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Díaz's 2-run single in 6th sends Rays to 4-3 win over Red Sox at Fenway

BOSTON (AP) — Yandy Díaz snapped a sixth-inning tie with a two-run single and the Tampa Bay Rays held off the Boston Red Sox 4-3 on Wednesday night.

Taj Bradley (1-1) pitched five solid innings in his second major league start this year, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk with six strikeouts.

“I felt good,” Bradley said. “I felt like it wasn’t my best stuff with the fastball, not being able to command, but I was happy to get through those five innings.”

Kevin Kelly fanned two in a perfect ninth for his second career save and first this season.

Wilyer Abreu and Rafael Devers homered for Boston. Tanner Houck (3-5) allowed three runs — one earned — and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked three.

The right-hander tossed a career-high 112 pitches, most by a Red Sox starter since Nick Pivetta threw 112 in his shutout against Houston on May 18, 2022.

“Too many walks (and) too many counts I fell behind led to a higher pitch count and led to more traffic on the bases,” Houck said. “Free passes between the three walks and the hit batter. Too many free passes from my end.”

Richie Palacios and José Caballero hit consecutive one-out singles off Houck in the sixth. After striking out Ben Rortvedt, Houck was replaced by right-hander Greg Weissert. Jose Siri tied it with a single before Díaz's base hit gave Tampa Bay a 4-2 lead.

“We hung in there on some at-bats, certainly Yandy’s was the biggest one,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Weissert, that guy is tough, tough on righties, tough on lefties, having a great start to his season. So, happy that Yandy got a breaking ball and was able to give us a two-run lead.”

Devers hit his fifth homer of the season in the bottom half.

Boston opened the scoring in the first when Jarren Duran led off with a double and scored on Connor Wong’s sacrifice fly.

Tampa Bay got a run in the fourth on an error by first baseman Garrett Cooper.

Abreu hit his fourth home run leading off the bottom of the inning.

“We didn’t do much,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “We put pressure toward the end there but it wasn’t enough. It started off well and it was good to see Raffy getting one there, but overall didn’t do enough.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: LHP Jeffrey Springs, who has not pitched since April 2023 following Tommy John surgery, is scheduled to make his first rehab start Monday in the Florida Complex League. … INF Brandon Lowe, out since April 9 with a right oblique strain, was pulled from his rehab assignment Sunday with Triple-A Durham after experiencing soreness in his injured oblique. Cash said Lowe would rejoin the team and resume swinging a bat before going back out on a rehab assignment. If all goes well, Lowe could be reactivated next week.

Red Sox: RHP Garrett Whitlock, on the injured list since April 17 with a left oblique strain, went 4 2/3 scoreless innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Worcester. He is expected to be activated early next week to start at Tampa Bay.

UP NEXT

The teams wrap up their series Thursday, with Tampa Bay looking for its third win in the four-game set.

RHP Zack Littell (2-2, 3.02 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Rays. Although he pitched in two games for Boston last season, it will be his first career appearance at Fenway Park.

RHP Cooper Criswell (2-1, 2.10) starts for Boston in his first career outing against the Rays. He pitched for Tampa Bay from 2022-23.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB