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Easy As 1-2-3: Rays Use Trio of Homers To Take Series From Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG (WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays spotted the Boston Red Sox an early 4-0 lead before roaring back as Ji-Man Choi, Brandon Lowe, and Willy Adames all homered in the fourth inning to lead Tampa Bay to a 7-4 win, finishing off the four-game series with three victories.

Rays starter Blake Snell, making his second start since elbow surgery in June, struggled, walking a pair in the first but escaping unscored upon, though he needed nearly 30 pitches to do so. In his second inning he allowed a base hit to Jackie Bradley Jr. and walked Chris Owings before Marco Hernandez drove in the first run of the game with a two-out ground-rule double, ending the left-hander's night after 52 pitches.

Boston added another two-out run in the third off Pete Fairbanks with back-to-back doubles by pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland and Bradley, and made it 4-0 in the fourth thanks to an RBI single by Rafael Devers and a run-scoring single by J.D. Martinez, also with two out off Austin Pruitt.

But after struggling for the first three innings against Red Sox starter Jhoulys Chacin, Tampa Bay finally broke through in the fourth, with Austin Meadows and Travis d'Arnaud each singling with one out in front of Choi, whose 17th home run of the season cut the deficit back to 4-3, and two batters later Lowe crushed a Chacin pitch off the back wall in right to tie the game, his first home run since July 2.

Reliever Bobby Poyner hit Kevin Kiermaier with a 1-2 pitch, and Adames followed with a two-run blast over the seats in left, giving Tampa Bay the lead for good.

Oliver Drake calmed down the Boston offense, working two scoreless innings, while Nick Anderson and Diego Castillo worked a scoreless inning each.

The Rays added one more run in the sixth, as Avisail Garcia's RBI double scored Choi, who had doubled in front of him. However, Garcia was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a triple by a throw from the right field corner from Mookie Betts.

Emilio Pagan got into a jam in the ninth with singles by Betts and Devers, though after he got Martinez to fly out for the first inning, Colin Poche struck out both pinch-hitters he would face -- Christian Vazquez for Moreland and Xander Bogaerts for Bradley -- to end the game and earn his second save.

The win moves Tampa Bay alone into the second wild card position, one half-game ahead of the idle Cleveland Indians.

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