Deja Vu For Rays As Bats Can't Help Strong Pitching

ST. PETERSBURG (620 WDAE) -- For the third straight game, the Tampa Bay Rays found themselves with a strong pitching performance, but could not get enough hitting, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Boston Red Sox Sunday at Tropicana Field.

Tampa Bay jumped on the board first, as Brad Miller took the the first pitch of the inning from Hector Velazquez and deposited it into the seats in right-center for his first home run of the year.

However, that would be the only run Tampa Bay would get, and Jake Faria would leave three batters into the fifth after a base hit by Mookie Betts, a walk to Rafael Devers, and an RBI single by J.D. Martinez to tie the game.

Jose Alvarado (0-1) got through the inning with no further damage, but he gave up a leadoff single to Jackie Bradley Jr. to start the sixth, and was lifted for Yonny Chirinos.  After a strikout by Blake Swihart, Brock Holt walked, Betts was hit by a pitch and Devers singled in what would be the winning run.

Tampa Bay's had a pair of chances to tie the game.  In the bottom of the sixth, Matt Duffy singled with two out off Velazquez (1-0) to end his afternoon, and Joey Wendle doubled off Marcus Walden, but Duffy was held at third base and Wilson Ramos flew out to Betts in right to end the threat.  In the ninth, Mallex Smith and Adeiny Hechavarria each singled off Joe Kelly with two out, but Denard Span struck out to end the game.

The loss is Tampa Bay's third straight.

The Rays head to the Bronx to open Yankee Stadium for the 2018 regular season.  Right-hander Austin Pruitt (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will start against Jordan Montgomery ( 9-7, 3.88 ERA in 2017).  First pitrch is scheduled for 1:05, weather permitting, with coverage on WDAE starting at noon with The Inside Pitch presented by Crown Eurocars

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