Rays beat Red Sox despite getting just five hits

by Gary Shelton on September 1, 2021

in general

Yarbrough won after a solid six innings./JEFFREY S. KING

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

Were you watching when the Boston Red Sox decided they wanted to chase the Baltimore Orioles?

Were you paying attention when they thought about the post-season and decided, as a team, that it just wasn't worth the effort.

The backward slide of the Red Sox continued Tuesday night as they got in the way of a surging Tampa Bay Rays team and lost, 8-5, despite outhitting the Rays 10-5.

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So how does a team lose with that kind of hitting edge? Well, the Red Sox walked four, and they hit three batters, and they made two errors, and they gave up a six-run third. Yeah, Boston made it close at the end, they had the tying run up in the ninth inning -- but Andrew Kittredge struck out Travis Shaw and Rafael Devers to end the game.

It was their ninth loss in the last 10 games against Tampa Bay. Boston, who led the AL East by 4.5 games on July 8, now trails the Rays by 10 games and is in third place.

"They pitched us pretty tough," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "We didn’t get a ton of hits. We took advantage of some good at-bats and some timely hitting. Sometimes, you’ve got to win like that and that’s totally fine." 

The Rays got a quality start from Ryan Yarbrough -- who allowed just five hits and two earned runs in six innings of work. Boston scored two runs off Dietrich Enns to make the final closer, but Kittredge shut them down.

"I thought he did a really good  job," Cash said. "He was pitch efficient. He used the true fastball a tick more than in the past. He certainly had everything going."

For the Rays, Wander Franco was again a star. He increased his on-base streak to 31 games, the second-most by a player 20 years or younger in the history of the American League. Franco is fifth in major league history, but his is the longest streak since Mickey Mantle did it 70 years ago.

"Everything (Franco) is doing, we're kind of in awe," Cash said.

The Rays will play Boston again tonight at 7:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Drew Rasmussen will start for the Rays against Chris Sale of the Red Sox.

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