Rays hit four more homers, beat Red Sox for 11th straight win

Getty Images
1 Comment

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays just keep adding to their perfect start, one sweet swing at a time.

The Rays ran their season-opening win streak to 11 games, using another homer from Brandon Lowe and a strong performance by Shane McClanahan to beat the Boston Red Sox 7-2 on Tuesday night.

Yandy Díaz and Lowe hit back-to-back solo shots with two out in the fifth inning. Lowe extended his homer streak to four straight games.

Isaac Paredes and Josh Lowe also connected for the Rays, and McClanahan (3-0) struck out nine while pitching five-plus innings of one-run ball.

The four homers brought Tampa Bay’s total to 29, matching the major league record through 11 games set by the 2000 St. Louis Cardinals. It was the Rays’ third four-homer game of the young season.

Tampa Bay’s win streak is one game short of the franchise record set in 2004, and the Rays became one of only four teams since 1901 to win the first 11 games of a season.

“The history of it is not lost on us,” Brandon Lowe said. “We understand what’s happening, but we’re not putting any added pressure on anything. We’re not staring at our schedule or staring at our record right now. … And it’s not one guy doing it. It’s nice knowing that it’s one through nine, and if you don’t get the job done, the next guy will.”

McClanahan surrendered two hits, but he walked four. The left-hander has 21 strikeouts in 17 innings so far this season.

Rafael Devers opened the Boston sixth with a leadoff walk. He advanced to third on Justin Turner’s single before McClanahan was replaced by Garrett Cleavinger.

Devers then scored when Masataka Yoshida bounced into a double play. It was the first run allowed by the Rays since Friday, a franchise-record streak of 32 scoreless innings.

“On the pitching side of it, they have something figured out,” said Alex Verdugo, who had one of Boston’s six hits. “A lot of their guys are a little bit different. They all have something that’s just really good for them and makes them unique. But right now we’re just pressing.”

Paredes’ third homer of the season made it 3-0 in the fourth. Josh Lowe led off the seventh with a drive to right-center against Kaleb Ort for his second homer.

“We’re making in-game adjustments off pitchers. That’s not easy to do,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Whatever they’re learning in that first at-bat, they’re putting to use in their second and third at-bats. And as far as the pitching goes, the overall execution has been pretty remarkable.”

Garrett Whitlock (0-1) permitted five runs and eight hits in five innings in his season debut for Boston.

Reese McGuire hit an RBI single in the ninth for the Red Sox.


Rays: RHP Zach Eflin was placed on the 15-day injured list with lower back tightness. … Díaz, who had three hits and scored three runs, left in the eighth with an apparent shoulder injury, but Cash said he will be in the lineup Wednesday. … INF Taylor Walls, who has missed two games with left elbow tendinitis, expects to return Wednesday.


Whitlock, who had hip surgery in September, said it was good to be part of the team again. But he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“(The Rays) are capitalizing on mistakes, and it’s our bad for making them,” he said. “But you just try and build on it and go forward.”


Taj Bradley, called up from Triple-A Durham to replace Eflin on the roster, will make his major league debut Wednesday night against Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale (1-0, 11.25 ERA).

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

Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

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).