Tampa Bay Rays

Porcello struggles, Red Sox lose series finale to Rays, 6-3

Porcello struggles, Red Sox lose series finale to Rays, 6-3

ST. PETERBURG - Blake Snell threw six scoreless innings, Wilson Ramos drove in two runs, and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Thursday night.

Snell (6-3) allowed three hits, walked two and struck out eight. The left-hander is 2-0 in three starts against Boston this season, giving up two runs and 11 hits in 19 innings.

Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer and Rafael Devers had an RBI double off Matt Andriese in the ninth as Boston got within three runs. But, Alex Colome retired Sandy Leon on a two-out grounder with Devers on second to get his 11th save.

Red Sox starter Rick Porcello (6-2) last just 3 2/3 innings, allowing six runs - four earned - and eight hits. He threw 92 pitches.

Boston (34-16) dropped to 9-4 against the Rays this year.

The Rays took a 5-0 lead after two innings, helped by a pair of Boston miscues.

Denard Span scored the first of two runs during the first when Leon was charged with an error for dropping Porcello's throw home on Ramos' bases-loaded comebacker. Brad Miller added a sacrifice fly.

Ramos had a bases-loaded two-run single in second that also saw Matt Duffy score a third run from first base when right fielder Mookie Betts picked up an error for an errant throw back to the infield.

Duffy put Tampa Bay up 6-0 on a third-inning RBI single.

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Red Sox score three in ninth inning to top Rays, 4-1

Red Sox score three in ninth inning to top Rays, 4-1

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Boston Red Sox didn't need much offense to win their fourth straight game Wednesday night.

The 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays was accomplished with six strong innings from David Price and a three-run ninth sparked by an RBI double by Xander Bogaerts. The Rays, who have lost 9 of 12 to the Red Sox this season, contributed an error, a wild pitch and a passed ball to the big inning.

"That's us coming together as a team," said Mookie Betts, whose three-run homer won Tuesday night's game. "Today we had great pitching. I don't think there were many good swings on [Price's] pitches. He did everything today."

Price pitched three-hit ball, allowing a run while striking out nine. Joe Kelly (3-0) got the win and Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 15th save.

It was 1-1 when Bogaerts got up to bat in the ninth after a throwing error by shortstop Willy Adames. Bogaerts doubled into the left field corner off Alex Colome (2-5) to drive in J.D. Martinez. After a wild pitch, Eduardo Nunez drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, and Boston tacked on another on a passed ball.

"You know it's my fault in the ninth making that error," said Adames, who was playing only his second major-league game. "It's a tough for me with that error and getting the L for the team."

Adames had thrown out Nunez at the plate after a two-out double by Jackie Bradley Jr. in the fifth, preserving a scoreless tie.

The Rays did not get a runner into scoring position until the sixth, when C.J. Cron doubled off the center field wall, their third and final hit. That hit drove in Denard Span, who had led off the inning with a walk.

Price, who had won his two preceding starts, left after throwing 90 pitches in six innings.

"The last inning was a high-leverage, stressful inning and we felt good with the six," explained manager Alex Cora.

Christian Vazquez got Boston on the board in the sixth, singling off starter Chris Archer and later scoring when Hanley Ramirez bounced into a bases-loaded double play.

Archer has won only one of his last 20 starts against Boston. He gave up one run, four hits and three walks in six innings, striking out six.

The game featured eight hits and 24 strikeouts, including four in a row by Rays reliever Jose Alvarado.

11-MAN BULLPEN DAYS

With the loss of RHP Jake Faria to an injury and Wednesday's call up of LHP Vidal Nuno, the Rays are down to two starting pitchers on a 13-man staff, setting up the possibility of "bullpen days" for all three of the upcoming weekend games against Baltimore.

"I imagine we'll be revisiting Sergio [Romo] starting again," manager Kevin Cash said. "Maybe he'll start all three games this time."

Last weekend, Romo became the first pitcher since 2012 to start on consecutive days.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: A decision will be made on the status of 2B Dustin Pedroia (recovering from left knee surgery) after Thursday's game at Triple-A Pawtucket. Pedroia could be activated for this weekend's series at Fenway Park.

