February 15, 2019

MLB Story
By Gethin Coolbaugh, The Sports Xchange
Publish Date: April 17, 2017 02:24:52 PM


Wright, Benintendi lift Red Sox past Rays

BOSTON -- Steven Wright took a step in the right direction Monday after putting up a stinker last week.
The knuckleballer bounced back with six innings of three-run ball and the Boston Red Sox scored three runs in the second to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 on Patriots Day at Fenway Park.
Wright (1-1) served up four homers and eight runs in just 1 1/3 innings last Wednesday against Baltimore. The former All-Star allowed just one earned run, nine hits and a walk with four strikeouts this time around.
"Today was the first day you saw Steven have the normal effort and intensity, aggression in his delivery and still able to command the baseball," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "Today was certainly a positive step for him."
Boston (8-5) took three of the four games against Tampa Bay (6-8).
Andrew Benintendi was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and both Hanley Ramirez and Mookie Betts drove in runs for the Red Sox.
Betts extended his streak of plate appearances without a strikeout to 123, the longest active streak in the majors and the longest by a Red Sox hitter since Denny Doyle (159) in 1975. Betts last struck out on Sept. 12, 2016.
Craig Kimbrel pitched for the fourth time in five days for his sixth save. His streak of 25 consecutive saves is the second-longest active streak in the majors.
The Rays struck out 46 times in the series and lead the majors with 150.
"I'm more concerned just that we didn't perform like we need to perform when we go on road trips," Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said.
Steven Souza Jr. (2-for-4) drove in two runs and Brad Miller (1-for-4) added an RBI for Tampa Bay. Corey Dickerson and Kevin Kiermaier also had two-hit days for the Rays, who have lost seven of their last eight against Boston and six of seven games overall.
Tampa Bay lefty Blake Snell (0-2) was tagged for four runs (one earned) on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts over five innings in his first career start at Fenway.
After giving up six runs in the first inning last week against the Baltimore Orioles, Wright allowed two runs in Monday's opening frame.
Red Sox third baseman Marco Hernandez's dropped pop up in foul territory with one out in the first proved costly as Miller's groundout to Wright drove in the Rays' first run three batters after the error.
Souza's groundout to third made it 2-0 the next at-bat. Wright has allowed nine of the Red Sox's American League-worst 15 runs in the first inning this season.
"Definitely had a rough start," Wright said. "Pitches were up. I think that's kind of been the common denominator from the first inning to last outing -- everything was up."
Ramirez got a run back in the Boston first on his two-out, opposite field RBI single.
Another error sparked a three-run outburst for the Red Sox as Miller dropped an easy toss for what would have been the inning-ending out at second base in the Boston second.
Benintendi followed with a two-run single and Betts tacked on a run with a hard-hit grounder to left, making it 4-2.
"Just didn't catch the ball and it ended up costing us three runs and ended up being the difference in the game," Miller said.
Said Cash: "The next 1,000 chances he gets on a play just like that, he's going to convert."
Miller had a chance at redemption in the seventh when he came to the plate with the bases loaded and one away, but he struck out swinging.
"Any time you make a mistake, you want to keep fighting and keep battling," Miller said. "Just couldn't get it done off (Robbie Ross Jr.) there with the bases loaded."
Souza followed with an RBI single to left to bring Tampa Bay within one before Logan Morrison flew out to end the inning.
NOTES: Boston has won 12 of the last 17 games on Patriots Day and is 70-52 all-time on the local holiday. Tampa Bay is 3-2 in Patriots Day games in Boston. ... The Red Sox wore Patriots Day-themed jerseys with "Boston" on the front and "Boston Strong" patches. ... Red Sox LHP Eduardo Rodriguez was placed on paternity leave after the birth of his son on Easter Sunday. RHP Ben Taylor was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket. LHP Brian Johnson is the "likely candidate" to replace Rodriguez as the starter Tuesday against Toronto, manager John Farrell said. ... Boston RF Mookie Betts was presented with his 2016 Silver Slugger, Gold Glove and Wilson Defensive Player of the Year awards in a pregame ceremony. ... Tampa Bay begins a three-game home series with Detroit and Boston opens a three-game trip to Toronto on Tuesday. Rays RHP Matt Andriese (0-0, 4.50 ERA) opposes Tigers RHP Michael Fulmer (1-0, 2.25 ERA). RHP Marcus Stroman (1-1, 1.76 ERA) will start for the Blue Jays


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