After taking three of four from the New York Yankees last weekend, the Boston Red Sox came out flat against the Tampa Bay Rays. Thursday night was no different.
Tampa Bay completed the sweep at Fenway Park, defeating the Red Sox 9-4.
The Rays beat up on Boston starter Andrew Cashner, plating seven runs against the righty while taking advantage of his five walks.
Xander Bogaerts was one of few bright spots for the Red Sox, mashing two home runs en route to a four-hit night.
The Red Sox fall to 59-51 with the loss, while the Rays move to 63-48.
Here’s how it went down:
GAME IN A WORD
Boston’s pitching staff had an ugly showing on Thursday.
ON THE BUMP
— It didn’t take long for the Rays to get to Cashner.
Ji-Man Choi led off the game with a double to left field. After Choi advanced to third, Matt Duffy drove him in with a dribbler down the first-base line that was eventually ruled a single after Tampa Bay challenged the initial ruling on the field.
More trouble followed in the second, as two walks and a single loaded the bases with no outs. Cashner walked Choi to bring in the game-tying run before Tommy Pham ripped a double off the center-field wall to put the Rays ahead 4-2.
Cashner had baserunners in the next three innings but was able to avoid any further damage. He wasn’t so lucky in the sixth. After recording the first out of the inning, a single, double and walk quickly loaded the bases with one out. Will Adames grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Jesus Aguilar for the Rays’ fifth run, ending Cashner’s night.
The right-hander went 5 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits and five walks.
— Darwinzon Hernandez was the first arm out of the bullpen but had some control issues right off the bat.
The lefty threw a wild pitch that allowed Eric Sogard to score from third and Adames to move up to second. He’d toss his second wild pitch later in the inning, sending Adames to third. After walking Choi, Pham would rip a double down the right-field line, driving in Tampa Bay’s seventh run of the evening.
— Colten Brewer surrendered a walk in the seventh but retired the side without any damage.
The right-hander gave up a solo shot to Mike Zunino to begin the eighth, making it 8-4 Rays.
— Heath Hembree came in for the ninth and immediately gave up a solo bomb to Austin Meadows, putting this one all but out of reach at 9-4. He’d escape the inning without further damage after allowing a single and walk.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Trailing 1-0, Mookie Betts led off the bottom of the first with a single to right field. Later in the inning, Xander Bogaerts would drive him in by smoking a two-run home run out of Fenway Park, giving him a career-high 24 dingers on the season.
— Bogaerts would provide more support from the dish in the fifth, launching his second home run of the game, this time off the light tower. The solo shot made it 5-3 Rays.
— Betts added a solo homer of his own in the seventh, wrapping one around Pesky Pole for Boston’s fourth run of the night.
— Andrew Benintendi roped three doubles on the night, continue to drive up his batting average with his 13th three-hit night of the year.
All three doubles were leadoff hits, and all three innings ended with Benintendi getting stranded in scoring position.
— The Red Sox were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Betts made some history on Thursday, despite the loss.
The Red Sox head to the Bronx for a four-game set with the New York Yankees beginning Friday night at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Gregory J. Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images