The Red Sox did their part to make sure Patriots’ Day was celebrated properly in Boston on Monday.
The Sox battled from behind against the Tampa Bay Rays for the second consecutive game, relying on the bat of Andrew Benintendi and a strong bullpen effort to squeeze out a 4-3 win at Fenway Park.
Steven Wright finally hit his stride and got some help from his bullpen to earn his first win of the season, as the Red Sox notched their third consecutive victory to improve to 8-5.
Boston now is 70-52 all time on Patriots’ Day.
Here’s how this one went down.
GAME IN A WORD
The Rays threatened often after a big first inning, but Wright and the Red Sox’s relievers found a way to wriggle free each time. Boston’s pitchers combined to hold Tampa Bay to 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position and stranded Rays nine runners.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Ben Taylor got Logan Morrison to fly out with the bases loaded to end the seventh inning.
After getting called up from Triple-A Pawtucket just hours earlier, the right-handed reliever helped squander the Rays’ best chance to jump back in front.
ON THE BUMP
— Wright settled down after a rocky first inning to deliver a serviceable start for Boston.
The knuckleballer allowed three consecutive hits to start the game, two of which came in to score on RBI groundouts from Brad Miller and Steven Souza Jr. But after escaping a pair of jams in the second and third innings, the right-hander found his groove, retiring eight of 10 Rays batters.
Tim Beckham’s lead-off single chased Wright from the game with no outs in the seventh inning.
Only one of Wright’s three runs allowed over six-plus innings was earned, thanks to Marco Hernandez’s first inning error on a dropped pop-up. He surrendered nine hits while walking one and striking four on 98 pitches.
— Robbie Ross Jr. entered for Wright and loaded the bases on a Corey Dickerson double and an Evan Longoria intentional walk. He struck out two, however, exiting with two outs in the seventh frame.
— Taylor was thrown into the fire to replace Ross allowed an RBI single to Souza that scored Wright’s inherited runner. Taylor prevented any further damage, though, retiring Morrison to keep Boston on top 4-3.
— Heath Hembree pitched a lights-out eighth inning, striking out two in a 1-2-3 frame.
— Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth to earn his sixth save in as many chances this season.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Hanley Ramirez got the Red Sox on the board in the first with an RBI single that scored Dustin Pedroia.
— Boston made the Rays pay for a Brad Miller two-out error in the second, scoring three runs after the blunder to take a 4-2 lead. Benintendi delivered the key base-knock, a two-RBI single to center field.
Benintendi posted his second consecutive three-hit game, going 3-for-4 to boost his average to .314 on the season.
— Mookie Betts swung a hot bat behind Benintendi, tallying a pair of doubles from the No. 3 hole and extending his strikeout-less streak to 124 straight plate appearances.
His second-inning double also drove in what proved to be the game-winning run in Pedroia.
— Pedroia did a nice job setting the table atop the lineup, reaching base twice on a single and a walk and scoring both times.
— The bottom of Boston’s order struggled in this one, as the No. 5 through No. 9 hitters combined for just two hits while striking out six times.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Marco Hernandez had a little extra pep in his step for Monday’s matinee.
The Red Sox head north of the border Tuesday to kick off a three-game set with the scuffling Toronto Blue Jays. Right-hander Brian Johnson is set to get the start in place of Eduardo Rodriguez, who was placed on paternity leave Monday.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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