Big 7th leads Rays to another win over Sox

by Gary Shelton on July 15, 2022

in general

Friday, 4 a.m.

Feeling down? The game spinning out of control? The old hitting woes showing up again?

If you're the Tampa Bay Rays, there is a cure for that.

Just play the Boston Red Sox.

The Rays -- yeah, that team that was previously swept by the last-place Cincinnati Reds -- beat the Red Sox for the fourth straight game Thursday night. This time, it was 5-4, the team's eighth win in 10 meetings against Boston this season. Over the last two seasons, the Rays are 19-11 against them.

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The Rays are now 2 1/2 games up on both Boston and Toronto in the battle for second place in the AL East.

Tampa Bay, behind 3-0 in the seventh inning and not making a lot of noise, erupted for five runs and six hits , including a pair of two-run singles by Taylor Walls and Yandy Diaz. Josh Lowe also doubled in a run.

"We seem to play better against better teams," said Diaz.

"We’ve had a tendency to play down to competition, or up to competition," Walls said.

The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead on a home run by Rafael Devers in the fourth, then added two more on a double and a wild pitch.

But the Rays finally got their offense going in the seventh. Jonathan Aranda doubled, Christian Bethancourt singled and Lowe doubled. That brought on reliever John Schreiber, who gave up a single to left to Walls on an 0-2 count.

"We’re going to see the best of Taylor Walls going into the second half," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "You’ve got to think he’s feeling better at the plate."

Rays' reliever Jalen Beeks earned his first save in the ninth, but not until he gave up two hits and a run to start the inning.

"We feel a lot better than we did getting on a plane in Cincinnati, that’s for sure," Cash said.

The Rays open a series against the hot Baltimore Orioles -- who have won 10 in a row -- tonight at Tropicana Field at 7:10 p.m. Neither team has announced a starting pitcher.

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