The Red Sox held the Rays to just two hits Thursday night, but it was enough for Tampa Bay as Boston fell 1-0, and surrendered the division lead to the Rays.
Nick Pivetta tossed 6 2/3 no-hit innings, but was taken out after 100 pitches. He threw 58 strikes, 45 fastballs, 29 knuckle curves, 24 sliders, and two changeups. He walked two batters while striking out six.
Josh Taylor would finish the seventh for Pivetta, and the no-hitter would be broken up after Darwinzon Hernandez came in to start the eighth. Adam Ottavino would finish the inning after Hernandez recorded the first out.
Both teams committed two errors.
The Red Sox nearly took the lead in the top of the seventh, as with Hunter Renfroe standing at second base after doubling, Christian Vazquez hit a single up the middle to Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier. But Renfroe hesitated as he rounded third, and he headed for home, but Kiermaier threw a dime to Rays catcher Francisco Mejia as Renfroe was tagged out. The contest remained scoreless.
Michael Wacha tossed five innings for the Rays, only allowing one hit while striking out seven Red Sox batters.
Matt Barnes was assigned the bottom of the ninth, and after recording the first two outs Manuel Margot singled, and just moments later he stole second – a throwing error from Christian Vazquez allowed him to advance to third.
Barnes would throw a breaking ball in the dirt, and it would hit off the thumb of Christian Vazquez’ glove and bounce away. From there, Margot headed home for the victory.
The Red Sox will take on the Yankees for a three-game set at home. Boston swept the Bronx Bombers at Yankee Stadium, and they’ll look to do so again.
The Red Sox will honor Dustin Pedroia before the Friday night’s action with a pregame ceremony, as Martin Perez (5-4, 4.32 ERA) will take the mound to face Domingo German (4-4, 4.17 ERA). Saturday, Nathan Eovaldi (7-4, 3.90 ERA) will face Jordan Montgomery (3-1, 4.03 ERA). Then on Sunday Eduardo Rodriguez (5-4 6.07 ERA) will take on Gerrit Cole (8-3, 2.33 ERA) in the series.