It wasn’t Eduardo Rodriguez’s night, as he couldn’t even make it out of the fourth inning.
A pair of RBI extra-base hits from Manuel Margot and Mike Zunino scored three in the second, and Nelson Cruz two-run big fly put Tampa up 5-1 in just the third. Zunino then proceeded to knock E-Rod out of the ballgame, as he socked a solo shot to put Tampa’s lead at five.
Cruz and Zunino then both homered in the following two innings off Michael Feliz. Brad Peacock was then summoned from Boston’s bullpen in the seventh, only to serve up a two-run double to Cruz before Jordan Luplow jacked a three-run shot to make it 12-1.
The Sox were quiet in the first seven innings offensively while getting manhandled on the defensive side, only picking up a run in the second on a Christian Vazquez groundout. But they showed some life in the final two innings — Boobby Dalbec (two-run) and Danny Santana blasted back-to-back homers in the eighth, before Jonathan Arauz slapped an RBI single into center to cut Boston’s deficit down to just seven.
Dalbec added on in the ninth, with yet another two-run blast to make it 12-7, but Christian Vazquez grounded out as the Sox drop their second straight to the Rays.
Rodriguez’ final line consisted of 3 2/3 innings pitched, eight hits and six runs given up, while he only struck out three batters.
Boston moves to 79-62 on the season, and are now 10 games behind Tampa, who is an astonishing 88-51.
(Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)