Rays snap out of skid, beat Red Sox

Hunter Renfroe hit a go-ahead two-run double in the fourth inning, Joey Wendle added three hits and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Boston Red Sox 5-1 Tuesday night in the opener of a two-game series at St. Petersburg, Fla.

Austin Meadows went 2-for-4 with an RBI in his season debut as the Rays snapped a five-game losing streak. Charlie Morton (1-1) earned his first win, allowing a run on five hits and striking out five over 5 2/3 innings.

Mitch Moreland homered for the Red Sox, who lost their fourth straight. J.D. Martinez had two hits.

The Rays had several things go their way on the day, starting with the activation of All-Star outfielder Meadows from the COVID-19 injured list. After falling behind 1-0 on Moreland’s solo blast in the second inning, the breaks tilted back in Tampa Bay’s favor in the fourth.

Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi quickly recorded the first two outs of the frame before Yoshi Tsutsugo earned a full-count walk on a near-strike that could have ended the inning. After Wendle singled, Renfroe stepped in and hit a towering fly ball foul that third baseman Rafael Devers began to settle under.

However, Tropicana Field had other plans, as the ball hit one of the dome’s roof rings and fell foul away from Devers. Renfroe then slugged a double into the gap in right-center for a 2-1 lead.

The Rays upped their advantage to 4-1 in the fifth on Meadows’ RBI triple and Brandon Lowe’s run-scoring single. Ji-Man Choi hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh for the final margin.

Boston loaded the bases with one out in the ninth but couldn’t score. Nick Anderson came on and struck out a pair to earn the save.

Eovaldi (1-1) allowed four runs on six hits and a walk in five innings, striking out six. He had a run saved in the third inning on a terrific diving catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to end the frame.