BOSTON -- Ten pitches, a little help from a Dustin Pedroia dive to secure the final out and another save.
Jonathan Papelbon's days at the office this season combine two qualities that aren't often found together: routine and exciting. He extended his streak of converted save chances to 23 on Tuesday afternoon, when he closed out a 3-1 win over the Rays with a perfect ninth in the first game of a doubleheader.
Papelbon has 28 saves on the season, and of late, 13 has been his lucky number. In his last 13 appearances, Papelbon has gone that many innings and struck out that many batters. Just three baserunners have reached against him in that span -- all via single, none via walk.
When Papelbon traces the success, it was about this time a year ago, in the midst of a disappointing season, that he feels he figured himself out.
"I think all that started in August and September of last year," Papelbon said of an altered delivery. "I kind of realized what I can do to create life and deception, and I wasn't doing that in the early parts of the season last year. I was able to make an adjustment."
Strong as he's been, Papelbon might not be available for the nightcap, as he and manager Terry Francona said shortly after the first game they weren't sure about his status for Game 2.
Papi to miss a few more days with bursitis
BOSTON -- The Red Sox will be without the services of slugger David Ortiz for at least a couple of more games. The designated hitter was scratched just moments before the start of Tuesday's day-night doubleheader against the Rays with bursitis in his right heel.
Just as he does before every game, Ortiz was doing some sprints on the field shortly before Game 1. Only this time he didn't feel right, and he had to come out of the lineup. He also missed Game 2.
Though the club does not expect that Ortiz will have to go on the disabled list, the injury will be treated conservatively.
Ortiz was examined by the team's medical staff during Game 1.
"He got an MRI," said manager Terry Francona. "It showed bursitis in his heel. We're going to get him out of his spikes for a couple of days and get him in a little bit of a walking boot, just to kind of alleviate some of the pressure.
"We'll keep re-evaluating every couple of days. We want to get him off of [the foot] for a little while. It's not going to be DL. We're going to have to keep him out of there for a little bit. We don't know what that is."
Following Wednesday afternoon's contest at Fenway, the Red Sox hit the road for an eight-game trip through Kansas City and Texas.
"It was bothering him on the [last] road trip, and when he went out to run his sprints before the game, it kind of grabbed at him a little bit," Francona said.
The Red Sox managed just three hits in each game of their doubleheader, sans Ortiz, who is hitting .300 with 24 homers and 79 RBIs.
In Game 1, Jed Lowrie served as the designated hitter in Ortiz's place. Carl Crawford got to rest his legs by DHing Game 2, with Darnell McDonald getting the start in left.
The Red Sox were also without Marco Scutaro for the doubleheader, as he's been dealing with back discomfort. Mike Aviles started both games at short.
The Sox are taking a "wait and see" approach with Scutaro.
"[His] back's a little stiff, so that's kind of where we're at," said Francona before Game 1. "It's an early day, so he'll be getting treatment and we'll see how he does later."
Kevin Youkilis has also been dealing with a nagging back and didn't play Game 2. The Red Sox hope he will start on Wednesday against David Price.
Francona skips unpacking during pit stop home
BOSTON -- In what is easily the oddest portion of this season's schedule, the Red Sox are basically making a pit stop home to play the Tampa Bay Rays in the middle of what is essentially a very long road trip.
Aside from these three games against the Rays at Fenway -- two on Tuesday and one on Wednesday -- the Red Sox will have been on the road from Aug. 8-25.
The Sox just completed a six-game road trip through Minneapolis and Seattle. And once they finish their business against the Rays with a Wednesday afternoon game, they will open an eight-game road trip through Kansas City and Texas, starting on Thursday.
Don't look for the Red Sox to be doing much laundry or ironing during this brief homestand.
"Well, the fact that I didn't unpack, yeah, it's weird," said manager Terry Francona. "And the doubleheader makes it more, as you said, wacky. But that's just the way it is. It's just like a long road trip. It's a little weird."
A strong believer that his team should always stay in the moment, Francona is never one to make excuses. Instead, he just wants his team to go out and play, regardless of the circumstances.
"You kind of have your own stories and then you talk to other teams -- it happens to everybody," Francona said. "With the unbalanced schedule, that's just the way it's going to be. Whatever happens the night before, you're supposed to show up the next day and play baseball. That doesn't concern us. If we don't, man, I don't feel like it's because we didn't show up. Sometimes you just don't win."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.