In a role that isn’t that common for Ryan Yarbrough he took the mound to start the game against the Boston Red Sox. With the Tampa Bay Rays riding a six game win streak they have had to lean on their high leverage arms, so using a guy like Ryan Stanek to open tonight would likely force Andrew Kittredge into higher leverage action than you would prefer after being recalled to take Mallex Smith’s roster spot. Surprisingly this is Yarbrough’s sixth start of the season.
Yarbrough worked through a clean first inning.
The Rays threatened after Joey Wendle led off with a single and stole second, but the Rays were unable to push the first run across the board.
In the second JD Martinez hit a grounder up the middle and was able to hustle into second due to a lackadaisical throw back in by Tommy Pham. Rays killer Xander Bogarts followed with a liner to left that moved Martinez to third. Yarbrough induced the groundball from Mitch Moreland to second base and the Rays took two outs. Red Sox 1, Rays 0.
In the bottom of the third the Rays threatened once again. Walks to Brandon Lowe and Joey Wendle put runners on first and second with one out. Matt Duffy lined a single to left field loading the bases for Ji-Man Choi. Choi struck out and got in a spat talking with Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello. Tommy Pham struck out to end the threat. Red Sox 1, Rays 0.
In the fourth Martinez hit another double, but was stranded there. Red Sox 1, Rays 0.
CJ Cron led off the fourth being hit by a pitch. Kevin Kiermaier laid down a bunt that moved Cron to second. Brandon Lowe broke open the scoring with a single with two outs to tie the game. Red Sox 1, Rays 1.
In the fifth the Rays threatened once again with back-to-back singles off the bat of Wendle and Duffy, but the Rays left more runners on base. It felt like these missed opportunity would eventually come back to haunt the Rays against the Red Sox offense that can put up runs in a hurry. Red Sox 1, Rays 1.
Yarbrough walked Andrew Benintendi to end his night. Ryne Stanek came in to face the middle of the Red Sox lineup. Stanek put down Steve Pearce on a fly out to right field. Benintendi got picked off first and Martinez struck out to keep the game tied. Red Sox 1, Rays 1.
In the bottom of the sixth Kiermaier shot a liner to the right-center field gap that rolled to the wall sending Kiermaier to third base. Willy Adames was hit by a pitch to end the night for Rick Porcello. Carlos Gomez didn’t forget Porcello’s spat with Choi, and told Porcello to get in the dugout. Ryan Brasier spiked a pitch in the dirt to score Kiermaier from third and move Adames to second. Lowe walked ahead of Michael Perez’s sacrifice bunt to move runners to second and third with one out. Wendle hit a sacrifice fly to score the second run of the inning. Red Sox 1, Rays 3.
Chaz Roe came in to work the seventh. Roe induced two infield fly balls and a grounder for the clean inning. Red Sox 1, Rays 3.
Tommy Pham hits the ball hard. This time he sent one over the center field wall. Red Sox 1, Rays 4.
Jose Alvarado came in for the eighth and mowed down the bottom of the Red Sox lineup in order including one strikeout. Red Sox 1, Rays 4.
In the bottom of the eighth Tyler Thornberg came in the game. With two outs Duffy walked ahead of a Ji-Man Choi triple lined down the right field line. Red Sox 1, Rays 5.
Sergio Romo came in to close the door. Benintendi started the inning with a strikeout and Romo ended the game striking out Martinez. Red Sox 1, Rays 5. Rays win! Rays win!
Rays have won seven in a row and sit at 69-61. They won a series against the team with the best record in MLB and look for the sweep tomorrow behind Cy Young candidate Blake Snell.