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Pham, Yarbrough carry Rays to second-straight over Red Sox

Photo by Wayne Masut I The Scrum Sports

The Rays looked to stay hot and win their seventh-straight against Boston on Saturday night.

The Red Sox took an early 1-0 off Rays lefty, Ryan Yabrough in the second inning. The rookie was making just his sixth start of the season and 32nd appearance. With runners on the corners and no one out in the second, Mitch Moreland grounded into a double play to score the lone run for Boston in the inning.

The Rays had a prime chance to do some damage in the third inning with the bases loaded and one out. Instead, Ji-Man Choi and Tommy Pham struck out looking and the game remained a 1-0 Boston lead.

HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN LOWE

After reaching base four times in Friday’s 10-3 win over Boston, rookie Brandon Lowe walked his first time up Saturday. Then, with C.J. Cron at second after being hit by a pitch and bunted over, Lowe singled him home with two outs in the fourth to tie the game 1-1.

OFFENSIVE OFFENSE

After leaving the bases loaded with less than two outs in the third, the Rays left two more men in scoring position in the fifth. Joey Wendle and Matt Duffy led off with back-to-back singles. Choi struck out and Pham moved them over. Cron would strike out to leave both men on and the game remained tied 1-1.

“YARBITRON”

Leaving with the game tied 1-1 one batter into the sixth, Yabrough ended his night with his head high. He allowed just one run on five hits walking just one through five-plus innings. That’s against the best offense in baseball, by the way.

On starting tonight’s game rather than pitching in relief, “It was good. I just work on what I can control. They told me to throw from the first on, so that’s what I did.”

RHP Ryne Stanek would take over with Andrew Benintendi at first on the lead off walk. Stanek would pick off Benintendi and strike out J.D. Martinez to end the top of the sixth with the game still tied.

THE LEAD (and more) IN THE SIXTH

Kevin Kiermaier led off the sixth with a triple to right-center field. Willy Adames was immediately hit on the elbow by a Rick Porcello pitch to finally end his evening.

With RHP Ryan Brasier on in relief, Kiermaier would score on a 2-2 wild pitch moving Adames to second. Lowe would follow with his seventh-straight plate appearance reaching base as he drew a walk. After Michael Perez bunts both runners over, Wendle would extend the Rays lead with a sac fly, scoring Adames.

WHAT DISLOCATED THUMB?

Pham has struggled at the plate since coming over to the Rays from the Cardinals last month. He’s missed a few games this week with a dislocated thumb. In the seventh inning tonight, he crushed his first home run as a Ray to straight away centerfield to push the lead over Boston to 4-1. It was also his 15th home run of the season.

“Truthfully, I didn’t think I had enough power to hit a home run,” Pham said after the game referring to his not 100% dislocated thumb. “It’s sore. I gotta hop in the cold tub.”

JI-MAN TRIPLED, MAN!

In the bottom of the eighth with two outs, the unthinkable happened.

Duffy drew the walk bringing up Ji-Man Choi. With one mighty swing of the bat, Choi would seemingly double home Duffy from first. But no, the big man trucked around second and wound up with a triple on the throw home.

It would extend the Rays lead 5-1 over Boston.

SERGIO SLAMS THE DOOR

Coming into what turned out to be a non-save situation, Sergio Romo retired the Red Sox in order in the ninth to secure the seventh straight win for the Rays.

At 69-61, it’s the latest they’ve been eight games over .500 since 2013 when they were an AL wild card team.

NOTE-WORTHY:

  • The Rays are eight games above .500 for the first time since June 27, 2015.
  • They’re an MLB-best 28-8 at home since June 11th and have won seven-straight home games.
  • If the Rays can complete the sweep of Boston tomorrow, it will be the third time in club history they’ve swept the team with the best record in baseball. Last time was earlier this year v Yankees from June 22-24. Before that it was June 17-19 2008 v the Cubs.

NEXT UP:

The Rays send LHP Blake Snell (15-5) to the mound to take on his former teammate RHP Nathan Eovaldi (5-5) in the finale against Boston.

First pitch scheduled for 1:10 from Tropicana Field.

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