The Boston Red Sox relied on exciting young athleticism on Tuesday night with a potential series win on the line against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Red Sox got the job done with a 5-2 victory, sparked by a standout member of the young core.

Boston chipped away to take the lead in the later innings. With runners on first and third in the eighth inning, the Rays threw down to second on a double steal with the option for a cutoff play. As Rafael Devers broke for second, Jarren Duran took off for home, beating the return throw to add a run for the Red Sox.

“Me and (Kyle Hudson) had talked about it that if (Devers) goes when he gave him the sign that if it goes through, I was gonna go home,” Duran shared with NESN’s Jahmai Webster after the win.

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“They took a chance, and Jarren took off,” Alex Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “When you’re athletic and can push the envelope, we’re gonna do it.”

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So, did the Red Sox have a set play of their own to counter Tampa Bay’s defensive call?

“I don’t know,” Cora said with a smile.

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Duran boosted the Red Sox lineup earlier in the game, blasting a game-tying homer off of Rays starter Zach Littell.

“He had my number the first two at-bats,” Duran recalled. “He was pitching really good. He gets paid for a living to carve us up. I was just looking for a pitch to handle. He gave me something, and I just put a really good swing on it. I just happened to hit a homer.”

Duran took over as the sparkplug in another Red Sox win, showing his unique worth on another impact night.

“This game changed with the new rules and everything,” Cora offered. “You see him, and he’s the perfect player for this environment. He can run. He can hit it out of the ballpark. He’s a good defender. I’m glad he’s our leadoff guy.”

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

— Boston is now 4-2 when Duran scores multiple runs in a game.

— Devers had his streak of six straight games with a home run come to an end, though he extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

“I feel more relaxed now that the streak is over,” Devers told reporters through translator Carlos Villoria, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “I feel like everyone who talked to me mentioned it. For now, I feel more relaxed and just focused on tomorrow.”

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“He’s in a good spot man,” Cora said. “He likes the group. … We love the way he’s leading. Tonight was a great night for him.”

— Cooper Criswell responded well from giving up two early runs, pitching into the sixth inning for the first time in his MLB career.

“With each outing, I get a little more comfortable,” Criswell told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “I’m confident up here. To do that for the first time is special.”

— The Red Sox won their first series at Tropicana Field since July of 2019.

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— The Red Sox and Rays wrap up their three-game series on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field. First pitch is set for 6:50 p.m. ET. You can catch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.

Featured image via Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA TODAY Sports Images