Rays: Faria went on the 10-day disabled list after straining his left oblique Tuesday night, and the Rays expect him to miss at least two months. ... C Wilson Ramos, who left Tuesday's game early with a left hand contusion, was available but did not start. ... RHP Nathan Eovaldi (loose bodies in right elbow) gave up eight runs on 10 hits in four innings in his fourth rehab start for Triple-A Durham. Eovaldi is eligible to come off the disabled list Monday.

UP NEXT

RHP Rick Porcello (8-3, 2.43 in 13 careers starts at Tropicana Field) will pitch for Boston in Thursday night's series finale. Rays LHP Blake Snell (2-3, 4.13 in in six career starts against the Red Sox) has given up two runs or fewer in eight of his 10 starts this season.

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Betts homers in support of Sale as Sox topple Rays, 4-2

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AP Photo

Betts homers in support of Sale as Sox topple Rays, 4-2

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Chris Sale has high praise for Boston teammate Mookie Betts, and with good reason.

Betts hit his major league-leading 16th homer, Sale struck out nine in 7 2/3 innings and the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 on Tuesday night.

"I knew once we got a lead with that guy, we were in pretty good shape," Betts said.

Betts had two hits in four at-bats and is hitting .368.

"He's the best player in the league, I don't think there's any argument on that," Sale said. "It seems like he's hitting a homer every other day. You're in awe of him, the way he handles himself and the work he puts in. He's not just showing up and going out there and doing that."

Boston is 21-9 against the AL East, winning eight of 11 against Tampa Bay.

Willy Adames made his big league debut and hit a solo home run off Sale in his second at-bat. The 22-year-old shortstop went 1 for 4 with three strikeouts. He was acquired from Detroit as part of a three-team trade that sent Rays ace - and current Sale teammate - David Price to the Tigers on July 31, 2014.

"You hit a bomb against Sale, it's an amazing feeling," said Adames, who arrived at the ballpark about 40 minutes before first pitch. "I can't tell you how happy I am right now."

Adames is the first player to homer at Tropicana Field in first big league game.

Sale (5-1) gave up four hits and walked two. He has allowed three runs or fewer in his first 11 starts, the longest stretch by a Boston pitcher to open a season since Pedro Martinez's 12 in 2001.

"He's really tough, no doubt," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

Joe Kelly finished the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel got into a bases-loaded jam before getting his 14th save in 16 chances when Mallex Smith grounded into a game-ending forceout on his 32nd pitch of the ninth. Jesus Sucre led off with a single, pinch-hitter Brad Miller doubled with two outs and Rob Refsynder walked.

Betts hit a go-ahead, three-run drive in the third off Jake Faria (3-3), who left two batters later because of a strained left oblique. Faria was replaced with a 1-2 count on Hanley Ramirez by Austin Pruitt, who gave up one run in 5 1/3 innings.

Cash said Faria "is going to miss some time."

Two hitters following Faria's departure, Wilson Ramos was taken out due to a bruised left hand after Pruitt's 0-2 pitch to Xander Bogaerts bounced and struck the catcher.

Ramos said the hand "sore" but didn't rule out being available Wednesday.

Faria allowed three runs and three hits in 2 2/3 innings.

Daniel Robertson's sacrifice fly pulled Tampa Bay to 3-2 in the fifth, and Rafael Devers hit a solo homer in the sixth.

The announced attendance was 10,642, below the Rays' AL-low home average of 14,711. Miami is last in the majors at 10,603.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: Asked whether 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee surgery) could return Friday against Atlanta, manager Alex Cora said "it depends on how he reacts but he's getting close." Pedroia is on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. ... RHP Hector Velazquez (lower back strain) could be back later this week.

Rays: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (right elbow surgery) could make his final rehab start Wednesday night for Triple-A Durham.

BETTS BALL

Betts has scored a major-league best 49 runs. He has 36 extra-base hits, including six over his last four games.

INFIELD SHORTAGE

Adames took the roster spot of 2B Joey Wendle, who is on paternity leave for the birth of his son. ... SS Adeiny Hechavarria (strained right hamstring) has not resumed on-field work.

UP NEXT

Price (4-4), coming off a complete game victory over Baltimore, goes against Rays RHP Chris Archer (3-3) on Wednesday night. "There will be a little bit of banter, but it's all friendly," Archer said.

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