Red Sox keep on rolling!
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Jake Odorizzi limped off the field after Eduardo Nunez lined a single off the pitcher's foot leading off the fifth inning. The Boston Red Sox beat up the Tampa Bay Rays' bullpen, scoring five runs in the inning and taking advantage of defensive sloppiness to extend their winning streak to a season-high eight.
Rick Porcello won consecutive starts for the first time this year, an 8-2 victory on Wednesday night.
Struck on the right foot, Odorizzi was face down on the mound for several seconds. He hobbled off with one arm wrapped around Rays manager Kevin Cash, the other around assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker. Tampa Bay said Odorizzi sustained a bruise and X-rays were negative.
"I was kind of expecting the worst, but we got the best news," Odorizzi said. "I should be good to go for my next start. ... It will be nice to avoid some baseballs moving forward. It's been a tough year for getting them hit back at me."
Porcello (6-14) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings, throwing 82 pitches. He was 22-4 last year, when he won the AL Cy Young Award. Boston is on its longest winning streak since taking 11 in a row last September.
"We seem to be firing on all cylinders," said Porcello, who threw 19 consecutive strikes at one point. "I feel like I did my job, and as much as I'd like to throw 110 or 115 pitches every start, sometimes it doesn't call for that. More than anything, I'm happy to come out with a win and keep this momentum going."
Pitching for the first time since July 23 after being sidelined by a lower back strain, Odorizzi (6-5) gave up two runs — one earned — and four hits. Tampa Bay made a pair of errors, threw a pair of run-scoring wild pitches and had a run-scoring passed ball.
Andrew Benintendi had three hits and put Boston ahead in the third inning when he doubled and scored with two outs when Mitch Moreland hit a sharp grounder down the first-base line. Trevor Plouffe made a diving stop, dropped the ball and then threw to first only for Odorizzi to drop the ball for an error.
Dan Jennings relieved Odorizzi and gave up a single to Benintendi and an RBI single to Mookie Betts. After an intentional walk to Hanley Ramirez, Benintendi scored on a passed ball on a low pitch off the glove of Wilson Ramos, and Betts came home when Jennings threw a wild pitch that bounced away from Ramos. Sandy Leon's two-run single boosted the lead to 6-0.
Adeiny Hechevarria and Brad Miller homered off Porcello. The Rays have scored four runs in their last five games.
Plouffe threw wildly past pitcher Sergio Romo at first base as Brock Holt scored in the seventh, and Romo threw a run-scoring wild pitch.
Dustin Pedroia (left knee) did not play on the artificial turf, a day after returning from the disabled list.
Red Sox: LHP David Price (left elbow inflammation) made 60- and 90-foot throws in the outfield. He is to throw again on Friday in New York.
Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier, who has been out two months with a right hip fracture, is expected to take batting practice Thursday.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez 4-3) is to pitch Friday night's opener of a three-game series at the Yankees.
Rays: Rookie RHP Jake Faria (5-2) is slated to start Thursday's series opener at Cleveland.