With a four-game series against Boston over the course of three days, Kevin Cash was hoping to get some length out of Yonny Chirinos in Friday's opener, and the right-hander did not disappoint.
Chirinos threw eight shutout innings, and Kevin Kiermaier had three hits, including a home run and drove in four as the Tampa Bay Rays earned their third consecutive win on their current road trip, defeating the Boston Red Sox 5-1 Friday at Fenway Park.
Ji-Man Choi got the Rays out to the lead in the second, taking a Rick Porcello offering and sending it into the home bullpen in right-center for his sixth home run of the year.
The Rays nearly had a golden opportunity pass them by in the fourth, as Brandon Lowe led off the inning with a single off Porcello. Avisail Garcia followed with a single of his own, and a wild pitch moved both runners up a base. But Choi could not get the run in with a fly ball, and Yandy Diaz struck out for the second out of the inning. But Kiermaier picked both teammates up with a base hit that plated both Lowe and Garcia and gave Tampa Bay some breathing room.
Kiermaier added an RBI single in the sixth that made it 4-0, and added a solo home run of his own, his sixth of the year, getting the Rays a five-run lead.
Chirinos (7-2) retired the first 15 batters he faced Friday before allowing a leadoff walk to Brock Holt, followed by a base hit by Jackie Bradley Jr. and a one-out walk to Mookie Betts to load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate, but the right-hander struck out both Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers to escape the jam. He became the first Rays pitcher to finish eight full innings since Jake Faria, who went eight in a game against the Tigers in Detroit on April 30, 2018.
The win, coupled with New York's loss in Cleveland, pulls the Rays back to one-half game behind the Yankees in the American League East standings.
Tampa Bay Rays (38-23) at Boston Red Sox (33-30), Game 1: 1:10 pm first pitch, Game 2: 6:10 pm first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at noon with The Inside Pitch.
Rays Game 1 starter: LHP Ryan Yarbrough (4-2, 6.23 ERA)
Red Sox Game 1 starter: TBA
Rays Game 2 starter: TBD
Red Sox Game 2 starter: LHP David Price (3-2, 2.83 ERA)