BOSTON (AP) – Trevor Storey hit Homer solo, Cotter Crawford made 5 1/3 innings of a two-time relief and the Boston Red Sox won their eighth straight game on the Fourth of July, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0 on Monday.
Franchi Cordero added an RBI song for the Red Sox, who won their second game in a row and improved to only 9-16 against AL East competitors.
With a handful of its players in long sleeves with stars and ribbons on a warm, sunny day, Boston set its record of back-to-back wins on July 4, held from 1901-04 and 1936-39, when teams played double-headers.
Tampa Bay stopped out in three straight games and lost the opening game of the Road Series for the eighth time in a row. Rays only had two hits, both singles.
The story put the Red Sox ahead in fourth, changing from Josh Fleming (2-4) to the back of the Boston Bullpen in favor of the 13th homeowner.
Boston went with the Bullpen because their scheduled player Michael Wacha got scratched on Sunday with what manager Alex Cora called a dead arm. The Red Sox started Austin Davis on two rounds before using two more condos.
Crawford (2-2) scored eight goals and walked once and saved John Schreiber with five goals in the third save.
The Red Sox added a run in fifth when Christian Arroyo doubled the lead, took a lead on the ground and scored when Rafael Devers hit the field after second baseman Isaac Paredes aligned his driver trying to make a pickup with a backhand. Fleming booted one of the comers with loaded bases to play before Cordero’s single.
Fleming gave up four runs in five breaks.
Boston opened a run of 27 games against record-winning teams.
“It’s just as important as the first 70 or whatever we played,” Cora said. “With our ups and downs, and it’s clear how we struggled early in the season, if you look at the standings, we’re where we are.”
In addition to the Rays, Boston face the Yankees, Houston, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Toronto during the race.
I will take care of that
Yandy Díaz of Tampa Bay was caught initially spinning too wide when hitting the hitter on the right. Crawford, who came to cover first, took the throw and ran after Diaz before making the mark himself.
RAYS SHUFLE ROSTER
In addition to returning Raley and Thompson, Rays recalled LHP Josh Fleming of Triple-A Durham and brought RHP Phoenix Sanders and RHP Javy Guerra back there. RHP Christofer Ogando has been selected for Durham.
Rays: LHP Brooks Raley and RHP Ryan Thompson have returned from the banned list.
Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (since spring training, stress fracture in his rib cage) is scheduled to begin his Triple-A Worcester rehab on Wednesday. “Feeling good,” Cora said. “One, maybe two more there.” … Korra also said that Washa will be examined. “We don’t think there’s anything structural, just sort of like a dead arm,” the manager said. …Nathan Evaldi (injured list, back) and Garrett Whitlock (Illinois, RK) are set to dump the heap Tuesday.
LHP Jeffrey Springs (3-2, 2.25 ERA) is scheduled to go to the Rays on Tuesday night. Boston RHB Nick Pevita (8-5, 3.23) is 8-1 with 1.95 ERA in his last 11 starts.
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