Yonny Chirinos struggled out of the gate against the Red Sox, allowing two runs in the first inning. It was not how the Rays wanted to start this contest, especially after going into it just with just one game separating the two teams. Chirinos recovered nicely, however, holding the Sox to those same two runs for another 4.2 innings.
The Rays offense was tasked with handling the tall Boston southpaw Chris Sale, who was coming off a start against the Blur Jays in which he struck out a dozen in six shutout innings. His previous three starts were not as pretty, allowing a combined 15 earned runs.
Sale looked to be cruising into the home half of the third, when a home run off the bat of Travis d’Arnaud tied it at a pair each:
The Rays threatened a few times in the following innings, which included a double by newcomer Matt Duffy in the fourth and another by Tommy Pham in the fifth. Neither threat netted any runs.
It became a bullpen game for the Rays in the sixth when Colin Poche took over for Chirinos, and after giving up a base hit to Andrew Benintendi, induced a weak flyball from Brock Holt to end the inning.
Sale went out for the sixth as well, despite having already eclipsed the one hundred pitch mark. But unlike Chirinos, Sale would finish his work.
Poche went out again for the seventh, but this time he couldn’t hold the Sox, giving up a solo homer to Christian Vazquez.
Diego Castillo was asked to keep the deficit at one in the eighth, but struggled as well, allowing the bases loaded without retiring a batter. Adam Kolarek allowed two of those three runners to score, extending the deficit to three.
Things got interesting in the bottom of the ninth, after Duffy tallied his second hit of the game and Willy Adames worked a walk from an 0-2 count. A base hit by Ji-Man Choi and consecutive walks to d’Arnaud and Pham brought the Rays within one.
Unfortunately, Austin Meadows could not get it done, and 5-4 was the final.