Boston Red Sox

Jul 22, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;Boston Red Sox left fielder J.D. Martinez (28) is congratulated by shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) after hitting a 3-run home run during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – The Red Sox opened up their critical 14-game stretch against their top two division opponents with a 9-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

With the win, Boston moved to within one game of the Rays in the standings.

The Sox powered their way to victory with a seven-run third inning. J.D. Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, and Sam Travis all homered in the frame.

The Sox would chase Tampa Bay starter Jalen Beeks from the game in the fourth. He was tagged for eight runs on seven hits.

Boston put up 12 hits in the win, one day after mustering just one hit against the Orioles as part of Sunday’s 5-0 loss.

Eduardo Rodriguez turned in yet another strong outing, throwing seven scoreless innings. He issued four walks and allowed two hits while striking out six to improve to 12-4.

Nathan Eovaldi returned from the injured list and struggled in his first major league appearance since April. He gave up three runs on five hits and recorded two outs before he was relieved by Matt Barnes. He struck out two batters but also unleashed two wild pitches.

Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers continued their strong seasons, each putting up RBI doubles.

Chris Sale (4-9, 4.05 ERA) will take the ball Tuesday night. The Rays will counter with right-hander Yonny Chirinos (8-5, 3.29 ERA).