After a first-inning 2-0 lead, the Boston Red Sox sat back and quieted down as the Tampa Bay Rays took the three-game series in the finale, 5-2, Sunday afternoon.

A lifeless series offensively.

Trevor Story, Kiké Hernandez, Xander Bogaerts, and Alex Verdugo strung together four hits in the first five at-bats to take the early two-run lead, and the lead would be held strong until Phillips Valdez relieved Rich Hill (four scoreless innings, four hits on three walks).

Valdez yielded a pair of hit batsmen along with a walk to load the bases, and all three of those runners would come across to score as Ryan Brasier relieved Valdez and Ji-Man Choi struck a two-run double before a groundout would give the Rays the 3-2 lead in the fifth.

The Rays would then scatter four hits on two runs across the next two frames off of Matt Barnes and Jake Diekman, including a Yandy Diaz solo homer off Diekman.

While Tanner Houck was able to record 1.2 perfect innings out of the bullpen following Diekman’s 0.2 innings, it was a meer consolation prize as Boston’s identity-less offense couldn’t do anything — the Sox didn’t even have a hit in the final three innings and had just two hits if you take away the first inning.

Boston looks ahead to Toronto for a four-game split as they’ll hope to get Alex Cora, Kevin Plawecki, and Jonathan Arauz back in what will be a big series for the Sox, as they’ll be without Tanner Houck among other unvaccinated players.

Read the pregame notebook from today to learn more.

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