The Boston Red Sox entered Sunday’s matchup with the Tampa Bay Rays looking to escape their four-game weekend series with a split, but they weren’t able to do so.
Tampa showed why they currently own Major League Baseball’s best road record, defeating the Eduardo Rodriguez and the Red Sox 6-1 to take home the series victory.
Boston never really got going at the dish, with Jackie Bradley Jr., Marco Hernandez and Sandy Leon providing the only hot bats with two hits apiece.
With the loss, Boston falls to 34-32, while Tampa Bay improves 39-25.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
Tampa Bay’s aggressiveness at the plate made the difference in this one.
ON THE BUMP
— The Rays came out swinging against Rodriguez, roping four consecutive singles to begin the game. Brandon Lowe’s RBI single would make it 1-0 in the blink of an eye. Travis d’Arnaud slapped a one-out sacrifice fly to right field to score Lowe for Tampa Bay’s second run of the afternoon.
Guillermo Heredia led off the second inning with a solo shot into the Monster seats, making it 3-0 Rays, but that would be it for second-inning runs.
Rodriguez was clean from that point until the sixth inning, when Lowe hit a first-pitch bomb to lead off the inning. His 455-foot solo shot went well over the triangle in dead center field to make it 4-1 Rays.
The lefty would get two outs in the inning, but couldn’t escape after putting two men on via walks to Avisail Garcia and Christian Arroyo. Rodriguez ultimately gave up four runs on seven hits, to go along with seven strikeouts and two walks in 5 2/3 innings.
— Heath Hembree entered the game with two outs and two runners on in the sixth and hit the first batter he saw, loading the bases. The right-hander would bounce back in the next at-bat to strike out Ji-Man Choi and escape the jam.
— Marcus Walden came in for the seventh and surrendered Yandy Diaz’s tenth home run of the year. The solo shot made it 5-1.
After retiring Tommy Pham for the first out of the inning, Lowe would smoke another 400-foot home run to center field, putting the Rays up 6-1. Walden gave up a base hit to Garcia in the next at-bat, which caused Alex Cora to give him the hook.
— Colten Brewer would give up a leadoff single to d’Arnaud, but struck out Adames to escape without any further damage.
Brewer returned for the eighth and allowed base hits to Choi and Diaz, but that would be all.
— Ryan Brasier was Boston’s final pitcher of the afternoon. The right-hander gave up a one-out double to d’Arnaud, but left the catcher stranded at second.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox led off each of the first two innings with back-to-back singles, but managed only to come away with a run the second time around.
Sam Travis and Bradley Jr. kicked things off with two singles, and Hernandez would eventually drive in the Red Sox’s left fielder with a one-out single for Boston’s first run of the day.
— Sandy Leon, Bradley Jr. and Hernandez registered the Sox’s multi-hit days.
— The Red Sox were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
— Boston’s two through six slots were 0-for-14
TWEET OF THE GAME
This was accurate:
The Red Sox welcome in the Texas Rangers for a four-game series at Fenway Park as they continue their homestand. First pitch of Monday’s Game 1 is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images