The Rays, historically, have pretty good luck when playing the Red Sox at Fenway (let’s just ignore the postseason and never talk about 2021 again, kthx). Tonight was no different as they faced off against young starter Brayan Bello who was making his MLB debut tonight.
Bello lasted four innings, meanwhile on the Rays’ side of things Corey Kluber was having himself one of those nice nights that reminds you why the Rays thought it was a good idea to sign Corey Kluber.
The Rays wasted very little time getting on the board, as Diaz hit a one-out double, then Franco singled to both bring Diaz home, and extend his own hit streak to nine games. Choi reached safely on an error from Cordero, but a double play ended the inning before more runs could score. Kluber set the Sox down in order in the bottom of the inning.
A Kiermaier walk provided the lone baserunner for the Rays in the second. On the flip side, a Franco error allowed Bogaerts to reach safely, then two quick outs were followed by a ground-rule double that put Cordero on second and Bogaerts on third. The inning ended scoreless.
The third inning saw the Rays widening their lead, which I appreciate because one-run games are too much stress for me. Diaz got a one-out walk, then Choi singled with two outs and put men on the corners. Arozarena doubled, easily scoring Diaz, and less easily scoring Choi, but the run did indeed cross home with little to stop it. Walls drew a walk, and then Kiermaier doubled to score Arozarena, leaving the score at mid-three a nice 4-0. In the bottom of the inning Bradly Jr. singled to kick things off, then Vasquez got a one-out single to put two men on. A fielder’s choice and a strikeout ended the inning with no runs scored for the Sox.
Josh Lowe got himself a one-out double in the fourth, but two groundouts ended the inning. The Sox didn’t fare any better in the bottom of four with a 1-2-3 inning from Kluber.
Aggressive baserunning took a victim in the fifth as Walls walked with two outs but then got caught stealing to end the inning. The Sox once again went 1-2-3 in the bottom half.
The Rays decided to make up for that caught stealing by having a nice, solid sixth. Things started very similarly with Brujan drawing a two-out walk. Then Brujan stole second, but he didn’t get caught. An important difference. Lowe doubled to score Brujan, then Diaz walked. Franco walked to load the bases, and Choi walked, to force in a run. The Rays ended the inning 6-0, and the Red Sox went three up three down in the bottom. That was it for Kluber, who finished with a line of 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K on 80 pitches. Nice night.
The top of the seventh zipped by so quickly I didn’t even register it. Faucher was up next for the Rays and you cannot convince me his name is pronounced “Fo-Shay” you simply cannot. Anyway, Faucher gave up a double to Story, and a Cordero flyout advanced Story to third, but when the dust settled the Sox were still scoreless.
Brujan singled to kick off the eighth, then Diaz got a one-out single to put two men on. Unfortunately those two men would stay on, as the next two batters were back-to-back outs. Armstrong took the eighth for the bullpen. Duran got a deep double with one out, then advanced to third on a Vazquez groundout. J.D. Martinez singled, and for the first time all game the Red Sox scored a run with Duran coming home. They only managed to get the one.
Arozarena didn’t wait long to get one back, as he lead off the ninth with a solo home run right into the Sox dugout. Mejia got a two-out walk, but Brujan was the final out of the inning, and it was turned over to the Red Sox, who did nothing.
Final: Rays 7, Red Sox 1