ST. PETERSBURG (620 WDAE) -- The first bullpen day for the Tampa Bay Rays saw Andrew Kittredge and Ryan Yarbrough combine to throw into the eighth inning, but Xander Bogaerts homered and drove in a pair to help the Boston Red Sox defeat the Rays 3-2 Saturday at Tropicana Field.
The Boston shortstop started the scoring in the top of the second inning, when Andrew Kittredge fell behind him 3-1 and threw him a fastball that he sent deep into the seats in left for his first home run of the season.
Kittredge (0-1) left one out into the fourth, replaced by Ryan Yarbrough, making his big-league debut. He nearly bailed his teammate out but a throwing error by Matt Duffy allowed Hanley Ramirez to score an unearned run and make it 2-0.
Boston extended their lead to 3-0 thanks to back-to-back doubles by J.D. Martinez and Bogaerts, the latter giving Bogaerts six extra base hits in his first three games, becoming the first Red Sox player and second Major Leaguer ever to reach the plateau.
Tampa Bay finally got on the board in the sixth, as Joey Wendle's sacrifice fly scored Gomez, who had doubled off Red Sox starter Rick Porcello and moved to third on a single by Matt Duffy earlier in the inning.
Gomez cut the deficit back to a single run in the eighth with a solo homer leading off the inning, his first as a member of the Rays, but could not get any closer, as Craig Kimbrel worked a scoreless ninth for his second save in as many days.
Tampa Bay will look to salvage a split of the four-game series Sunday afternoon as Jake Faria (5-4, 3.43 ERA in 2017) takes on Hector Velazquez (3-1, 2.92 ERA in 2017). First pitch is scheduled for 1:10, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 11:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Crown Eurocars.