BOSTON -- On an ice-cold day at Fenway Park in which temperatures hovered just above freezing, the Red Sox's bats caught fire at just the right time, exploding for six straight two-out hits to rally from a five-run deficit on Sunday to win their eighth straight game in dramatic fashion,
BOSTON -- On an ice-cold day at Fenway Park in which temperatures hovered just above freezing, the Red Sox's bats caught fire at just the right time, exploding for six straight two-out hits to rally from a five-run deficit on Sunday to win their eighth straight game in dramatic fashion, 8-7, over the Rays.
With the win, Boston moves to 8-1 for the first time in team history.
Up until the eighth, the Sox had only four hits to their credit. Although Hanley Ramirez led off with a single, two outs quick followed.
Mitch Moreland would bring Ramirez around with double off the Green Monster, sparking a rally that saw Rafael Devers follow with a two-run double and then Christian Vazquez and Mookie Betts with RBI singles off Rays closer Alex Colome to pull the hosts even.
"It takes one at a time and that's our mindset," said Betts. "We just kind of grinded through at-bats. [Colome's] a tough pitcher, but he left some pitches up today and we were able to put some good swings on it."
Andrew Benintendi capped the hit parade with his second RBI of the season after doubling in Betts with the go-ahead run.
"We had guys put together some really good at-bats, some timely hitting," said Brock Holt. "It was a really big inning for us. Couldn't really get anything going the whole game until that inning. I think it was kind of contagious in that last inning. We had a lot of good at-bats, fouled off some tough pitches and got some big hits."
After striking out the side in his debut inning this season, Eduardo Rodriguez was staked a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the frame, but it was short-lived as Rays designated hitter C.J. Cron took a 3-1 offering into the bleachers to lead off the second inning.
"He was a one-pitch pitcher today," manager Alex Cora said of Rodriguez, who was relieved after throwing 92 pitches in 3 2/3 innings. "He only threw one good changeup to Carlos Gomez, struck him out. Besides that, his changeup wasn't great. ...They barreled probably two balls. It's good for him that he had to go through that with only one pitch. He learned a lot today and he moves on."
The Rays then notched a run apiece from the third to sixth inning and two more in the seventh to make 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.
It wasn't all good news for the Red Sox, though, as shortstop Xander Bogaerts exited in the seventh inning after sustaining a left ankle injury. He will undergo further evaluation on Monday.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Fighting them off: Vazquez, the fourth in the line of two-out hits in the eighth, battled vehemently to keep the Red Sox's hopes alive during the rally. The catcher took the first offering from Colome for a ball, but then battled against a steady diet of cutters from the Rays' closer, fouling off four straight before slicing a single off the same offering.
Setup man: Though the Sox were trailing by five runs at the time, Carson Smith unknowingly came up with a huge strikeout for the Red Sox in the top of the eighth inning. After forcing two groundouts to start the inning, Smith walked Kevin Kiermaier, allowed a single to Gomez and then loaded the bases by walking Cron. Daniel Robertson, looking to extend Tampa Bay's lead, ran the count to 2-2 before Smith blew a 91-mph sinker by him to end the threat.
"I wanted something that kind of everyone could relate to. Why not Whitney? I was a little nervous there for it to play in the situation that we were in. I think they might have turned the volume up, because I feel like it was a lot louder than everyone else's walkup song. I think I saw Matt Andriese actually laugh on the mound. But the crowd seemed to love it, so I don't know if I'm going to have to keep that or what. It's kind of obnoxious, but it was pretty cool in that moment."
-- Holt, on using Whitney Houston's cover of "I Will Always Love You" as his new walkup song
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 Rays history. The coldest first-pitch temperature experienced by Tampa Bay was 34 degrees on April 17, 2003, also at Fenway Park.
Following an off-day on Monday, Boston will welcome the Yankees to Fenway Park for three starting on Tuesday night at 7:10 p.m. ET. Left-hander Chris Sale gets the start in the series opener, in search of his first win despite allowing only one earned run in his first two starts.
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Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com.