Everything was going wrong for the Rays until Longoria's blast. Boston got on the board early against Rays starter Alex Cobb, scoring on a Dustin Pedroia ground ball in the first. Cobb kept the high-powered Red Sox offense off the board until the fifth, when Tampa Bay's defense became sloppy.
After Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury hit a one-out double, Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar failed to cleanly field a playable ground ball off the bat of Shane Victorino, resulting in runners at the corners and one out. Ellsbury scored when Cobb uncorked a wild pitch in the next at-bat, and Victorino crossed the plate on David Ortiz's RBI single two batters later.
Adding to the trouble was Tampa Bay's stagnant offense, which had only three hits against Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz entering the fifth. Then, the wheels started to turn. Yunel Escobar singled and David DeJesus doubled two batters later. After Ben Zobrist popped out for the second out of the inning, Longoria stepped to the plate and hammered an 0-1 changeup just out of the reach of Red Sox left fielder Daniel Nava for the equalizer.