Martinez (2B, 2 RBI), Vázquez HR leads Red Sox past Rays 9-2
BOSTON (AP) — Christian Vázquez homered, Xander Bogaerts had three hits and J.D. Martinez went for extra bases for the seventh game in a row on Wednesday to help the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 9-2 and complete a three-game sweep.
Nathan Eovaldi (1-1) allowed one run, three hits and three walks over seven innings with seven strikeouts. The Red Sox, swept by lowly Baltimore in their opening series over the weekend, beat the defending AL champion Rays in three straight by a combined 26-9.
Coming into the series, the Rays had won eight straight at Fenway Park and 13 of 14.
“On Sunday, going home it was a tough one,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora, whose team now heads to Baltimore. “Hopping on this plane, it’s going to be a different feeling. But nothing changes. We need to work to get better.”
Ryan Yarbrough (0-1), who pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings in his first outing this season, added three more scoreless before Bogaerts singled in a run and scored on Vázquez’s line drive over the Green Monster in the fourth. Vázquez also homered on Tuesday night to tie it in the ninth inning before Boston won it in the 12th; he caught the entire game.
“He needed a break, but obviously he’s really good against lefties,” Cora said. “He’s one of the toughest ones in that clubhouse. He wants to play every day. That catching position is a tough one; He nails it.”
Boston added six in the fifth -- all with two outs -- thanks to sloppy Tampa fielding.
Martinez doubled with runners on first and second to score two runs -- his major league-leading sixth double this season. Bogaerts singled on a hard-hit ball that shortstop Willy Adames couldn’t handle, then Vázquez followed with an RBI single.
Hunter Renfroe then hit a grounder to shortstop and Adames threw it wide of first base. As the ball rolled around in the netting above the photo pit next to the dugout, both Bogaerts and Vázquez scored.
Christian Arroyo followed with a double to make it 9-1 and send the Rays to their fourth straight loss. In all, Yarbrough was charged with a career-high nine runs — six of them earned — and nine hits in five innings.
Martinez, who homered in the 2020 finale, is the first Red Sox payer with at least one extra-base hit in each of the team’s first six games since David Ortiz started the 2005 season with six straight. Martinez also has had two or more RBIs in each of the last four games.
Boston had double-digit hits for the third straight game.
“I feel like we have one of the best offenses in baseball,” said Eovaldi, who has allowed one or zero runs in each of his last six starts dating to Aug. 20. “Other teams are sleeping on us right now, which is fine. I feel like we’re going to be able to go out there and compete.”
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodríguez (left elbow inflammation) will come off the IL and start the series opener in Baltimore on Thursday. Tanner Houck, who started Saturday’s game against the Orioles and allowed three runs in five innings, was optioned to the team’s alternate training site in Worcester.
Rays: LHP Rich Hill pitches in the series opener against the New York Yankees.
Red Sox: Rodríguez makes his delayed debut when the Red Sox open their series at Baltimore.
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