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Red Sox rally, beat Rays

Field Level Media
August 17. 2018 10:59PM
Mitch Moreland hits an RBI single to put the Boston Red Sox in the lead in the fifth inning Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. Boston held on to the lead in a 7-3 victory. (USA TODAY Sports)

Mitch Moreland delivered the tie-breaking RBI single in the fifth inning Friday night for the Boston Red Sox, who rallied for a 7-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park.

The scorching Red Sox have won 16 of 19 since their last set of back-to-back losses July 24-26. At 87-36, Boston is on pace to win 115 games, one shy of the all-time record.

The Rays (62-60) have won six of 10.

Tampa Bay jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first on consecutive RBI doubles by Joey Wendle (two runs) and Carlos Gomez. But the Red Sox began coming back in the bottom of the inning against “opener” Ryne Stanek, who gave up a two-run triple to Xander Bogaerts.

The Red Sox tied the game against losing pitcher Yonny Chirinos (1-5) on Eduardo Nunez’s RBI single in the fourth. After Moreland’s go-ahead hit, Boston added insurance in the sixth when Jackie Bradley Jr. laced a run-scoring double and in the seventh when J.D. Martinez hit an RBI single and scored on a wild pitch.

Bogaerts finished with three hits while Moreland and Bradley Jr. each had two hits.

Brian Johnson (4-3) recovered from his rough first inning to earn the win by allowing the three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out two over 5 2/3 innings. Johnson retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced.

Wendle and Mallex Smith had two hits each for the Rays.

Chirinos allowed five runs on nine hits and one walk while striking out one over six innings of relief.

Stanek gave up the two runs on two hits and one walk while striking out none in his lone inning of work. He has thrown two innings or fewer in all 20 of his “starts” this season.

David Price (12-6, 3.75 ERA) goes for the Red Sox in tonight’s 7:10 start. Tampa Bay counters with Tyler Glasnow (1-2, 3.97).

Red Sox/MLB