All streaks must come to an end, and it looked like Sunday would be the day the Boston Red Sox’s seven-game winning streak came to a halt.
But these Red Sox never say die.
Trailing 7-2 in the eighth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox mounted a furious two-out rally, scoring six times to take an 8-7 lead into the ninth inning and Craig Kimbrel nailed down the Sox’s eighth win in a row.
With the win the Red Sox improve to 8-1, while the Rays fall to 1-8.
Here’s how it all went down:
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Kimbrel shut the door in the ninth inning.
ON THE BUMP
— Eduardo Rodriguez got off to a hot start, striking out the side in the first inning on 20 pitches. The Rays got to the lefty in the second, however. C.J. Cron crushed a leadoff, solo home run to straightaway center field to tie the game at one.
Tampa Bay took the lead in the third inning when Rob Refsnyder got aboard via a one-out walk and Matt Duffy followed by reaching on a sacrifice bunt attempt. Rodriguez fielded the ball and appeared to throw out Duffy, but it was reviewed and overturned, giving the Rays runners on first and second with one out. Two batters later, Carlos Gomez poked an RBI double down the right-field line to score Refsnyder.
The Rays struck again in the fourth. Tampa put runners on second and third with one out in front of Adeiny Hechavarria. The shortstop dunked an RBI single into center field to score a run and make the lead 3-1. Rodriguez got the next hitter to line out before being pulled with two outs in the fourth inning.
Rodriguez tossed 3 2/3 innings allowing three runs on five hits while striking out seven and walking two.
— Hector Velazquez relieved Rodriguez and got Kevin Kiermaier to fly out with the bases loaded to end the fourth. The right-hander allowed a run in the fifth when Brad Miller drove in Daniel Robertson with an RBI single to center to make it 4-1 Rays. He recorded the first two outs of the sixth inning before leaving with a runner on first.
— Bobby Poyner entered the game and gave up an RBI triple to Kiermaier, pushing the Rays’ lead to 5-2.
— Brian Johnson allowed two runs in the seventh inning.
— Carson Smith tossed a scoreless eighth.
— Kimbrel recorded a perfect ninth inning.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Mookie Betts greeted Tampa Bay starter Andrew Kittredge with a leadoff double in the first inning. Betts moved to third on an Andrew Benintendi groundout and scored when Hanley Ramirez hit an RBI groundout to short.
— Boston cut into the lead in the fifth when the Sox loaded the bases in front of Benintendi. Ryan Yarbrough was able to strike out the Red Sox center fielder for the second out of the inning, but he was unable to get out of the jam unscathed. Ramirez laced a rocket up the middle that Hechavarria made a diving stop on, but the shortstop’s flip to second for the force out was late, allowing a run to score. Yarbrough bounced back, though, striking out J.D. Martinez to end the inning.
— Down 7-2 in the eighth inning, things appeared bleak for Boston. But the Red Sox mounted a furious rally. First, Mitch Moreland drove in a run with a double off the Green Monster. After an Eduardo Nunez single, Rafael Devers drove in two runs to cut the lead to 7-5. Christian Vazquez continued the rally with an RBI single and Betts drove him home with an RBI double to tie the game.
But the Sox weren’t content with a tie, as Benintendi lifted a fly ball to left field that was misplayed by Mallex Smith, allowing Betts to score to give Boston an 8-7 lead.
TWEET OF THE GAME
What a rally.
The Red Sox have an off day Monday before welcoming the New York Yankees to Fenway Park for a three-game series. Chris Sale will get the ball for Boston and will be opposed by Luis Severino. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.