May 26, 2014 in Sports

BoSox skid continues

Associated Press photo

Boston’s Mike Carp, center, confronts Tampa Bay’s Yunel Escobar, left, during a seventh-inning brawl.
(Full-size photo)

<h5>By the numbers</h5> <p> <strong>1978: </strong>The last time someone pitched a no-hitter against the Phillies before Josh Beckett did so Sunday. </p> <p> <strong>10: </strong>Straight losses by the Red Sox, the most by a World Series reigning champion since the Marlins had two 11-game losing streaks in 1998. </p>

Stuck in their longest skid in 20 years, the Boston Red Sox didn’t like the way they played. They didn’t appreciate how the Tampa Bay Rays acted, either.

The World Series champions lost their 10th straight game and brawled with the Rays during an 8-5 defeat Sunday in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Rays pinch-hitter Sean Rodriguez connected for a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the seventh. Later in the inning, Yunel Escobar hit a two-run double and then took third on defensive indifference, setting off the fracas.

“There were some words exchanged,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “We’re down five in the seventh, so it’s somewhat a gray area when you shut down the running game.”

“Yunel is going to do some things that might be a little unpredictable, so that’s what precipitated it,” said Farrell, who formerly managed Escobar in Toronto.

Farrell admitted that Boston’s slide may have also “boiled over a little bit.”

Escobar, Rodriguez and Boston’s Jonny Gomes were all ejected.

“Last year in the playoffs, they had a 8-2 lead in the eighth when (Jacoby) Ellsbury led off with a single and then stole second base,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said, correctly recalling what happened in the division series opener. “I think that was a little more egregious than their interpretation of what happened today.”

This is Boston’s longest losing streak since an 11-game slump from June 8-19, 1994.

The Red Sox have been outscored 52-24 over their last 10 games. World Series MVP David Ortiz is hitting .118 in that span.

Boston will be without first baseman Mike Napoli, as they put him on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained finger and recalled right-hander Brandon Workman from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Napoli has been playing with an injured fourth finger on his left hand.

Ramirez signs deal as player-coach

Manny Ramirez is coming back to baseball – as a player-coach for the Chicago Cubs’ Triple-A team.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement Sunday that Ramirez “is not and will not” be on the Cubs’ major league roster, but that he will serve as a mentor to Chicago’s minor league hitters in Des Moines, Iowa.

Ramirez, 41, was a .312 hitter with 555 home runs in 2,302 games covering 19 major league seasons.

Ramirez most recently played in the big leagues in 2011, with Tampa Bay.

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