ST. PETERSBURG — The Red Sox suffered not just an 8-5 loss to the Rays Tuesday night, but they lost their star shortstop.
As Xander Bogaerts went out to his position for the bottom of the second inning, he was waved into the dugout by Boston manager Alex Cora. Many on social media suspected it was COVID-19 related, and it was as Bogaerts tested positive for COVID-19.
Bogaerts joins five others who have tested positive for the corona virus, and he’ll be the seventh player placed on the COVID-19 related injured list. He came out after singling home the first run of the game in the first inning.
Brad Peacock, who was recently acquired, faltered in his Sox debut. He let up a solo homer to Randy Arozarena in the second before loading the bases after two walks and a hit batsmen. Nelson Cruz drove in two with a single before Peacock was relieved by Stephen Gonsalves, who was just called up. He gave up a pair of two-run hits in his first major-league outing since 2018.
Gonsalves was able to notch a scoreless fourth and fifth, and Phillips Valdez, who was also just recalled from Triple-A Worcester, let up a run on a sac fly to make it 8-2 Tampa in the sixth.
Surprisingly, despite the final score being 8-5, the Red Sox had twice the amount of hits (10) as the Rays (5) did. But Boston, with lackluster starting pitching, was unable to to score as many runs as Tampa did.
The Sox had some fight in them, as Kyle Schwarber homered in the sixth and Rafael Devers drove in another with an RBI single in the eighth to make it 8-3. Schwarber and J.D. Martinez would go back-to-back with RBI hits in the ninth, but Boston came up short with Devers’ strikeout to end the ballgame.
The Rays now have a winning streak of nine, and Boston practically has no chance at catching them. With their COVID-19 issues, making the wild card might even be a challenge. Tonight’s loss puts their lead over the Athletics in the second wild card spot at just one game. Tonight’s loss also puts them at just 1-7 on the season at Tropicana Field.
(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)