The Red Sox salvaged a series split against the first-place Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday as Boston secured a 4-0 at Tropicana Field.
The Red Sox improved to 77-59 while the Rays fell to 84-50 on the season.
Check out the full box score here.
ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
Eduardo Rodriguez put together his second straight strong start for the Red Sox pitching staff, one night after ace Chris Sale helped Boston to a win. Rodriguez, who went seven innings in a win against the Cleveland Indians last week, needed just 82 pitches to get through six innings. The left-hander came back out for the seventh inning, but allowed a lead-off walk and a single, which ultimately got him pulled. Still, Rodriguez finished the game allowing four hits without giving up a run. He tallied six strikeouts with 56 of his 94 pitches being thrown for strikes.
Rodriguez got off to a good start as he retired the first six batters he faced. The first time he allowed a runner into scoring position came in the seventh inning, as the Red Sox held a four-run lead.
STARS OF THE GAME
— Bobby Dalbec, the American League’s Rookie of the Month for August, started off his September on a high note, too. The Red Sox first baseman finished 2-for-4 at the plate while knocking in two of Boston’s four runs. Dalbec ripped an RBI single in the first inning to score Hunter Renfroe and had another RBI single in the fifth to score Kyle Schwarber.
— Hunter Renfroe returned to the leadoff spot Thursday and seemingly provided a spark. The right fielder recorded a pair of hits and scored the first run of the game after a lead-off single to right. Renfroe also added an RBI single in the second inning to score Danny Santana.
— Garrett Richards relieved Rodriguez in a high-leverage spot during the seventh inning with runners on first and second. He struck out the side to keep the Red Sox out front, 4-0, and then closed the door as he pitched all three relief innings. Richards allowed just one hit, which came in the ninth inning, and struck out four as 32 of his 45 pitches were thrown for strikes.
J.D. Martinez hit a 10-game stretch in which he struggled last month, but seemingly has put those behind him. And if you trusted Martinez to continue that and come up with a hit, a $190 bet at DraftKings Sportsbook would have won you $100. Of course, if you parlayed Martinez with teammate Rafael Devers, who was -200 to record a hit, it would’ve increased the juice a bit.
ON DECK AT NESN
The Red Sox return to Fenway Park for a six-game home stand starting Friday. Boston opens up a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET, and you can watch it live on NESN.
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