We’re now 64 games into the 2019 season, and the Boston Red Sox still haven’t consistently showed a pulse.
The Red Sox suffered a 9-2 loss Saturday afternoon in Game 1 of their day-night doubleheader with the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. Boston now has dropped the first two contests of its four-game series with the Rays, who now are tied with the New York Yankees for first place in the American League East.
The Red Sox are seven games back.
Right-hander Josh Smith started and was completely ineffective, allowing four runs over four innings on a day when the Red Sox needed length from their starter. The offense was equally anemic, with Jackie Bradley Jr.’s solo homer in the eighth representing the only real highlight.
Sam Travis did something memorable, but we’ll get to that later.
The Red Sox dropped to 33-31 with the loss, while the Rays improved to 39-23.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
Once again, the Red Sox played an uninspiring brand of baseball.
ON THE BUMP
— Smith got roughed up in his second start of the season.
All the damage against the 31-year-old was done in the second inning, highlighted by Travis d’Arnaud’s two-out, three-run homer over the monster. Smith also gave up an RBI single to Brandon Lowe.
Smith surrendered four runs on seven hits over four innings. He struck out three, walked a batter and hit one.
— Colten Brewer got the ball in the fifth and surrendered an unearned run, despite not allowing a hit. He walked three batters.
— Rookie Mike Shawaryn followed up his impressive big league debut with another pair of shutout innings. The right-hander struck out three and hit two batters.
— Ryan Brasier pitched a perfect eighth inning. He now has a 3.71 ERA on the season.
— Lefty Josh Taylor got knocked around in the ninth, allowing four runs on six hits.
— Rays hitters tagged Boston pitchers for nine runs on 13 hits.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Not much to talk about here, if we’re being honest.
— The Red Sox managed just six hits on a day when Andrew Benintendi (rest) and J.D. Martinez (back) both were out of the lineup. Rays starter Ryan Yarbrough deserves much of the credit, as the young lefty allowed just two runs (one earned) on four hits over 7 2/3 innings while striking out seven.
— Travis got an RBI single in the bottom of the second to make it a 4-1 game. The Red Sox stayed quiet from that point until the eighth, when Bradley launched a homer high off Pesky’s Pole.
— Travis, Bradley, Christian Vazquez and Marco Hernandez each finished with one hit. Hernandez, who’s undergone three shoulder surgeries over the last two years, appeared in his first game since May 2017.
— Michael Chavis finished 2-for-4 with two singles out of the No. 2 spot.
— Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Eduardo Nunez and Sandy Leon all went hitless.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Hey, check out this catch from Travis:
The Red Sox and Rays will meet Saturday night for Game 2. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. ET.