Anthony Ranaudo pitched seven strong innings, and Garin Cecchini hit his first major league home run to help the fifth-place Boston Red Sox beat the fourth-place Tampa Bay Rays 11-3 on Wednesday night.
The Red Sox twice batted around, scoring five runs in the fourth inning and four more in the sixth, when they drew five walks — three with the bases loaded.
Ranaudo (4-3) allowed two runs on six hits and a walk, striking out two to snap a three-game losing streak. The victory was the 69th of the season for the defending AL East and World Series champions, who need one more win to beat their total from 2012 — their only season under Bobby Valentine.
Jake Odorizzi (11-13) allowed five runs on seven hits, walking three and striking out three in three-plus innings. In all, six Rays pitchers allowed 10 hits and nine walks.
It was 2-all in the bottom of the fourth with two on and nobody out when Mookie Betts singled to load the bases and chase Odorizzi. Xander Bogaerts singled to drive in two runs and Daniel Nava doubled to bring home two more. Brandon Gomes got the next two batters before walking Cecchini on a wild pitch that moved Nava to third.
Another wild pitch allowed Nava to score, and then Rusney Castillo walked before Gomes got Bryce Brentz on a grounder to end the inning.
Rays: SS Yunel Escobar, who sprained his left knee, was sent back to Florida for an MRI. He will be out the remainder of the season. … Ryan Hanigan was in the original lineup at catcher, but he was a little sore after hitting something off his toe in Tuesday night’s game. … During the fourth inning, C Curt Casali took a foul ball of his mask and left the game and was replaced by Jose Molina.
Red Sox: DH David Ortiz rested a sore left wrist. … 3B Will Middlebrooks missed his second straight game after spraining his right hand during batting practice on Tuesday. … 1B Mike Napoli missed his sixth game in a row with lingering problems in his finger, back and toe.
The teams wrap up the three-game series on Thursday when Allen Webster (4-3) takes the mound against Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson (1-4). Then the Red Sox say goodbye to their World Series championship defense — and to Derek Jeter as well — with a season-ending three-game series against the New York Yankees.