The first mistake came on Rick Porcello’s fifth pitch of the night. And they didn’t stop, as the Red Sox saw their four-game winning streak come to an end with Thursday’s 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
That first mistake came when Denard Span ripped a hit to left, and reached safely when J.D. Martinez misjudged the ball and sputtered on his move to his left. The bases were then loaded with no outs, as Porcello’s command was off (he totaled 33 pitches in the first inning), and the Rays scored their first run when Sandy Leon dropped an easy forceout at home.
By the end of the first, the Rays had two runs, and by the end of the second, their total was up to five.
Alex Cora ultimately gave Porcello the hook before the end of the fourth inning, putting an end to No. 22’s night with eight hits, two walks, and six runs (four earned) surrendered in just 3.2 innings of work.
The Red Sox did not do their starter any favors, though, as they were dominated by Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell.
The lefty kept the Sox off the board with just three hits against and eight strikeouts in six innings of work. The night continued also Snell’s sensational 2018 season against Boston, which now includes 11 hits, 19 strikeouts, and just two earned runs (a 0.95 ERA) in three head-to-heads.
Rafael Devers finally got the Red Sox on the board in the seventh inning, while Mitch Moreland hammered a solo shot home in the top of the ninth before Devers’ double gave the Red Sox their third and final run in the losing effort.
Even with the loss, the Red Sox remained in first place in the American League East and head back to Boston with Dustin Pedroia set to be activated off the disabled list before the start of a weekend series against the Braves.