Despite much of its roster being on the COVID-19 related injured list, the Boston Red Sox somehow managed to squeeze out a game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
A late-game rally when Boston tied things up in the seventh and took the lead in the ninth ended in a 3-2 victory. With the win, the Red Sox improved to 76-59. The Rays, meanwhile, fell to 84-49.
ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
Nothing has gone right for the Red Sox of late, but they managed to take one away from the first-place Rays despite a bunch of holes in their lineup. And surprisingly, defense was a big part of that.
Beyond great efforts from Chris Sale and Garrett Whitlock on the mound, Boston saved itself at least two runs in the seventh and eighth innings after throwing guys out at home, on top of a number of other plays in the field.
It was the difference in a game with not much run support.
STARS OF THE GAME
— Christian Vázquez followed up his game-tying home run in the seventh inning with a pick-off at home plate the next frame to keep it a 2-2 game, and then got another guy out at home in the eighth. That only was the second half of his day, too. All in all, he was 3-for-4 with a run and two RBIs.
— Sale went a full six innings for Boston, giving up two earned runs off six hits and two walks. He only struck out three, a low for him, but got himself out of a few jams and kept the Red Sox in the game.
— Jarren Durran was having a brutal stretch, but turned it around at the perfect time. After Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo got on base, Duran’s timely single scored Devers to take the lead in the top of the ninth. It was his only hit of the game, but it was clutch.
DraftKings Sportsbook had a player prop that was considered a great value bet, with Chris Sale’s odds at -150 to record at least 6.5 strikeouts. Well, it was a bad day to make that bet.
ON DECK AT NESN
The Red Sox and Rays get back at it Thursday for the series finale. First pitch is Thursday at 7:10 p.m. ET and you can catch the action live on NESN.