Rays Beat Boston For Eighth Straight Win, Franco Extends On-Base Streak to 30 Games

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays returned home Monday night and extended their win streak to eight with a 6-1 victory over the Red Sox at Tropicana Field. 

With the win, the Rays extended their lead in the American League East to 6.5 games over the Yankees, pending the result of their game in Anaheim on Monday night. The Rays moved nine games ahead of the Red Sox.

Speaking of extending streaks, Wander Franco’s two-run single in the eighth stretched his on-base streak to 30 games. Among players 20 years of age or younger in American League history, he is behind only Mickey Mantle’s mark of 36 games in 1951.

Brandon Lowe led off for the Rays and drilled the first pitch he saw from Nick Pivetta into the Budweiser Porch some 441 feet away. After Bobby Dalbec tied it with a homer in the second, Austin Meadows picked up his MLB-best 19th game-winning RBI with a two-out single in the third that scored Lowe, who walked to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch.

That would be enough for the Rays as Luis Patino, J.P. Feyereisen, Pete Fairbanks and Adam Conley combined to limit the Red Sox to six hits. Feyereisen and Fairbanks made their first appearances since returning from the injured list.

“Luis was outstanding and he had a really good fastball,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash, whose team won for the 12th in the last 13 games. “His fastball really jumps and when he is commanding it like he has his last couple of outings, it is all the more effective for him.”

Patino threw 102 pitches in 5 ⅔ innings and improved to 4-3. He allowed only the homer to Dalbec and walked one while striking out five.

“I think it was a good, quality start and I think everything worked out in the manner that I wanted it,” said Patino, through interpreter Manny Navarro. “I think with each start I am maturing a little more with (my fastball).”

Feyereisen and Fairbanks both missed about a month with shoulder injuries and both had very effective outings. The former allowed one hit and struck out two in 1 1/3 innings and the latter struck out the side in the eighth.

“It is good to have both of them back and they bring real good pitching to our bullpen,” said Cash. “When they are right, they can do some great things.”

The Rays have been doing many great things, including winning 35 of their last 46 at home. 

The four-game series with Boston resumes Tuesday night.

Tom Layberger has been a sports writer and editor since 1990. Among the companies he has worked for are Beckett Publishing, The Topps Company and Comcast. In addition to being a contributing writer for sportstalkflorida.com, Tom also writes for forbes.com and Tampa Bay Business & Wealth Magazine. A native of the Philadelphia suburbs and a University of South Florida grad, Tom is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the National Football Foundation. He resides in Tampa.