Ramos homers, Rays beat Boston 12-6 for 8th straight win
BOSTON (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays put themselves in a hole with a tough start to the season.
They are trying to slug their way out.
Wilson Ramos went deep again and scored on Denard Span’s inside-the-park homer, helping Tampa Bay beat the Boston Red Sox 12-6 on Saturday for its eighth consecutive victory.
It’s the longest win streak for Tampa Bay since taking nine in a row in July 2014. The resurgent Rays have won nine of 10 overall to move within one game of .500 at 12-13.
“These guys feel good right now,” manager Kevin Cash said. “They’re having fun playing and as maybe as sloppy as it was early on, they found a way to tighten it up and win against a good team.”
Johnny Field and Carlos Gomez also connected for Tampa Bay, and Matt Duffy finished with four hits. Field’s three-run drive in the ninth was his first career homer.
Ryan Yarbrough (1-1) got his first career win with four innings in relief of rookie starter Yonny Chirinos, who recorded just six outs. Yarbrough allowed two runs and three hits, struck out six and walked none.
“With what we’ve been doing the last week or so, it’s just an exciting time and definitely makes a good vibe in the clubhouse,” Yarbrough said.
Boston lost for the fifth time in seven games. It also had to replace star outfielder Mookie Betts after the fourth inning due to tightness in his right hamstring.
The Red Sox left 10 runners on base and struck out 14 times, including one at the end of each inning.
“It’s still early, but when we were swinging the bats well, putting the ball in play with two strikes, staying in the middle of the field,” manager Alex Cora said. “Right now, we’re striking out too much. We had chances. We had chances to put them away early in the game.”
Rafael Devers homered for Boston, and David Price (2-3) was charged with six runs, five earned, and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings against his first major league team.
Gomez’s leadoff shot in the seventh made it 7-5, and Field extended Tampa Bay’s lead with a drive to left against Brian Johnson.
“I just had a feeling he was going to kind of groove a heater right there and that’s what happened,” Field said.
The first of the Rays’ three homers never left the park. Ramos led off the second with a double and scored when Span’s sinking line drive got past Jackie Bradley Jr. and rolled slowly to the wall in center. Span was already at third by the time Andrew Benintendi got over from left and fielded the ball.
Initially called a three-base error on Bradley, the call was changed the following inning and Price was tagged with two earned runs.
“The ball was hit towards me and I missed it,” Bradley said.
The Red Sox loaded the bases with nobody out in the first and third but got just one run in each inning. Benintendi hit a leadoff double in the third, Hanley Ramirez singled and J.D. Martinez drew a walk to load the bases for Xander Bogaerts, who delivered an RBI single to left. That was all for Chirinos. Yarbrough prevented any further damage with a pair of strikeouts and a soft liner to shortstop.
“To come in that situation, you’re hoping just to keep it tied or down one. He shows up and gets us to where we still have the lead,” Cash said.
Rays: Ramos left after a single in the seventh. The Rays said it was a precautionary move because of tightness in his legs.
Red Sox: RHP Steven Wright (knee surgery) was reinstated from the disabled list, and then placed on the restricted list so he can serve a 15-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.
Rays: RHP Matt Andriese (0-0, 5.40 ERA) gets his first start of the season.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (4-0, 1.93 ERA) struck out a season-high nine over seven innings Tuesday at Toronto, but did not factor in the decision.