May 22, 2018

G48: Red Sox 4, Rays 2

Red Sox - 003 001 000 - 4  7  0
Rays    - 000 110 000 - 2  6  0
Mookie Betts hit a three-run homer and Rafael Devers added a solo shot. Chris Sale was solid as usual (7.2-4-2-2-9, 112) and Craig Kimbrel escaped a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth. The Red Sox are back in sole possession of first place because the Rangers beat the Yankees 6-4.

Betts hit his MLB-leading 16th home run of the year with one out in the third, after Sandy Leon walked and Jackie Bradley reached on an infield single. With two down, Rays reliever Austin Pruitt loaded the bases by walking Hanley Ramirez and J.D. Martinez and plunking Xander Bogaerts, but Devers flied to center.

The Rays cut into Boston's lead when Willy Adames, making his major league debut, homered in the fourth. Rob Refsynder doubled to open the fifth and came around to score on a passed ball and Daniel Robertson's sac fly to left.

In the bottom of the ninth, Kimbrel gave up a single to Jesus Sucre and struck out Adames; he threw eight pitches to each batter. Denard Span fouled out to the catcher. Brad Miller doubled to right, Sucre stopped at third, and Tampa Bay brought the potential winning run to the plate with two outs. Refsnyder walked. Kimbrel got the final out with his 32nd pitch when Mallex Smith grounded to shortstop and Bogaerts and Eduardo Nunez forced Refsnyder at second.

Bradley (2-for-4) collected more than one hit in a game for the first time since April 17. From April 18 to May 20, JBJ started 22 games and hit safely in only nine of them (batting .120).
Chris Sale / Jake Faria
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Ramirez, 1B
Martinez, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Nunez, 2B
Leon, C
Bradley, CF
The Red Sox are in Florida for a three-game road trip against the Rays before heading back north to play Atlanta and the Blue Jays.

The third-place Rays - who have won six of their last seven games - have called up shortstop Willy Adames (their #2 prospect). He is batting fifth tonight.

The Rays have been in the news because they had Sergio Romo, a reliever, start two consecutive games, on Saturday and Sunday. ESPN's David Schoenfield offers some background and analysis.

J.D. Martinez was named the American League Player of the Week for May 14-20. Martinez hit .346/.414/1.000 (1.414 OPS) in seven games. He went 9-for-26, with 2 singles, 2 doubles, and 5 home runs.

Also: The Yankees, who have a 0.5-game lead in the East, are in Texas playing the Rangers.

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