, which lost for just the fourth time in 14 games.

But it was that ninth inning that was the topic afterward.


Someone in the Rays’ clubhouse turned down the music and players watched the TV as Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine spoke. Closer Fernando Rodney mockingly booed.

“We thought it was dirty and we did the best we can to protect ourselves,” Pena said. “We saw one behind his back and almost hit him, and then the last one hits him. It’s crazy when you see things happening and it actually does. Everyone in our dugout knew it was coming and when it did, it was like: ‘There it is.’ “

The Red Sox (22-23) failed to move above .500 for the fourth time this season. It’s the latest into a season they haven’t gone over .500 since 1996 when they didn’t do it until late August.

“We were all out there. They were out there,” Valentine said. “I liked the spirit of the guys going out there. Salty was great. I had a little adrenaline going and the guys had some adrenaline going, so that’s good. Nothing wrong with that. Maybe it was the ghost of Fenway past remembering that he bad-mouthed all our fans and our stadium or something, just directing the ball at his leg.”

Scott called Fenway Park “a dump” during spring training, but later tried to explain that it was a hard place to work.

“I can imagine it’s a great place for someone to go watch a baseball game and the nostalgia of it,” Scott said. “I made a comment, as a player it’s a difficult to place to get your workout. The end, that’s it.”


A few fans and Rays players yelled at each other when the players left the field after the incident. B.J. Upton seemed most involved.

“It crossed the line,” he said of a comment, saying he was unsure if it was racial. “I felt like it did. It takes a lot for me.”

Lester (3-4) took the loss, giving up a season-high three homers.


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