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Rays 3, Red Sox 7: First inning offense not enough

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Rays score 3 in the first. Mallex Smith makes a great catch in the 2nd. All downhill from there.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays prepared to take their entry exam against left handed starting pitching given out by the Boston Red Sox. Brian Johnson is the entry level class. Saturday the Rays get the graduate level class against David Price, and Sunday the Rays get the doctorate level class against Chris Sale.

The Rays got off to a quick start. Mallex Smith led off the game with a single to right field before being erased on a double play off the bat of Matt Duffy. That was only a minor set back for the offense as Tommy Pham walked ahead of CJ Cron’s liner that rocked off the Green Monster just in foul territory putting runners at second and third with two outs. Joey Wendle lined a double down the right field line to put the Rays up 2-0. Carlos Gomez followed with a soft liner that would’ve been hit directly at the third baseman, but Wendle was stealing third and was able to score as the ball went to the outfield with the third baseman covering third. Rays 3, Red Sox 0.

Ryne Stanek opened for the Rays and looked to hand the ball to Yonny Chirinos with a nice lead. Stanek got Mookie Betts to harmlessly fly out to center. Andrew Benintendi singled to right. After getting a flyball off the bat of Mitch Moreland for the second out things went downhill for Stanek. JD Martinez worked a walk to put two runners on for Xander Bogaerts. In 12 games this season against the Rays, Bogaerts is 17 for 45 with 9 doubles and 2 homers. Bogaerts hit a high fly ball that landed just in front of the monster. It looks like Kevin Kiermaier let up as there wasn’t enough room to stop before crashing into the Green Monster. Bogaerts drove in two runs with the triple. Rays 3, Red Sox 2.

The Red Sox batters forced Stanek to work. Throwing 32 pitches to get out of the first allowing two runs on two hits and a walk.

Yonny Chirinos came in looking to get the bulk of the innings and hold the Rays lead. He worked through the second and third innings in scoreless fashion. In the second inning he struck out Betts with a runner on to end the inning before having to face the middle of the lineup with runners on.

Eduardo Nunez hit a fly ball down the right field line that Mallex Smith made a nice running catch that led him right into the low wall. He hit the wall hard, but was able to hold on and looked to just get the wind knocked out of him.

In the fourth Bogaerts led off with a double off the wall. Eduardo Nunez singled down the third base line with the infield drawn in. Rays 3, Red Sox 3.

In the fifth Betts led off with a double that almost cleared the Monster in left-center. Moreland rifled a hard liner up the middle that somehow avoided Chirinos, but deflected off a diving Willy Adames to score the go ahead run. Rays 3, Red Sox 4.

In the sixth inning Joey Wendle hit a two out double that was a weak fly ball that hit about ten feet up the Green Monster. Jake Bauers pinch hit for Carlos Gomez after Boston took out the left handed pitcher for Heath Hembree. Bauers struck out. Rays 3, Red Sox 4.

In the bottom of the frame Ian Kinsler drew a leadoff, four pitch walk. The leadoff walk would come around to score once again on a high fly ball off the top of the monster by Jackie Bradley, Jr. Rays 3, Red Sox 5.

In the seventh Moreland doubled off the monster on a ball that Pham looked like he had a play of that just carried to the wall. Martinez drove in a run on a single to left. Bogaerts hit a double off the wall putting runners at second and third with one out. Kinsler hit a sharp grounder directly at Duffy keeping the runners in place and picking up the second out. Chirinos wasn’t able to leave them stranded after uncorking a wild pitch that bounced into the stands allowing Martinez to score. Rays 3, Red Sox 7.

Yonny Chirinos worked six innings but allowed five runs. His splitter wasn’t good tonight. He left many hanging belt high and many were punished. He allowed nine hits of which five were doubles.

In the eighth the Rays would look to put together their most productive inning since the first. Smith started things off with an infield single thanks to replay. Duffy followed with a breaking ball that just grazed his hand giving the Rays two runners on base with no outs. Pham was called out looking. Cron hit a popup to second base. Wendle struck out swinging to end the rally. Rays 3, Red Sox 7.

Diego Castillo came in to relieve Chirinos. Castillo struck out Blake Swihart as he put together a clean inning.

Bauers, Kiermaier, and Adames couldn’t put together a late inning rally as the first inning offense wasn’t enough for the Rays.

Tomorrow the Rays take on their former Cy Young Award Winner David Price at 7:10 PM.