The Red Sox were in a position to rally for the third time against the Rays in the bottom of the ninth inning but fell short, 7-5, after Tampa Bay benefitted from a seven-minute delay.

With Rafael Devers on first and Rob Refsnyder on third, Rays pitching coach Kyle Snyder came out of the dugout to approach the mound, but he was sent back by home plate umpire Alex Tosi. That brought Red Sox manager Alex Cora out of his dugout to challenge the amount of mound visits the Rays had throughout the game.

After challenging Tosi on Tampa Bay’s mound visit total, Cora brought his dispute to crew chief Phil Cuzzi. The delay came when Cuzzi referred to the league office in New York to ensure the count was correct.

“It wasn’t confusing,” Cora told reporters after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “(The umpires) messed it up because they had time to warm up Erasmo (Ramirez) in the bullpen.

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“You gotta throw him out right away. He comes in, he gets eight pitches and he goes. That’s the way the rule should go … it goes. By the time I went out there and argue, the rule check; he has time to warm up. Probably was going to be the same outcome, but to not be prepared for a big league game … just take eight pitches and go to battle is tough.”

According to Rule 5.10(m)(1), mound visits without a pitching change shall be limited to four per team per nine innings. Rule 5.10(m)(4) refers to the enforcement of mound visit limits, which requires the team to make a pitching change after the team has exhausted its mound visits in the game.

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“They had no mound visits (left),” Cora said. “… Immediately they have to take the pitcher out. The pitcher has to be out of the game right away.”

Even though the umpire stopped Snyder from making it to the mound, because he crossed the foul line, it was considered a mound visit according to the rule.

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“Because they stopped him, he never got to the mound. I was like, ‘No, no, no, that was a visit,'” Cora said. “Basically, (the umpires) messed it up. New York corrected it, but at that time it took like seven minutes.”

Here are more notes from Thursday’s Red Sox-Rays game:

— Cooper Criswell struggled in his sixth start of the season. The 27-year-old right-hander pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing five runs, three earned, on four hits, two walks, and a home run. He struck out three of the 19 batters he faced.

“Frustrating,” Criswell said of his outing, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “Wish I would have given the team a better chance to win.”

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— Jarren Duran led the way offensively for the Red Sox. He went 3-for-5 from the dish with two doubles and a home run. He scored two runs and recorded his 17th RBI of the season.

“I was just getting the right pitches I was looking for,” Duran said after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “I just stayed with the plan, felt pretty good. Just trying to put some quality at-bats but, felt pretty good at the plate today.”

— The Red Sox rallied in the second inning when Rafael Devers launched his sixth home run of the season and again in the fifth and sixth innings to tie the game 5-5. Kenley Jansen was unable to hold off the Rays in the ninth inning, and Boston couldn’t make a third rally.

“It’s tough, but you got to pick out the good things,” Duran said. “We fought back hard. They punched us, we punched back. They punched us, we punched back (again). It’s just baseball. They scrapped it out more than us tonight.

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“I like where we’re at. I like that we’re fighting back right now. (…) This is a big game that we can build off of because even though we were down, we fought back and we didn’t roll over. That’s something we can definitely build on and just keep moving forward.”

— The Red Sox head out on a six-game road trip beginning Friday night against the St. Louis Cardinals. First pitch from Busch Stadium is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET, and you can watch the game, plus 90 minutes of pregame coverage, on NESN.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images