Manuel Margot went 4-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs while Rene Pinto hit a two-run homer as the visiting Tampa Bay Rays scored seven runs through the first three innings before holding on to beat the host Boston Red Sox 9-7 on Tuesday night.
The Rays (96-62) jumped out to a 7-0 lead to support starter Zach Eflin (16-8), who didn’t allow a run until Enmanuel Valdez hit a three-run homer in the fifth. Valdez went 3-for-4 with four RBIs for Boston.
After the Red Sox (76-81) pulled within 7-6 in the seventh, Harold Ramirez’s run-scoring groundout and an RBI single from Jonathan Aranda delivered two key insurance runs in the Rays’ half of the eighth.
The Red Sox didn’t quit, as Valdez hit an RBI double off the top of the Green Monster in the bottom of the eighth, but Shawn Armstrong struck out Connor Wong and Adam Duvall to avoid further damage.
Pete Fairbanks then struck out the side in the ninth for his 25th save of the season.
Wilyer Abreu went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run for Boston.
Red Sox starter Tanner Houck (5-10) allowed seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits over three innings.
In the first, Aranda was hit by a pitch and scored on Junior Caminero’s first career double.
After Isaac Paredes reached on third baseman Rafael Devers’ fielding error, the Rays rifled off three straight hits, including run-scoring singles from Josh Lowe and Margot.
Margot had another RBI single in the third. Taylor Walls brought home another run with a groundout, and Pinto went deep to give the visitors their 7-0 lead.
Houck was relieved by Zack Kelly, who was the first of four straight Boston relievers to post a scoreless inning.
Abreu and Bobby Dalbec hit back-to-back singles to lead off the fifth, and Valdez crushed his three-run homer to get Boston on the board.
Masataka Yoshida lined a one-out, ground-rule double to right to ignite Boston’s two-run sixth. After Trevor Story’s single, Abreu ripped a two-run double to left to make it 7-5.
The Red Sox made it 7-6 in the seventh thanks to an RBI single from Justin Turner.
Boston catcher Reese McGuire exited the game before the third due to a left thumb contusion he sustained on a warm-up pitch from Houck.