Rays Rally to Beat Red Sox in Series Opener
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — (AP) The Tampa Bay Rays started a last chance 10-game homestand with a comeback win.
Asdrubal Cabrera and J.P. Arencibia hit two-run homers in a five-run eighth inning and the Rays beat the Boston Red Sox 8-4 on Friday night.
"Exciting win," Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. "This was a good one, a big one."
The Rays are five games back of second AL wild-card leader Texas, but would have to pass over the Rangers, Minnesota, the Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland for the spot.
After Logan Forsythe had an RBI single, Cabrera made it 6-4 on his drive to center off Junichi Tazawa (2-7).
"It was mislocation, missing high on the hits they were getting," Tazawa said through an interpreter. "I think that’s been something that’s been a problem. Just mechanics, release point."
Arencibia then gave Tampa Bay an 8-4 lead with his fifth homer in 34 at-bats since being called up Triple-A Durham on Aug. 26.
"Honestly for me, the biggest thing is to give us a four-run lead there," Arencibia said.
Andrew Bellatti (3-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win.
Boston slugger David Ortiz remained two homers shy of becoming the 27th player to reach 500. He had an RBI double and a single in four at-bats. He was also intentionally walked.
Enny Romero replaced starter Chris Archer with two on and no outs in the sixth and gave up a run-scoring double to Travis Shaw and Pablo Sandoval’s RBI infield single that tied it at 3. Ryan Hanigan gave Boston a 4-3 lead with a sacrifice fly off Brandon Gomes.
Evan Longoria had an RBI double and Steven Souza Jr., back in the lineup after missing 34 games with a broken left hand, hit a run-scoring single during a three-run first that put Tampa Bay up 3-1. Longoria has driven in 11 runs over his last 10 games.
The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead on Ortiz’s double to deep center in the first. He moved past Chipper Jones into sole possession of 32nd place all-time with his 1,624th RBI.
Archer lasted five-plus innings despite a stretch where he tied a team record with seven consecutive strikeouts. He ended up allowing three runs, five hits, two walks and struck out eight.
"I battled," Archer said. "Mission No. 1 everytime I take the mound is to get a team win and we did that. I’m happy."
Wade Miley allowed three runs and seven hits over seven innings for Boston.
Boston’s Mookie Betts extended his career-high hitting streak to 16 games with a seventh-inning single.
Red Sox: 2B Brock Holt left after six innings with upper back spasms and is day to day. … 2B Dustin Pedroia got a scheduled day off after playing two straight games after missing 42 with a strained right hamstring.
Rays: OF Desmond Jennings (left knee) and C Curt Casali (left hamstring) both could return next week. … LHP Jake McGee (left knee) is throwing off a bullpen mound.
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Ortiz has 2,286 hits to move pass Joe Cronin for 158th place on the MLB career list. Cronin had his No. 4 retired by Boston in 1984. … The DH moved past Dave Winfield into 20th place all-time with 1,094 extra-base hits. … 925 of the extra-base hits have come with Boston, which ties Ortiz for third place on the team list with Dwight Evans. … Ortiz is expected to get rested a few times during a just started nine-game road trip that includes six games on artificial turf at Tampa Bay and Toronto.
The Red Sox claimed RHP Roman Mendez off waivers from Texas and transferred closer Koji Uehara (broken right wrist) from the 15- to 60-day DL.
Boston RHP Rick Porcello (7-12) and Rays LHP Matt Moore (1-3) are Saturday night’s scheduled starters.