BOSTON — The Red Sox opened a crucial three-game weekday series versus the Rays Tuesday night, with a 8-4 back-breaking loss to their division foes.
A pair of homers from Rafael Devers and Brandon Lowe in the early going had it tied up at 1-1 entering the bottom of the bottom half of the fourth, but Hunter Renfroe broke the tie as he got ahold of one and made it 4-1 with a three-run big fly.
Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez threw five one-run innings, but ran into some trouble in the sixth. He allowed a double to Mike Zunino before walking Nelson Cruz to put two on, and Tampa would cut the deficit to two runs as Wander Franco slapped an RBI single into center. The lefty ended his night tossing 5 1/3 innings, as Hirokazu Sawamura would take over to finish the sixth.
Garrett Whitlock would run into trouble in the seventh, yielding a pair of hits before a Ji-Man Choi two-RBI double tied the game up at 4-4. Whitlock would start the eighth, but after summoning a single and a walk, left-hander Josh Taylor relieved Whitlock and notched the final out of the inning.
Matt Barnes would come on to keep it a tie ballgame in the ninth, but he would only silence Fenway. Barnes loaded the bases after a double and a pair of walks, and Francisco Mejia came through in the clutch, as with two outs he roped a single into right field. Renfroe had some trouble with it in right, allowing three runs to score. Martin Perez would come out of the bullpen, but would allow a soft RBI single to make it 8-4.
After Perez got out of the inning, the Sox would be blanked in the ninth to give the Rays the win. Boston is now 5.0 games back of Tampa Bay.
(Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)