Rays Drop Pitching Duel Late To Red Sox

FORT MYERS (WDAE) -- Colin Poche's spring can't come to an end fast enough.

The left-hander allowed run-scoring hits to Danny Mars and Ryan Fitzgerald in the bottom of the eighth inning, which allowed the Boston Red Sox to rally for a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday at JetBlue Park.

Boston's first run came in the first inning off starter Ryan Merritt. Brock Holt ledd off the inning with a double, moving to third on a groundout by Rafael Devers and scoring on a two-out double by J.D. Martinez.

Boston also got their leadoff hitter into scoring position in the second, but Daniel Robertson made a leaping grab on a Gorkys Hernandez line drive destined for the left field corner and Merritt would keep Boston off the board in the home half of the second.

A Joey Wendle groundout in the top of the second tied the game as Willy Adames scored on the play, and Avisail Garcia's single an inning later brought around Robertson to give Tampa Bay the lead.

The Rays allowed just one hit between the third and the seventh innings, with Cole Sulser putting up a scoreless third. Hunter Wood worked two innings, allowing the only hit, while Hoby Milner put up a zero in the sixth and Emilio Pagan did the same in the seventh.

Poche's struggles began with a one-out double by Jantzen White, and Mars brought him a round on a base hit, moving up into scoring position on a fielding error by Jason Coats. Poche then struck out Jagger Rusconi for the second out of the inning, but Fitzgerald followed with a double to center that broke the tie.

The Rays welcome the Pittsburgh Pirates to Charlotte Sports Park Monday, with Charlie Morton getting the start against his former team, taking on Nick Kingham. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05.

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