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10/14/08 11:25 PM ET

Red Sox Short Hops: Game 4

Wakefield's short night puts Boston on brink of elimination

Fielding the Red Sox's 13-4 loss to the Rays in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on a short hop ...

In < 25 words ...
Boston fell into an early hole and couldn't climb out, as Tampa Bay pelted Sox pitching to hand the defending champs another blowout loss.

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Frozen moment
Despite a valiant effort by J.D. Drew, a Carl Crawford liner just tipped the glove of the Red Sox's right fielder for an eighth-inning triple. The play was symbolic of Boston's night, as Tampa Bay blipped, blooped and blasted its way to a Game 4 win and a 3-1 ALCS lead.

Big number
10 -- Home runs given up by Red Sox pitchers in the first four games of the series, three of which came on Tuesday night.

Game balls

David Ortiz

Big Papi broke through for his first hit of the series, hitting a leadoff triple in the seventh. Ortiz snapped an 0-for-12 streak and scored the Red Sox's second run.

Kevin Cash

Boston's backup catcher, Cash sent a ball deep into the Monster Seats at Fenway Park for a third-inning solo homer. It was Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine's lone blemish until Ortiz broke through four innings later, and it gave the crowd a rare reason to cheer.

Tim Wakefield

The veteran knuckleballer was the second successive Red Sox starter to be victimized by the long ball. The Rays went yard three times in the game's first three innings, and Wakefield exited after allowing five earned runs in 2 2/3 innings.

Sense of October
With the Red Sox threatening in the second inning, having put runners on first and third, the Rays' middle-infield tandem of Akinori Iwamura and Jason Bartlett delivered with a clutch double play to end the frame. The play put a hush over the Fenway faithful.

Lines of the Game
Kevin Youkilis
4 AB, 1 H, 2B, 2 RBI
Comment: Youkilis hit the ball hard twice -- including an eighth-inning double -- and drove in half of the Red Sox's runs.

Justin Masterson
2 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 4 K
Comment: Handed a 5-0 deficit, Masterson was the lone bright spot on a dismal night for Red Sox pitchers. The only run he was touched for came on an RBI single from Willy Aybar in the fifth inning.

"Sitting through that wasn't a whole lot of fun. We've been on the other side. When it happens to you, you've got to get through it the best you can, and we'll need to regroup as quickly as we can." -- Red Sox manager Terry Francona

Next step
The Red Sox will have an optional workout on Wednesday in preparation for Thursday's must-win Game 5 at Fenway Park. Boston will send Daisuke Matsuzuka to the hill, looking to keep its season alive. The right-hander has turned in the club's best performance of the series. In a Game 1 win, Dice-K went seven-plus shutout innings and allowed four hits.

Brittany Ghiroli is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.