June 19, 2024

Streaking Rays beat Red Sox, extending perfect start to 11-0


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays took her season-opening win streak to 11 games and got closer to history by hitting another homer for Brandon Lowe and a strong starting power Shane McClanahan to defeat Boston Red Sox 7-2 at Tuesday evening.

Yandy Diaz and Lowe hit consecutive solo shots with two outs in the fifth inning. Lowe extended his homer streak to four straight games.

Isaac Paredes And Josh Lowe also connected for the Rays, and McClanahan (3-0) hit nine while throwing one-run ball for more than five innings.

“This team is having a lot of fun right now; we do what we have to do every night,” said Josh Lowe in his on-pitch interview after the game, adding that the Rays were “relentless.” “We’re just going to keep it going for as long as we can.”

The 1987 Milwaukee Brewers and that 1982 Atlanta Braves share the best start in the major leagues since 1900 at 13-0. The rays are approaching.

“We only get good pitches to hit. That’s really all,” said Josh Lowe. “We’ve all worked very hard to get to where we are right now. We keep it simple and stay within ourselves. … We do our job.”

The four home runs brought Tampa Bay’s total to 29, tying the major league record of 11 games set in 2000 St. Louis Cardinals. It was the Rays’ third four-homer game of the young season.

“It’s unbelievable. Everyone wrote us off because of our offense,” McClanahan said. “But we believe in these guys and they show why we believe in them. It was great.”

Boston’s Alex Cora has seen his club produce just two runs in this series, and that was after the Rays had two consecutive shutouts in the Oakland Athletics. But the manager was also impressed with Tampa Bay’s offense.

“They’re playing good baseball right now. They’ve done some things offensively that they’ve cleaned up compared to last year; their approach is very different,” Cora said. “They take good swings on good courts and hit the ball out of the ballpark.”

McClanahan agreed.

“It’s a good team win,” said McClanahan. “And that’s what it’s about.”

Before the game, the Rays placed starters Zach Eflin on the 15-day injured list with lower back strains. In his pre-game media availability, Ray’s manager Kevin Cash said that prospect Taj Bradley is promoted from the minor leagues to start Wednesday’s series finals against Boston.

Eflin’s move is backdated to April 8, meaning the right-handed veteran will miss at least two rounds in the rotation, including Wednesday’s game for the Rays. However, Cash said his IL stint should be minimal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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