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Rays 3, Red Sox 6: Leaving runners on base never looked easier for the Rays offense

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The offense took one step back after making strides earlier in the series.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

After securing the series-split against the Boston Red Sox last night, the Rays looked to grab the series win this afternoon in their final regular season matchup against Boston.

Playing in the first of three exciting games today for the Tampa Bay Area, it was up to the Rays to get this Sunday started with a win before the Lightning and Buccaneers try to do the same. Charlie Morton took the mound for the Rays this afternoon, going against Red Sox left-hander Martin Perez.

Morton allowed a two-run home run to Christian Vazquez before the game’s first out was even recorded, but quickly got three outs after the home run, striking out Bradley Jr. to end the inning.

Joey Wendle hit a two-out single in the bottom of the first and Mike Brosseau drove him home with a double to the right field corner, bringing Boston’s lead down to one.

Morton found himself in some trouble in the top of the fourth inning, loading the bases with Red Sox hitters, but Christian Arroyo flew out to end the inning, allowing Morton to escape the jam.

In the bottom of the fourth, Willy Adames got on base after a throwing error by Tzu-Wei Lin on a routine grounder. Kevan Smith made the Red Sox pay by hitting a two-run home run deep into the left field seats, giving the Rays a 3-2 lead.

Charlie Morton’s outing was over after 4.1 innings. Throwing in his second start since returning from injury, Morton struck out four and walked none, allowing two runs on six hits while throwing 77 pitches. Pete Fairbanks was brought in to pitch in the fifth.

When Morton exited, there was a runner on first, and that runner, Yairo Munoz, stole second base when Fairbanks entered the game. Fairbanks walked Christian Vazquez and Rafael Devers plated Munoz from second with a double to tie the game for Boston. Vazquez scored to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead on a groundout by JD Martinez. Fairbanks got out of the inning after allowing the fourth Boston run.

Ryan Thompson was brought in to pitch in the sixth inning and allowed a two-run home run to former Ray Christian Arroyo, making it a 6-3 Red Sox lead.

Aaron Slegers entered the game in the top of the seventh and worked a scoreless although not quiet inning, keeping the Rays within three. Slegers stayed in to throw a hitless eighth inning and did the same in the ninth, giving the offense one final chance to try and cut into the deficit.

The offense did not cut into the deficit and the Rays dropped the final game of the series, 6-3. Nine runners were stranded by the Rays this afternoon. The Rays will be off tomorrow but will welcome the Washington Nationals to Tropicana Field on Tuesday with first pitch scheduled for 6:40 pm.