Rodriguez, Richards combine on 5-hitter, Red Sox beat Rays

Sep 2, 2021, 7:20 AM | Updated: 9:20 pm

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Cheered on by Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez turned in a shutdown performance for the Boston Red Sox.

Rodriguez pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning, and the Red Sox beat Tampa Bay 4-0 on Thursday night for a split of their four-game series with the AL East-leading Rays.

After dropping the first two games, Boston ended Tampa Bay’s nine-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory Wednesday night.

Garrett Richards replaced Rodriguez (11-7) with two on and no outs in the seventh, and the right-hander escaped the jam with a pair of strikeouts and a fly ball. Richards earned his second save, finishing a five-hitter.

Manager Alex Cora said Sale talked with his teammates before the game.

“He’s been saying all along, nothing is going to stop us,” Cora said. “He’s been very loud in the clubhouse just letting them know it doesn’t matter what’s going on, we’ve got to keep pushing, we’re going to be OK. There was a lot of energy today. The guys were into it from the get-go, and to be able to do that is a testament to them.”

The Red Sox reported no new COVID-19 cases. Eight Boston players, including star shortstop Xander Bogaerts, and two coaches have either had a positive test or were considered close contacts since last Friday.

“It was a good day today,” Cora said. “Nothing to report. Guys are feeling OK, feeling better. Now we’ve just got to be patient.”

Rays rookie Wander Franco extended his on-base streak to 33 games with a seventh-inning walk, but he left after the at-bat with a headache. He tied Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Arky Vaughan for the third-longest streak by a player under 21.

Franco was checked by a trainer after pointing toward his head several times earlier in the plate appearance.

“We’re going to monitor for concussion symptoms to see what we get,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said.

Franco was tagged out by catcher Christian Vázquez trying to score from third on a grounder Wednesday night.

“Didn’t look that severe at the time, but maybe there’s some carryover,” Cash said. “We really don’t have many answers quite yet.”

Cash said Franco will be re-examined Friday.

Bobby Dalbec drove in two runs for Boston, which has a two-game lead over Oakland in the race for the second AL wild card.

Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan (9-5) gave up four runs and eight hits in five innings. The rookie left-hander had won five straight starts. He allowed three runs or fewer in each of his previous 13 outings.

Boston opened a 2-0 lead on two-out RBI singles by Dalbec in the first and Hunter Renfroe in the second.

J.D. Martinez hit a run-scoring single before Dalbec connected on another two-out RBI single as Boston went up 4-0 in the fifth.

The Red Sox lead the majors with 284 runs scored with two outs. Dalbec has driven in 23 runs over his last 21 games.

MOVING DAY

The Red Sox claimed infielder Taylor Motter off waivers from Colorado.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: INFs Kiké Hernández and Christian Arroyo were the first two Boston players placed on the COVID-19 IL last Friday. Cora said Hernández feels close to 100 percent and Arroyo is feeling better.

Rays: RHP Chris Mazza, optioned to Triple-A Durham on Aug. 28, was placed on the COVID-19-related IL. … 1B Ji-Man Choi (strained left hamstring) is scheduled to play Friday and Saturday for the rookie-level FCL Rays.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (10-8, 3.71 ERA) will face Cleveland RHP Cal Quantrill (4-2, 2.93 ERA) on Friday night.

Rays: RHP Michael Wacha (2-4, 5.70 ERA) and Minnesota RHP Randy Dobnak (1-6, 7.83 ERA) are Friday night’s starters. Dobnak (right middle strain) hasn’t pitched since June 19.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) plays against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio during the...
Associated Press

Jimmy Butler scores 23 as Heat hold off Cavaliers 100-97

CLEVELAND (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, Bam Adebayo added 18 points and 11 rebounds and the Miami Heat showed their experience down the stretch in a 100-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night. Caleb Martin scored 18 points and matched his career high with 10 rebounds, and Tyler Herro also scored […]
19 hours ago
FILE -U.S. Olympic team head coach Teri McKeever speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Olympi...
Associated Press

Cal fires swim coach McKeever, winner of 4 NCAA team titles

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Longtime University of California women’s swimming coach Teri McKeever was fired Tuesday following an investigation into alleged harassment, bullying and verbally abusive conduct, the school said in a statement. McKeever led the Golden Bears to four NCAA team titles over 29 years. She coached the U.S. women’s swim team at the […]
19 hours ago
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James tosses powder before an NBA basketball game against the New York K...
Associated Press

James climbs to fourth place on NBA’s career assists list

NEW YORK (AP) — LeBron James has climbed into fourth place on the NBA’s assists list as he closes in on becoming the league’s career scoring leader. James passed both Mark Jackson (10,334) and Steve Nash (10,335) in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ game against the New York Knicks on Tuesday. His 10,336th assist […]
19 hours ago
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid celebrates with defensive end Frank Clark, right, after the...
Associated Press

Andy Reid turned a 6-inch binder into a Hall of Fame resume

Andy Reid was an unknown assistant in Green Bay when Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie took a chance on hiring Brett Favre’s position coach to revive a struggling franchise in Philadelphia. A newspaper headline greeted Reid’s arrival with a headline that said: “Andy Who?” Everybody knows his name now. Reid won more games (130) than any […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Michigan State's Khary Crump waits for a play to begin during the team's NCAA college footba...
Associated Press

Michigan State player who swung helmet gets probation

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan State football player who swung his helmet at a Michigan player in a stadium tunnel expressed regret Tuesday and said he’s “just looking forward to wuppin’ some maize and blue” on the field. Khary Crump, a defensive back, was sentenced to probation. He was one of seven Michigan […]
19 hours ago
San Francisco 49ers' Jauan Jennings, left, and Trey Lance embrace on the bench in the final minute ...
Associated Press

49ers head into offseason with more questions at quarterback

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers head into another offseason with major questions at quarterback after a season filled with injuries to the most important position ended without any of them physically able to throw the the ball downfield. Trey Lance, who began the season as starter, is getting close to being […]
19 hours ago
Rodriguez, Richards combine on 5-hitter, Red Sox beat Rays