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Red Sox' win streak snapped by Rays
Jeremy Hellickson pitched six strong innings for his first win since April 25 as host Tampa Bay scored on a balk and a sacrifice fly to end Boston's five-game winning streak with a 2-1 win on Wednesday.
Hellickson (4-0) allowed one run, five hits and struck out five in six innings to snap a string of three straight no-decisions as Tampa Bay improved to an American League-best 14-3.
Tampa Bay's Jake McGee and Joel Peralta each provided a scoreless inning of relief before Fernando Rodney worked around a two-out single in the ninth for his 12th save in 12 chances.
The game was marred by a scary scene in the eighth inning when Rays second baseman Will Rhymes was hit on the right arm by a pitch. After Rhymes took first, his arm swelled up and he collapsed in the arms of first base coach George Hendrick. Rhymes walked with assistance to a cart before leaving the field.
Boston's Clay Buchholz (4-2) yielded two runs, six hits and struck out five in five-plus innings. Buchholz left after allowing singles to Matt Joyce and Carlos Pena to start the sixth.
Andrew Miller relieved and got Luke Scott to pop up to short right, but Cody Ross struggled to make the catch and with his momentum going away from the plate, Joyce scampered home from third to make it 2-1.
The Rays took a 1-0 lead when Buchholz balked home Carlos Pena with the bases loaded and two outs.
The Red Sox responded in the fourth as Daniel Nava's bloop single to center drove in Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who doubled with two outs.
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GAME NOTEBOOK: Boston's Kevin Youkilis began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday and went 1-for-2 with a double, walk and run scored as the designated hitter. He is expected to play third base Thursday and could rejoin the Red Sox on Saturday or Sunday in Philadelphia. ... Tampa Bay's Elliot Johnson extended his hitting streak to eight games - in his career-high eighth straight start - with a bunt single to lead off the third. ... The Red Sox outscored the Rays 31-12 in winning three of four in Boston last month. ... Buchholz was 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in his previous four starts at Tampa Bay. ... Boston outscored opponents 34-8 during the winning streak. ... Hellickson has allowed three or less runs in six straight starts since yielding five in the Rays' 13-5 loss at Boston on April 14. ... Boston reliever Franklin Morales balked twice in the eighth inning.