Believe it or not, it was the Boston Red Sox and not the Tampa Bay Rays who were no-hit through five innings in Tuesday’s game. However, Mookie Betts tagged Drew Smyly for a solo home run in the sixth inning, and the Rays’ lineup couldn’t give Smyly enough support to counteract that. Betts homered again in the eighth inning as the Red Sox won this game 2-0.
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Smyly finished with an excellent outing, going 6 innings allowing 1 run on 2 hits, striking out 6 while walking 2. He has now allowed four home runs on the season, all from the fourth inning onwards and in the last or second-to-last inning of his outings. Smyly is still trying to get up to full strength after getting past the shoulder tendinitis that landed him on the DL, but if this is him a step below normal, we can only imagine how good he will get. Smyly now has a 2.70 ERA and a 21-3 strikeout to walk ratio in his 16.2 innings since returning.
The Rays did actually manage eight hits in this game, but they went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base. Steven Souza did look good the second day in a row, going 2 for 4, and that mark was matched by David DeJesus, who is settling into the fifth spot in the order behind Evan Longoria. Speaking of Longoria, who went 1 for 4 with his 1000th career hit, making him the third Tampa Bay Rays player to reach that mark with the team behind Carl Crawford and Ben Zobrist.
Kevin Kiermaier went 1 for 4 out of the leadoff spot and also made an outstanding leaping grab on a David Ortiz flyball to the track in right-centerfield. Ortiz hit the ball far enough that it would have been out had he hit it anywhere else in the ballpark, but Kiermaier ran it down in the area known as The Triangle and left a dent in the wall as he collided with it. All Ortiz could do was smile. David DeJesus also had delivered an outfield assist after he fielded the ball perfectly off the Green Monster and threw Allen Craig out trying to stretch a single into a double.
There were highlights once again for the Rays–and we can add in that they only needed to use Xavier Cedeno and Ernesto Frieri out of the bullpen–but what does any of it really mean if they’re not scoring runs? They will hope to get at least a couple of those on the board on Wednesday in their second finale with the Red Sox as they send Alex Colome to the mound against Justin Masterson.