Rays rally with Red Sox 8-4, extend lead in LA East | Sports News

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By DOUG ALDEN, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) – Francisco Mejía of Tampa Bay scored a single with goals loaded in the ninth, Boston’s Hunter Renfroe made a costly mistake on the game, and it helped the Rays beat the Red Sox 8-4 on Tuesday night .

Tampa Bay’s lead in the AL East is now five games.

The Rays were 2 of 9 with runners in scoring position before Mejía, who entered the game as a defensive substitute in the seventh, delivered a straight single. The ball passed Renfroe for an error and it allowed all three runners to score, giving Tampa Bay a 7-4 lead.

The Rays added another round on the Brandon Lowe single. Louis Head eliminated Boston to eliminate the Red Sox, who lost for the 10th time in 12 games.

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Lowe also scored for the Rays, who earned a two-point brace from pinch hitter Ji-Man Choi to tie at 4 overall in the seventh after Boston led 4-1. Andrew Kittredge (8-1) pitched two scoreless relief innings for Tampa Bay.

The Red Sox missed a game they desperately needed, following a 2-8 road trip that began with a three-game sweep by the Rays in Tampa Bay. Matt Barnes (6-5) pitched the ninth for Boston and suffered his second straight loss.

Renfroe hit a three-run homer for Boston in the fourth and Rafael Devers led the second with his 28th homer of the year.

Eduardo Rodríguez gave Boston a strong start, striking out eight catches in 5 1/3 innings. He allowed two runs on four hits and a walk, being shot in the sixth after Wander Franco’s RBI single scored Mike Zunino to bring the Rays down to 4-2.

The only other point allowed by Rodríguez was Lowe’s 25th circuit in third.

Luis Patino pitched six innings for the Rays, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks. He took out seven.

Rays: Re-entered outfield Randy Arozarena from COVID-19 IL and had him play the starring role. Arozarena led the opening pitch of the game for a center single. … Tampa Bay also placed LHP Ryan Yarbrough on COVID-19 IL and RHP DJ Johnson (sprained right shoulder) on 10-day IL, retroactive to Monday. Manager Kevin Cash said Johnson may have a slight muscle tear and is getting a second opinion. … RHP Nick Anderson (sprained right elbow) set to start a rehab mission with Triple-A Durham on Thursday after hosting some live batting practices on Monday… After his double hit tied for seventh, Choi was immediately replaced by a runner pinching because of pain in his left hamstring.

Red Sox: OF / 1B Kyle Schwarber (right hamstring strain, left groin pain) has been exercising and getting closer to his Boston debut, but manager Alex Cora won’t say when he hopes Schwarber will be added to the training. Schwarber was acquired from the Washington Nationals before the trade deadline and has yet to play for the Red Sox.

“He feels great,” Cora said. “We feel a lot better – a lot better today than we actually did this weekend.”

Cora said LHP Chris Sale is still on track to join the team and start on Saturday against Baltimore. Sale is recovering from Tommy John’s surgery and hasn’t competed in majors since August 13, 2019.

Rays: Tampa Bay has not named a starter for Wednesday’s game. Cash said he could go with an “opener” to pitch the first two innings and then put him back to the bullpen, or possibly start LHP Josh Fleming (9-5, 4.12 ERA).

Red Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (9-7, 4.07) gets his first start since allowing a season-high seven runs in 4 2/3 innings Friday in a loss to Toronto. It was only the third time in 22 starts that Eovaldi failed to complete five innings.

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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