The Red Sox picked up a 9-5 win over the Rays Tuesday night in extras, extending Boston’s lead in the division to 1.5 games over the Rays, who have now lost seven straight. The Red Sox spoiled Wander Franco’s MLB debut in the victory as well.
Eduardo Rodriguez tossed five innings in the victory. He allowed two unearned runs in the first inning, before summoning a three-run blast to baseball’s top prospect Wander Franco in the fifth, who was called up on Monday to make his major league debut. It was the 20-year-old rookie’s first hit of his career.
The Rays used their opener strategy, starting a reliever for an inning then handing it over to their starter. After Andrew Kittredge started the ballgame for the Rays, Ryan Yarborough came on to get the final out of the first, and pitched a scoreless second.
He would find trouble though in the third, allowing first a two-RBI double from J.D. Martinez to tie the game, and Rafael Devers hit a sacrifice fly before Hunter Renfroe blasted a two-run shot over the left-center field wall to make it 5-2. Yarborough wouldn’t even be able to make it out of the third before being removed after hitting Kike Hernandez with a pitch.
Not much would occur from the sixth inning to the ninth inning. Adam Ottavino stranded two Rays runners in the eighth, but that was pretty much all the notable action.
The Red Sox’ top of the 10th inning looked promising, with Bobby Dalbec, the runner on second base to start the inning moving to third after Danny Santana hit a leadoff single. That meant runners on the corners with nobody out – but Bobby Dalbec ran home on a passed ball, and was tagged out at home plate. The Rays elected to intentionally walk Alex Verdugo to put runners on the corners again, this time with one out. J.D. Martinez would strikeout swinging, and Alex Verdugo would be caught stealing on the same play to retire the side scoreless.
Hirokazu Sawamura had the bottom of the 10th, in which he stranded two baserunners. The Red Sox would take the lead in the 11th, as Xander Bogaerts singled to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Rafael Devers came through, with a hit that went right under Rays first baseman Yandy Diaz’s glove, and was surprisingly scored a double as it brought home two. Hunter Renfroe and Kike Hernandez both added to the damage, with Renfroe hitting an RBI-single and Kike Hernandez adding a sac fly to make it a four-run 11th.
Darwinzon Hernandez shut the door, as the Red Sox captured their 44th win of the season and move to 44-29.
- Josh Taylor notched his 20th straight scoreless outing
- Connor Wong made his debut in the 11th inning, as a pinch-runner who later scored as the sixth run for the Red Sox, the game-winning run
(Photo of Hunter Renfroe (right) and Xander Bogaerts (left)/Chris O’Meara/Associated Press)