ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Yonny Chirinos pitched three spotless innings in relief to win his first major league outing in two years Wednesday night, leading the Tampa Bay Rays to a 1-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

Taylor Walls drove in the only run with an infield single in the fifth, and the Rays won for the eighth time in nine games. They lead the American League wild-card race and began the day 4 1/2 games behind the first-place Yankees in the AL East.

New York was trying for a doubleheader sweep of Minnesota on Wednesday night.

Chirinos (1-0), who had Tommy John surgery following his previous appearance for the Rays on Aug. 16, 2020, struck out four and got the win. He gave up four hits and a walk.

Pete Fairbanks pitched the ninth for his sixth save in six attempts.

Boston starter Nick Pivetta (9-11) went to full counts on 10 of the first 13 hitters he faced, but did not give up a hit until Francisco Mejia led off the fifth with a double. After Mejia advanced on a groundball, Walls hit a bouncer into a shifted infield and beat it out, driving in the run.

Walls, the Rays’ light-hitting shortstop, had two of Tampa Bay’s four hits and stole a base.

Rays starter Jeffrey Springs gave up one hit in three innings.

The Red Sox stranded nine runners and lost for the 12th time in 16 games against the Rays.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: OF Franchy Cordero (severely sprained right ankle) was placed on the 60-day injured list and OF Abraham Almonte was called up from Triple-A Worcester. … SS Xander Bogaerts, who left Tuesday night’s game with back spasms, was out of the lineup for cautionary reasons. … RHP Nathan Eovaldi, sidelined since Aug. 12 due to right shoulder inflammation, threw a bullpen.

Rays: Brandon Lowe was reinstated to the active roster. He spent 10 days on the injured list after being hit by a pitch on the left elbow. … RHP Tyler Glasnow (Tommy John surgery) struck out two in one inning of a rehab start for Triple-A Durham.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: RHP Bryan Bello (1-4, 5.91 ERA) will make his seventh start Friday night at Baltimore. Bello earned his first win Saturday, throwing six shutout innings against Texas.

Rays: RHP Drew Rasmussen (9-4, 2.70 ERA), who missed his scheduled start Tuesday for the birth of his son, will start Friday night’s opener of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.

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