BOSTON (AP) — Andrew Benintendi hit a tiebreaking RBI double in Boston’s wild six-run eighth inning, and the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-7 on Sunday for their eighth straight win.
The Red Sox improved to 8-1 with the sweep of their weekend set against the struggling Rays. They also improved to 5-0 in one-run games.
Tampa Bay has dropped eight straight since its win on opening day.
The Rays led 7-2 before Boston’s impressive rally, helped by a pair of wild pitches by Tampa Bay.
Rafael Devers hit a two-run double and scored on Christian Vazquez’s single to get the Red Sox within one. Vazquez advanced on a wild pitch by Alex Colome (0-1) and scored on Mookie Betts’ single.
Benintendi followed his clutch double to center, a highlight in a tough start for the young outfielder.
Carson Smith (1-1) pitched a scoreless inning for the win, and Craig Kimbrel got three outs for his third save.
Tampa Bay had a season-high 11 hits and left 10 runners on base.
Hanley Ramirez had two hits and two RBIs for Boston, which lost Xander Bogaerts to a left ankle injury in the seventh inning. The shortstop got hurt while sliding down into the Tampa Bay dugout.
Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out five of his first six hitters in his first game back off the disabled list from knee surgery. But Tampa Bay’s C.J. Cron tied it at 1 with a home run in the second.
Carlos Gomez added an RBI double in the third, and Adeiny Hechavarria made it 3-1 Rays with an RBI single in the fourth.
Rodriguez was charged with three runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
Red Sox: Manager Alex Cora said Dustin Pedroia is progressing well. He is starting to run the bases, which is the next step in his rehab from left knee surgery. He took ground balls on Saturday and has been hitting for a month. “He’s moving well. He’s going side to side,” Cora said.
Rays: Open a three-game series at the Chicago White Sox on Monday. Chris Archer (0-0, 6.55 ERA) is 3-2 with a 4.29 ERA against the White Sox.
Red Sox: Begin a three-game series with the New York Yankees on Tuesday night. Boston ace Chris Sale (0-0, 0.82 ERA) makes his first home start of the season. He went 7-3 with a 3.16 ERA in 13 starts at Fenway last season.
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