EditorsNote: Changes in first 3, 6th grafs
Boston scored four runs in the first inning and added J.D. Martinez’s major-league-leading 38th home run later as the red-hot Red Sox defeated the visiting Tampa Bay Rays 5-2 on Saturday night.
David Price (13-6) went seven innings in winning his fourth consecutive decision. He hasn’t taken a loss since July 1. Price gave up two runs on five hits with two walks. He fanned eight as the Red Sox won for the 13th time in their last 15 games.
Boston also maintained its 10 1/2-game lead over the New York Yankees in the American League East by going 52 games over .500 in running its record to 88-36.
The Rays trailed 5-0 until designated hitter C.J. Cron launched a two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning, his 23rd home run of the season.
Tampa Bay starter Tyler Glasnow (1-3, 0-1 for the Rays), one of the players the Rays received in the trade deadline deal for Chris Archer, struggled badly in the first inning, allowing two doubles and three walks.
The right-hander, making his fourth start for the Rays, also allowed two steals in the inning, and a throwing error contributed to Boston’s four-run start, which might have been worse had the inning not ended when a double-steal attempt turned into both runners getting tagged out in rundowns.
The Red Sox got only one more hit off Glasnow after the first inning: Martinez’s bomb to right-center on a 97 mph fastball in the third. After that, Glasnow retired the final 12 batters he faced before being lifted with two out in the bottom of the seventh and a pitch count at 94.
Glasnow allowed five runs (four earned) on three hits. All three of his walks came in succession in the first inning, including one that forced in a run, and he struck out four.
Cron finished with two of Tampa Bay’s five hits, and Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland had the first-inning doubles for Boston. Benintendi also singled in the eighth as the Red Sox finished with four hits.
Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 37th save for the Red Sox.
—Field Level Media