ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Rookie Bobby Dalbec scored for the fifth time in a row, Rafael Devers drove in three runs and the AL-worst Boston Red Sox beat the AL-best Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 on Thursday night.
Devers scored twice in the third run and brought Boston 4-3 ahead, in the seventh ahead of Pete Fairbanks (4-2).
Dalbec’s Electric Surge is the longest run by any Boston novice.
“It’s pretty cool to see Bobby do this in his freshman year,” said Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke. “It’s pretty amazing, really.”
Hunter Renfroe and Brandon Lowe scored on consecutive fields for the Rays, who lost three times in a row for the first time since a five-game skid from July 29 to August 2 in Atlanta and Baltimore.
“The big success, the big playing field, recently escaped us,” said Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay manager.
Tampa Bay’s lead was shortened to 3 1/2 games from runner-up Toronto and the Rays (28-16) fell behind Oakland (27-15) for the best record in the AL.
“I still think we are in a good position,” said Lowe. “I think we have shown that we will not lose any more.”
Tampa Bay hit 17 times while the Red Sox had 13.
Ryan Weber (1-2) allowed a run in 2 1/3 innings. Matt Barnes moved up from ninth with Joey Wendle, allowing a stolen base and wild two-on-two pitch, then knocking Austin Meadows with the potential tie in third place for his fifth save in eight chances.
Dalbec gave the Red Sox a 3-2 lead, beating Josh Fleming in the fifth. He was only the fifth player to have at least six homers in his first 10 games.
Tampa Bay made the 2-0 when Renfroe and Lowe crossed the finish line on Mike Kickham’s fourth goal. The left-hander, who made his first start for San Francisco since July 1, 2013, gave up two runs, three hits and a step, and over four innings with eight strokes.
“I’ve seen a lot of really bad swings and that means his things were good,” said Roenicke. “He threw this little cutter, his curveball. I thought it was excellent. ”
Meadows even took the Rays at 3 on an RBI double in the fifth inning.
Fleming allowed three runs and six hits over 4 1/3 innings to become the first Rays pitcher to win his first four Major League starts.
Lowe’s homer was his 11th but the first since August 26th. … Meadows missed out on 18 bats before scoring in fifth. … Boston has won the Rays for the third time in its last 15 games.
Red Sox: INF José Peraza was selected as an option for the alternative training location.
Rays: The Cubs took over INF Pedro Martínez as one of the players named for José Martínez in trade on August 30th. Martinez is the son of the great Pedro Martínez.
Red Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (right calf strain) could be back this weekend. … RHPs Austin Brice (right lat strain) and Zack Godley (right elbow flexor strain) both went on the 10 day IL.
Rays: RHP Oliver Drake (right biceps tendonitis) threw hits and could return this weekend. … LHP Cody Reed (left little finger irritation) went on the 10 day IL
The Rays LHP Blake Snell (3-1) and Red Sox RHP Andrew Triggs (0-2) are the scheduled starters on Friday night.