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Rays 0, Red Sox 2: Betts' Homers, Lack Of Offense Doom Rays

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Mookie Betts belts two homers to topple the Rays 2-0 despite a great outing by Drew Smyly.

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

First off, congratulations to Evan Longoria on his 1,000 career hit. Only Carl Crawford and Ben Zobrist have more hits in a Rays uniform. The next guy to get 1,000 while wearing the blue and white likely isn't on the team yet. Since his rookie season his 1,000 hits are the 19th most in the American League. Although the power hasn't come yet this season the .382 OBP is mighty fine.

Now onto the game itself.

This was another rather dull game. Mookie Betts went deep twice for the Red Sox and that turned out to be all the scoring either team would muster. The story of the game from the Rays side was, again, their lack of hitting with runners in scoring position. The team collected eight hits yet failed to get one when it mattered most, going 0-5 with the opportunity to drive a man home.

They spread their eight hits over the first six innings, failing to reach base from the seventh inning on. The biggest wasted opportunity came in the fourth after back-to-back singles from Longoria and David DeJesus. With the runners in motion Logan Forsythe, who leads the team in fWAR at the moment, took a 1-1 pitch and lined out to centerfield. Unfortunately for the Rays he hit it too hard and Betts was playing shallow, allowing him to make a quick flat footed throw to second that doubled off Longoria. Kevin Cash contemplated challenging but the replay clearly showed Longoria's foot touch the bag a split second after the throw got there. There's no guarantee Asdrubal Cabrera or Joey Butler get hits in that situation, but it's a hell of a lot better position to be in than a man on first with two outs.

Aside from the double play in the fourth inning the Rays blew chances in the first, second, fifth and sixth. That's a shame because Drew Smyly pitched extremely well but took the loss.The southpaw threw six innings in his third start back from the disabled list, allowing just two hits, one run and two walks while striking out six. He didn't allow a hit through the first five frames and seemed to be pretty locked in, until Betts took a hanging slider and nearly hit it over the Green Monster to lead off the sixth. David Ortiz followed with a one out double through the shift, but Smyly was able to work his way out of it to limit the damage.

Over his three starts this season he's thrown 16.2 innings with a 2.70 ERA, 11.34 K/9, and 1.62 BB/9. Not bad at all, and especially valuable now that Alex Cobb seems likely to be out for a long, long time.

The Rays turned in some nice defensive plays. Kevin Kiermaier made a leaping catch in the triangle in center field to rob David Ortiz of a hit, and David DeJesus gunned down Alan Craig trying to stretch a double. The outfield defense has been even better than advertised this season.