BOSTON (AP) — Shane McClanahan pitched six innings of five-hit ball to earn his major league-leading ninth win and the Tampa Bay Rays eventually found a wall the Red Sox couldn’t leap above to beat Boston 4-1 on Monday.
In the makeup of Friday’s rainout, the Rays beat Boston for a third straight game and seventh time in eight tries this year. They have 43 wins for the season; the next-closest team in the majors, AL East rival Baltimore, has 37.
After watching the Red Sox rob Luke Raley and Francisco Mejia early, Tampa scored three in the fifth inning to break a scoreless tie. Raley, whose 398-foot fly ball was snared above the bullpen wall by Kike Hernandez in right-center in the second inning, started the rally with a line drive double high off the Green Monster.
Manuel Margot and Mejia followed with RBI singles, and Josh Lowe drove in another when he beat the relay on a potential double play groundout with the bases loaded.
McClanahan (9-1) walked two of the first three Boston batters but took a shutout into the fifth inning before giving up a home run to Justin Turner. In all, McClanahan allowed five hits and struck out five to bounce back from his only loss of the season.
Jason Adam pitched the ninth for his ninth save.
KEEPING IT CLOSE
A day after committing two errors to draw the ire of manager Alex Cora, the Red Sox showed flashy defense early to help starter Brayan Bello (3-4).
Raley hit a deep fly ball into the triangle in center field, but Hernandez drifted over and timed his leap above the bullpen wall to grab it. An inning later, right fielder Alex Verdugo stole a looping fly away from a fan in the front row seats beyond the Pesky Pole.
Hernandez, who had two errors at shortstop in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, giving him a league-leading 13 for the season, also made a sliding catch to deprive Raley of a bloop single in the sixth.
Shortstop Pablo Reyes did commit an error in the sixth, Boston’s AL-leading 40th of the season.
Bello allowed three runs on six hits and a walk, striking out five.
Cora was ejected after going out to argue following the bottom of the eighth. The inning ended on a strikeout-throwout double play with Rafael Devers at the plate and Verdugo caught stealing at second, but Cora seemed more upset about a checked swing first base umpire David Rackley let go earlier.
Rays: Head to Minnesota for a three-game series against the Twins, with RHP Zach Eflin (7-1) going up against RHP Louie Varland (3-1).
Red Sox: Open a three-game series at Cleveland, with LHP James Paxton (1-1) facing Guardians RHP Shane Bieber (4-3).