Red Sox connect early, often in win vs. Rays

Red Sox connect early, often in win vs. Rays

BOSTON -- The Red Sox overcame a three-run, first-inning deficit and an off-kilter outing from left-hander Drew Pomeranz to beat the Rays, 7-5, on Sunday afternoon and give John Farrell his 500th career managerial victory.

Pomeranz needed 103 pitches to get through 4 1/3 innings. He gave up five runs on five hits, with two walks and a wild pitch. His 10 strikeouts were one shy of his career high, recorded Aug. 25, 2016, in a loss to the Rays.

"It was kind of a weird day," Pomeranz said. "Felt like I had pretty good stuff. Unfortunately, some of the things didn't go my way in the first inning, and ended up throwing a lot of pitches and I don't think I really recovered from that pitch count-wise. But felt good out there."

Pomeranz's 10 K's in 10 seconds

Rays right-hander Alex Cobb went five innings, giving up four runs on 11 hits with one walk.

The Red Sox responded with two runs in the bottom of the first. Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts hit back-to-back doubles for one run, and Mitch Moreland singled in another.

Betts' RBI ground-rule double

"I thought Alex [was] very unfortunate early on with the first inning, simply because there weren't a ton of hard-hit balls," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Then before you could blink an eye, they've got guys all over the bases. A check swing, a bloop here, but that's baseball. We've got to be able to overcome that. Thrilled with the way the guys jumped on Pomeranz early, we just couldn't add on."

A Corey Dickerson homer in the fourth extended the Rays' lead to 4-2, but Red Sox slugger Pablo Sandoval bashed a game-tying homer in the bottom of the frame.

Dickerson's solo homer

Tim Beckham led off the fifth with his first home run to push the Rays ahead, but the Red Sox got to reliever Danny Farquhar in the seventh when a Moreland single scored two. Hanley Ramirez was removed from the game with a left hamstring cramp after reaching second on Moreland's hit but said he expects to be back in the lineup Monday.

Moreland's go-ahead two-run hit

"Just trying to go up there and have a competitive at-bat," Moreland said. "I knew it was in kind of a big spot, so with a guy like that, I feel like he's kind of made me run out of bat in the past a few times. So I was just trying to let it get deep and make something happen. So, it worked out."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Beckham hits first Fenway homer: With the scored tied at four, Beckham took a 1-0 offering from Pomeranz to center field for a solo home run. It was his first homer of the season, and his first at Fenway Park. According to Statcast™, the batted ball had a 75 percent hit probability and an exit velocity of 102 mph, traveling 405 feet in the process.

"I'm just trying to help my team win any way possible," Beckham said. "It felt good to hit one on the barrel. I've been waiting for that all year. I'll keep plugging away. It's a grind, it's a long season and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

That's Moreland like it: Moreland may be leading the majors in doubles but it was his seventh-inning, two-run single that gave the Red Sox the lead for good. He finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a walk to raise his average to .356.

QUOTABLE
"They were really good at handling the bat. When you're facing a team like that, you're going to need to come up with some strikeouts." -- Cobb, who allowed 11 hits and struck out none

"I looked like [NBA Hall-of-Famer Michael] Jordan. I was just trying to get it before it touched the net. That's why I jumped." -- Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez, on his ninth-inning catch of Daniel Robertson's foul ball

Vazquez's great jumping catch

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Betts went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, two runs scored and an RBI. Since the start of the 2016 season, he leads the majors with 70 multi-hit games. He has not struck out in his last 119 plate appearances dating back to Sept. 12, 2016. It is the longest streak by a Red Sox hitter since Denny Doyle went 159 plate appearances without striking out in 1975.

CHALLENGE ON THE FIELD
In the bottom of the third inning, Tampa Bay challenged the ruling of a safe call on a pickoff attempt by Cobb. After review, it was determined that Rickie Weeks Jr. had applied the tag before Betts got back to first base. The call was overturned, and the Rays retained their challenge.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Rays again challenged, this time on a safe call at third base on a tag-up play by Vazquez. After review, it was determined that the Daniel Robertson tag was in time and the call was overturned, resulting in a double play.

WHAT'S NEXT
Rays: Lefty Blake Snell's Fenway Park debut comes with an 11:05 a.m. ET start time on Marathon Monday. The Rays starter will look to cut down on the free passes, having already awarded eight over his first 11 1/3 innings of the season.

Red Sox: Steven Wright is slated to oppose Snell on Monday. The knuckleballer will look to rebound from his disastrous outing against the Orioles on Wednesday, when he lasted just 1 1/3 innings after giving up eight runs. He has just one career start against the Rays, and gave up four runs on seven hits over four innings.

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Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston.

Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.