BOSTON -- Just when the Rays' losing streak appeared to be over, the Red Sox extended it to eight consecutive losses by defeating Tampa Bay, 8-7, on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park to extend their winning streak to eight games."No doubt, it's a very tough loss," Rays manager Kevin Cash
BOSTON -- Just when the Rays' losing streak appeared to be over, the Red Sox extended it to eight consecutive losses by defeating Tampa Bay, 8-7, on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park to extend their winning streak to eight games.
"No doubt, it's a very tough loss," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We gotta keep the positivity, for sure. That's on me and the rest of the staff. Know it's a long season and the players, we're going to go through some tough times. We have to somehow figure out a way to win a ballgame."
The Rays looked well on their way to ending their skid as they handed over a 7-2 lead to Matt Andriese when the right-hander entered the game to pitch the eighth.
Andriese's troubles began when Hanley Ramirez singled to open the inning, and they spiraled out of control. After Mitch Moreland's RBI double and Rafael Devers' two-run double, Andriese got lifted with two outs. Alex Colome entered the game to try and get the final out of the inning, but it was more of the same for the Rays' closer.
Christian Vazquez greeted Colome with an RBI single. Mookie Betts added an RBI single to tie the score at 7 then Andrew Benintendi doubled off the Green Monster to put the Red Sox up, 8-7.
Colome, who blew the save in Thursday's loss to the Red Sox, took the loss.
"It's uncharacteristic [of Colome]," Cash said. "I know the Red Sox have seen him a lot the last couple of years, so there's some familiarity. But I still trust Colome to ultimately get the job done. He'll correct whatever's going on. They've just seen a lot of looks at him."
Betts said the Red Sox "just kind of grinded through at-bats."
Colome is "a tough pitcher, but he left some pitches up today and we were able to put some good swings on it," Betts said.
Andriese accepted the blame for the big inning. According to the script, he was supposed to be the guy to get the final six outs of the "Bullpen Day."
"When I needed to make a pitch, I didn't," Andriese said. "Today was a tough day. … This one definitely hurts. I mean, Alex shouldn't have even been in the game. That's definitely on me. I should be able to close out that game there with six outs. Yeah, this one hurt."
After trailing, 1-0, in the first, the Rays answered with C.J. Cron's first homer of the season when the slugger led off the second. The Rays then notched runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings on an RBI double by Carlos Gomez and RBI singles by Adeiny Hechavarria and Brad Miller. Pinch-hitter Joey Wendle's RBI triple and Jesus Sucre's sacrifice fly in the seventh made it 7-2, but it wasn't enough to put away the relentless Red Sox.
Craig Kimbrel got the final three outs to preserve the victory and earn his third save of the season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Smith's troubles in left: The Red Sox scored three of their six runs in the eighth on balls that went to left that were handled by Rays left fielder Mallex Smith. The first one was a double by Devers that hit a gate and bounced away from Smith, allowing two runs to score. The second was Benintendi's double that he hit to the wall in left. The ball tipped off Smith's glove and the winning run scored.
Just didn't make [the play]," Smith said. "Gotta make it. Period."
Cron's first: Cron got the Rays' offense started on Sunday when he homered to center field on a 3-1 pitch from Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez to lead off the second. Cron's first home run of the season traveled an estimated 443 feet and had a launch angle of 21 degrees with an exit velocity of 110.5 mph.
"That's about as deflating of a loss that you can have right there. They string together some good at-bats. It got interesting. A couple of more good at-bats. They tie it up and take the lead. That's just kind of the way this season's gone thus far. Not a whole lot has gone well for us. You have to win those type of games. The Red Sox, they didn't quit. They kept battling. Credit them for having that many quality at-bats in a row. That's hard to do."
-- Kevin Kiermaier, on Sunday's loss
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The thermometer said 38 degrees when the first pitch was thrown on Sunday. That tied for the second-lowest first-pitch temperature in team history. The Rays experienced 38 degrees on April 5, 2007, at New York against the Yankees. The coldest first-pitch temperature experienced by the Rays was 34 degrees on April 17, 2003, at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox's six runs in the eighth were the most the Rays have allowed in an inning this season. The last time the Rays allowed six-plus runs to score in an inning was also vs. Boston, when the Red Sox scored seven runs in the top of the 15th inning on Sept. 15, 2017.
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
In the top of the third inning the Rays challenged a close play at first base on a ground ball by Matt Duffy, which was initially called an out. After a one-minute and eight-second review, it was determined that Duffy reached the bag before the throw and the call was overturned.
The Rays made their second challenge of the game in the seventh inning following a triple by Wendle. On the relay through into the infield, the ball went towards the Rays dugout before Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts slid to keep it in the field of play. Tampa Bay challenged the fielder being in the dugout when he touched the ball, but replay determined he was not and the call stood.
MILLER PLACED ON DL
The Rays placed Miller on the 10-day disabled list after the first baseman sustained a left groin strain, saying he felt it tighten after his third at-bat. More >
The Rays open a three-game series vs. the White Sox on Monday with a 2:10 p.m. ET contest at Guaranteed Rate Field. Originally, the opener was scheduled to be a night game, but weather concerns prompted a change that was announced on Friday. Chris Archer will make his third start of the season for the Rays.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com.