Andrew Benintendi drove a two-out, go-ahead RBI single to left-center field to cap a six-run eighth inning as the Boston Red Sox erased a five-run deficit to win their eighth straight game 8-7 against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.
Hanley Ramirez and Rafael Devers each had two RBIs while Mitch Moreland, Christian Vazquez and Mookie Betts added one apiece as Boston extended its major-league-leading winning streak and started 8-1 for the first time ever.
C.J. Cron hit a solo home run for Tampa Bay while Carlos Gomez, Adeiny Hechavarria, Brad Miller, Kevin Kiermaier, Joey Wendle and Jesus Sucre each had an RBI.
Despite setting a season high in runs and hits (11), Tampa Bay suffered its eighth straight loss after matching its worst start in franchise history through eight games at 1-7. The Rays haven’t won since beating Boston 6-4 in the season opener March 29.
Carson Smith (1-1) earned the win with a scoreless inning of relief. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his third save.
Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez gave up three runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in a 3 2/3-inning no-decision. Rodriguez was making his season debut after starting the year on the disabled list recovering from offseason knee surgery.
Rays closer Alex Colome (0-1) blew the save and took the loss after giving up a game-tying RBI single to Betts and the go-ahead hit to Benintendi. Matt Andriese allowed four runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning.
Andrew Kittredge tossed two one-run innings to open the game as the Rays implemented a bullpen day.
Boston’s Xander Bogaerts exited in the seventh with a left ankle injury after sliding into the Rays’ dugout attempting to corral an errant throw.
Kiermaier returned to the Rays’ lineup after missing Saturday’s game with an illness.
After a run for Boston in the first inning, Tampa Bay answered with single runs in each of the next five frames — including the homer by Cron in the second — before plating two in the seventh to go up 7-2.
Tampa Bay visits the Chicago White Sox on Monday. Boston hosts the New York Yankees on Tuesday.
—Field Level Media