Red Sox Wrap: Boston Handcuffed As First-Place Rays Take Series Opener

The Rays extended their AL East lead to nine games over the Red Sox

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The Boston Red Sox started off their pivotal four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays with a dud of an offensive performance and were dealt a 6-1 defeat at Tropicana Field.

Boston, who fell to 75-58, now trails the first-place Rays by nine games in the American League East.

Check out the full box score here.

ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
The Red Sox offense didn’t offer much support for starting pitcher Nick Pivetta or the bullpen, which allowed two runs in the eighth inning as the Rays pulled away. Boston was limited to just six hits in the contest and the Red Sox combined to strike out 10 times while working just one base on balls.

Boston ended up leaving six runners on base, but had merely two runners reach scoring position. Bobby Dalbec had Boston’s only extra-base hit as he hit a home run in the second inning. The Red Sox brought three batters to the plate in the third, eighth and ninth innings.

STARS OF THE GAME
— Dalbec recorded his fourth home run in the last four games on a solo shot in the second inning. Dalbec’s blast got out in a hurry and measured 397 feet to left field. The Red Sox first baseman, who now has seven home runs in 23 games during the month of August, finished the game going 1-for-3 with one RBI.
— Alex Verdugo, batting in the No. 5 spot, was 2-for-3 at the plate as was Boston’s lone batter with multiple hits. Verdugo gave the Red Sox runners on first and second with one out in the fourth inning, but Boston wasn’t able to convert.
— Tampa leadoff man Brandon Lowe reach base in four of his five plate appearances. Lowe led off the game with a solo home run against Pivetta to make it 1-0. He finished the game 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs and two RBIs.

WAGER WATCH
If you bet $140 that Nick Pivetta would record more than 5.5 strikeouts Sunday, well, you became $100 richer. Pivetta cashed in on the over as he recorded six strikeouts in the contest — four of which came in the first three innings.

ON DECK AT NESN
The Red Sox will return to Tropicana Field on Tuesday as they face the Rays for the second game of their four-game set. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET, and you can watch it live on NESN.

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