Rays top Red Sox 1-0, extend season-opening win streak to 10

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays became the first major league team since the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers to open the season with 10 straight wins, getting a solo homer from Brandon Lowe in the eighth inning to beat the Boston Red Sox 1-0 on Monday night.

The 1987 Brewers and 1982 Atlanta Braves share the major league record for the best start to a season at 13-0. The Rays are the seventh team since 1901 to begin the year with 10 or more wins.

“It’s cool to be part of it,” right fielder Luke Raley said,

Lowe homered for the third straight game, sending a 3-2, one-out pitch from Chris Martin (0-1) into the right-field stands. Lowe has nine RBIs over his last three games.

“This is the first night where it’s kind of quiet offensively,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “I kind of felt like at any given moment somebody could knock one out of the ballpark. Probably the right guy with Brandon.”

Tampa Bay has outscored its opponents 76-18.

In a matchup of the AL’s top two scoring teams, pitching and defense prevailed. This was the Rays’ first win by fewer than four runs as Tampa Bay fell one short of the 1939 New York Yankees, the most recent team to win 10 consecutive games by four or more at any point in a season.

Tampa Bay opener Jalen Beeks allowed one hit over two innings, and Josh Fleming gave up one hit over the next four. After Garrett Cleavinger worked a perfect seventh, Colin Poche (1-0) worked out of bases-loaded, two-jam in the eighth by striking out Rafael Devers.

“He made some good pitches and got Rafie out,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “They pitched well, we pitched well. There was good defense. Obviously we didn’t win the game but as far as the game, it was great.”

Pete Fairbanks completed the three-hitter and got his first save.

Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta gave up three hits in five scoreless innings. Josh Winckowski allowed one hit in two innings.

The Rays were coming off consecutive 11-0 wins over Oakland in which the Athletics were limited to four hits overall. Boston had a three-game weekend sweep over Detroit in which the Red Sox outscored the Tigers 24-9.


This is the first time Tampa Bay has recorded three consecutive shutouts. … The Rays have won 10 straight home games against Boston.


Boston center fielder Rob Refsnyder, one of several players who will be filling in for the injured Adam Duvall, saved a pair of runs with a sliding catch on the warning track that took away an extra-base hit from Randy Arozarena in the third.

Duvall, hurt attempting a diving catch on Sunday, was placed on the 10-day injured list before the game with a fractured left wrist. Cora said Duvall will not need surgery and the wrist will be placed in a cast. There is no timetable for his return.

Bobby Dalbec, recalled from Triple-A Worcester to take Duvall’s roster spot, had a pinch-hit single in the eighth.


Cora said “there’s a good chance” RHP Garrett Whitlock (hip surgery) will make his season debut Tuesday night against Rays ace Shane McClanahan (2-0, 1.50 ERA).

McCutchen’s sacrifice fly lifts Pirates to 5-4 win, extends Athletics’ road losing streak to 15

Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
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PITTSBURGH – Andrew McCutchen’s tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning lifted Pittsburgh to a 5-4 victory over Oakland on Monday night, extending the Pirates’ win streak to six games and sending the Athletics to their record-tying 15th consecutive road loss.

The 15 straight defeats away from home matches the Athletics’ record since they moved from Kansas City in 1968. Oakland set that mark in 1986.

The major league-worst Athletics (12-50) have lost five games in a row overall. They are on pace to finish the season exactly 100 games under .500 at 31-131.

“It’s tough,” Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said. “Tonight’s game, we didn’t play well enough to win the game. I don’t want to say we gave the game away but there were a lot of instances where we had a chance to capitalize on opportunities and didn’t do it.”

McCutchen also singled and drew three walks to go with two RBIs. The 2013 NL MVP now has 1,998 career hits.

With the score tied at 4, Ji Hwan Bae led off the decisive eighth inning with a single off Sam Moll (0-3) and advanced to third on Austin Hedges’ one-out single. McCutchen’s sac fly plated Bae.

“I was just trying to get the job done. I understand the situation there,” McCutchen said. “We just need to get the run. I was trying to bear down against a hard thrower and trying to get that run in as much as I can, and I was able to do it and have a good at-bat.”

Angel Perdomo (1-0) retired both hitters he faced. and Colin Holdeman pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his first career save. It was an eventful inning for Holderman as the first three batters reached base, but he struck out Carlos Perez with runners on the corners to end it.

“I began my career as a starting pitcher in the minor leagues but ever since I was switched to relief, this has been the goal, to get a save in the big leagues,” Holderman said.

Pittsburgh starter Johan Oviedo gave up three runs and four hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

Oakland left-hander JP Sears did not allow a hit until Mark Mathias’ leadoff single in the fifth but was unable to make it through the inning. Sears was charged with one run in 4 2/3 innings while allowing two hits, walking five and striking out six.

Sears has not allowed more than two runs in five consecutive starts. His nine no-decisions are the most in the major leagues.

Ryan Noda and Brent Rooker had two hits each for the Athletics.

The Athletics tied the score at 4-4 in the eighth inning on pinch-hitter Aledmys Diaz’s run-scoring double. Oakland left the bases loaded, though, when Nick Allen hit an inning-ending flyout.

Consecutive bases-loaded walks keyed a three-run sixth inning that put the Pirates 4-3. McCutchen and Bryan Reynolds each worked bases on balls off Shintaro Fujinami to tie the score at 3-all and pinch-hitter Jack Suwinski followed with a sacrifice fly.

The Athletics opened the scoring in the first inning when rookie Esteury Ruiz reached on catcher’s interference, stole his MLB-leading 30th base of the season and scored on Noda’s single. Seth Brown doubled in a run in the third and came home on Perez’s sacrifice fly to push Oakland’s lead to 3-0.

Connor Joe hit an RBI double for the Pirates in the fifth.

The Pirates drew 10 walks, their most in a game in nearly two years.

“We had a bunch of opportunities that we didn’t capitalize (on), but the thing I think I was most proud of is we got down and we didn’t rush to get back,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “We were still patient.”


Athletics: LHP Kirby Snead (strained shoulder) is expected to pitch in the Arizona Complex League on Tuesday, which will be his first game action since spring training. … RHP Freddy Tarnok (strained shoulder) will throw a bullpen on Tuesday.


Pirates catching prospect Henry Davis was promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis from Double-A Altoona. In 41 games at Double-A this season, the 23-year-old hit .284 with 10 home runs and seven stolen bases.

“He was performing offensively at a level where we felt like he was more than ready to meet the challenges,” Pirates general manager Ben Cherington said. “He improved as an offensive player even since spring training, focusing on the things we were challenging him on. Defensively, he’s made strides too.”

Davis was the first overall selection in the 2021 amateur draft from the University of Louisville.


Athletics RHP James Kaprielian (0-6, 8.12 ERA) will make his first start in June after taking the loss in all four starts in May and face RHP Mitch Keller (7-1, 3.25). Keller has eight or more strikeouts in seven consecutive starts, the longest streak by a Pirates pitcher in the modern era (since 1901).