Beeks paves way as Rays blank Sox in finale

August 19th, 2018

BOSTON -- Tampa Bay hasn't come up with an official name to label the pitcher who follows its opener. Suffice it to say, the Rays follower -- -- became the team's leader in paving the way for a 2-0 win over the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park.

"We had to play a pretty perfect game, and [Beeks] set that tone," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

The victory gave Tampa Bay a 5-4 road trip -- including a 3-3 trek through New York and Boston -- putting the club at 63-61 as it heads into a seven-game homestand.

Beeks, whom the Rays acquired from the Red Sox for prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline, took over for opener with two outs in the second and a runner on second. Beeks struck out to end the inning.

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Taking charge against his former team, Beeks allowed no runs on a hit and two walks while striking out three in four innings of work to earn his second Major League win.

Beek's "fastball came out really good, 93-94 [mph]," Cash said. "Saw some 94s, we haven't seen out of him. He was probably a little amped up pitching against his former team, but he composed himself enough to throw strikes and get some big outs."

None were bigger than when the Red Sox had runners on first and second with no outs in the fourth and J.D. Martinez at the plate. Beeks got the Red Sox slugger to ground into a 6-4-3 double play before retiring on a lineout to end the inning.

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"That was huge for us," Cash said. "Kind of a momentum shift a little bit. There's not a ton of margin of error in the ballpark, against this team."

Beeks last pitched at Fenway Park wearing a Red Sox uniform on July 10, and he allowed three earned runs in 2 1/3 innings against the Rangers. In two starts for the Red Sox this season, he went 0-1 with a 12.79 ERA.

"[I] felt good [Sunday]," Beeks said. "I didn't pitch well the last two times I pitched here, so it felt good to help the team get a win here."

Beeks said he wasn't any more nervous than any other game.

"I get anxious before every game," Beeks said. "But as soon as I start throwing, back to doing what I do."

Beeks was one of five Rays pitchers who held the Red Sox scoreless, culminating with , who retired the side in order to earn his 16th save of the season and 100th of his career.

Tampa Bay got both of its runs on solo home runs by Joey Wendle and C.J. Cron.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Wendle's early jolt: Wendle led off the second inning with his seventh home run of the season, giving the Rays a 1-0 lead. They would not relinquish that advantage. Wendle is batting .346 with five home runs and 21 RBIs since the start of July.

SERGIO'S MILESTONE SAVE

Romo converted his 100th career save by retiring the Sox in order in the ninth. struck out swinging, lined out to second then Mitch Moreland struck out swinging for the final out of the game.

Getting career save No. 100 "meant a lot to me," Romo said. "It's been a long time coming in regards to I started playing ball when I was 8 years old. I was that kid in the backyard telling my dad, 'Hey, I'm going to make it to the big leagues. I'm going to pitch Game 7 of the World Series, or I'm going to do certain things.' And here I am, that little kid that's getting to live those things out. Trying to make his daddy proud. ... Just one of those things where I feel really, really thankful. Really, really blessed."

HE SAID IT

"It's a testament to how good of a career he's had and how good he continues to be."

-- on Romo, whom he was also teammates with in San Francisco

UP NEXT

will start Monday against the Royals in a 7:10 p.m. ET contest at Tropicana Field. Wood has allowed at least one run in six of his last nine appearances, pitching to a 5.40 ERA over that span to increase his ERA from 2.38 to 4.10. Right-hander will start for the Royals.