Red Sox

Jarren Duran has go-ahead single in the 9th, Red Sox beat Rays 3-2

“We've still got some fight left in us, we've got some kick. No one in here has given up.”

Boston Red Sox right fielder Hunter Renfroe leaps but can't make the catch on a two-run home run by Tampa Bay Rays' Wander Franco during the third inning of a baseball game Wednesday evening. The Associated Press


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Jarren Duran had a tiebreaking RBI single in the ninth and the COVID-19 impacted Boston Red Sox stopped the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays’ nine-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory on Wednesday night.

Boston infielder Yairo Muñoz became the latest Boston player to test positive for the coronavirus. Eight Boston players and two coaches have either had a positive test or are considered close contacts since last Friday.

“That was a great win,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “Everybody was into it. It was a great baseball game, let’s put it that way.”

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Rafael Devers opened the ninth with a single off Pete Fairbanks (3-5) , the sixth Rays pitcher, and went to second on Alex Verdugos one-out infield hit. After Christian Vázquez struck out, Duran made it 3-2 on his base-hit to right.

Garrett Whitlock (7-2) went two scoreless innings before Adam Ottavino worked the ninth to get his 11th save.

Rays rookie Wander Franco homered off Chris Sale, extending his on-base streak to 32 games. He is one game away from tying Hall of Famers Mel Ott (1929) and Arky Vaughn (1932) for the third-longest stretch for a player under 21.

Sale made his fourth start since returning from Tommy John surgery, allowing two runs and six hits over a season-high six innings. In addition to inducing three double plays, the lefty struck out three, walked two and hit two batters.

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“There’s no doubt we’ve had some gut-punches over the last week, week and a half,” Sale said. “We’ve still got some fight left in us, we’ve got some kick. No one in here has given up.”

Tampa Bay went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

“That’s what happens when you’re facing a guy like Chris Sale,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He looked really good. He’s shown throughput his career he’s got a knack for making the big pitch with guys on base and he did that tonight.”

Vázquez homered, drove in two runs and made a nifty defensive play for the Red Sox. Boston is two-games up on Oakland in the second AL wildcard race.

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Franco’s third-inning two-run opposite-field drive to right on a high and away pitch gave the Rays a 2-1 lead.

“Those are the one’s you don’t lose sleep over, honestly,” Sale said. “That’s not a home-run pitch. He’s not suppose to hit that ball out. That was me verus him and he won. Not too many guys can get to that. It’s not like I hung a breaking ball or threw right it now the middle, he earned it.

Vázquez tied it at 2 on his seventh-inning homer off Collin McHugh, who has allowed just two earned runs in his last 38 2/3 innings,

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Alex Verdugo tripled when the ball got past a diving Manuel Margot in center in the second and scored on Vázquez’s single.

Vázquez made a nice scoop on Devers’ thrown and tagged out Joey Wendle as he tried to score on Randy Arozarena’s seventh-inning grounder.

Cash called it a “fantastic” play by Vázquez.

Jonathan Araúz threw out Franco when he attempted to score on Margot’s grounder in the eighth.

Kyle Schwarber had a two-out single in the fifth but Vázquez was easily thrown out trying to score from second by Arozarena in right.

MOVING DAY

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Red Sox: RHP Ryan Brasier (left calf) and OF Danny Santana (left groin) returned from the IL. …. INF Jack López and RHP John Schreiber had their contracts purchased from Triple-A Worcester.

Rays: RHP David Robertson and SS Taylor Walls were recalled from Triple-A Durham. Robertson struck out two during a perfect eighth in his first big league appearance since Apr. 14, 2019.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: Cora said SS Xander Bogaerts has no COVID-19 symptoms. He was pulled from Tuesday’s game in the second inning.

UP NEXT

Boston LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (10-7) and Rays LHP Shane McClanahan (9-4) are Thursday night’s starters.

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