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Written by Nick Porcelli — Fan Stream Sports

After falling in two-out-of-three games against the Chicago Cubs, the Tampa Bay Rays were looking to have a bounce-back series. And they really needed to have one as they were facing their division rival Boston Red Sox in a four-game series in Boston while trying to stay ahead in a tight AL East.

Let’s take a look at each game to see how the series went for the Rays.

Game 1

The first game of the series was supposed to be played on Friday but was postponed due to weather. Instead, Game 1 was played on Saturday as part of a two-game doubleheader. The Red Sox took this game by the score of 8-5.

The first half of the game favored the Rays. They scored three runs, thanks to Harold Ramírez reaching home due to a throwing error and a two-RBI double hit by Christian Bethancourt, in the 3rd and one, thanks to a sacrifice fly hit by Ramírez, in the 5th. Heading into the bottom half of the 6th, they held a 4-1 lead. But that lead would soon go away.

After scoring their first run of the game in the bottom of the 5th, the Red Sox would score six runs off of five hits in the sixth inning. Five off of the runs were given up by Jalen Beeks and one was given up by Cooper Criswell, in the 6th inning. The Rays would try to get back into the game by scoring a fifth run in the top of the 7th, but it would all be for naught as the Red Sox, who also scored one more run in the 7th, would hold onto the lead.

After gaining a significant lead in the first half of the game, a poor performance from the Rays relievers would result in a loss in the opening game of the series.

Game 2

The Rays would end the day on a much happier note, winning the second game by the score of 4-2.

Unlike the previous game, this was a low-scoring, back-and-forth affair that saw the Rays manage to edge the Red Sox out at the end. The game was tied at two heading into the ninth. Ramírez would break that tie with a two-RBI double and the defense led by pitcher Jason Adams was able to finish the game off in the bottom half of the inning.

After giving up 12 hits the previous game, the Rays defense and more specifically its pitching played much better. The Rays’ starter Tyler Glasnow, who was making his second start and first on the road since returning from injury, threw for 5.1 innings and there six strikeouts and only gave up only four hits and one run. The Rays’ relievers would combine to throw four more strikeouts and only give up one hit and one run.

So the Rays were able to bounce back from their loss in game one thanks to solid pitching and some clutch hitting by Ramírez.

Game 3

The Rays built off their Game 2 win by defeating the Red Sox 6-2.

The game was at a stalemate for the first third of the game, with both teams scoring one run in the third. Then in the top of the 4th Manuel Margot hit a two-RBI single to give the Rays the lead, a lead they would hold onto for the rest of the game. 

The Red Sox would manage to score another run in the 5th, but it would mean nothing as the Rays had scored a run of their own that same inning. They would also tack on two more runs in the top of the sixth, thanks to an RBI single hit by Yandy Díaz that Diaz would also end up scoring on due to the Red Sox committing a thrown error. 

The key to this Rays win was a really solid performance by the team’s pitchers. Starter Taj Bradly played solid enough, throwing for five innings and striking out six batters while giving up six hits and the game’s two runs. But the guys who shined were those who came out of the Rays bullpen. Robert Stephenson, Jake Diekman and Shawn Armstrong, who was making his season debut after suffering a knock injury, threw for a combined four strikeouts while giving up no hits.  

In a season that has seen the Rays bullpen struggle, including in the first game of this series, a not hit performance was not only something Manager Kevin Cash must have been happy to see, but it was the key to the win as it allowed the Rays to hold onto their small lead.

Game 4

In a game that was played to make up for the game that was rained out on Friday, the Rays would officially secure the series victory by defeating the Red Sox 4-1.

The game was a scoreless pitchers duel for the first four innings before the Rays broke the tie in the top of the 5th off of two separate RBI singles hit by Margot and Francisco Mejia and Josh Lowe creating a force-out play that allowed Mejia to safely reach home. Both the Rays and Red Sox would score a single run in the bottom of the 6th and top of the 7th respectively, but this three-run inning was what clinched the game for the Rays.

The Rays’ pitching was incredibly solid in this game, arguably their best performance in this series. Starter Shane McClanahan threw for six innings and struck out five batters while giving up five hits and one run, which was off a home run. He earned his ninth win of the season, which is the most in the entire league. Those who came out of the bullpen, Calvin Faucher, Colin Poche and Jason Adams, combined to throw four strikeouts and give up only one hit.

To get a win where the team only scored in two innings, it’s fair to say this was the Rays’ best defensive performance of the series.

What’s Next?

The Rays will now travel to Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Twins in a three-game series. Game one will be on Tuesday and the first pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m.

Rays’ Best Player of the Series

Harold Ramírez. 

In both games, Ramírez went four-for-six at the plate and had four RBIs.

Rays’ Best Play of the Series

There were a lot of plays from the series that were important to the games they occurred in, but I’m giving the title of best play to Díaz’s little league home run in game three because it arguably put the game out of reach, it is the kind of play you rarely see in the MLB and because it was just really funny to watch.