ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Desmond Jennings hit a two-run triple during Tampa Bay’s seven-run sixth-inning, and the Rays snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Boston Red Sox 13-3 on Wednesday night.
Despite the win, Tampa Bay fell 6½ games behind the AL East-leading New York Yankees, who swept a day-night doubleheader against Toronto. The Rays started play six games back in the AL wild-card race.
Jennings also scored following his triple against reliever Alfredo Aceves when the throw from the outfield eluded third baseman Pedro Ciriaco.
Four Boston pitchers walked six in the sixth, including passes to Carlos Pena and Jose Molina with the bases loaded. Luke Scott had a sacrifice fly, and Jeff Keppinger added an RBI single.
Keppinger hit a solo homer, and Pena added a two-shot off Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-6) as Tampa Bay went ahead 5-3 in the fourth.
Chris Archer (1-3) allowed three runs and five hits over five innings for the Rays, who won for the second time in nine games. It was the rookie’s first major league win.
The Red Sox (68-82), assured of their first losing season since 1997, got two RBIs from Jacoby Ellsbury.
Boston took a 3-1 lead in the third on Ellsbury’s run-scoring single and an RBI grounder by Dustin Pedroia. Ellsbury has 10 RBIs in his last 11 games.
Ben Zobrist, who drove in four runs in the Rays’ 7-5 loss to Boston on Tuesday, cut the deficit to 3-2 with an RBI single later in the third.
Tampa Bay loaded the bases with no outs during the second on singles by Evan Longoria, Scott and Keppinger, but scored just once to tie it at 1 when Matt Joyce followed with a walk. Matsuzaka avoided further damage by striking out Pena and getting a double-play grounder from Molina.
Joyce also had an eighth-inning RBI single.
Matsuzaka gave up five runs and nine hits in three-plus innings. The right-hander is 2-8 in 14 starts against Tampa Bay.
Ciriaco had a leadoff single in the first, stole second and scored to make it 1-0 on Ellsbury’s single. Ciriaco is 15-for-15 in stolen-base attempts this season.
Notes: Tampa Bay LHP David Price (18-5) will go for his 19th win this season against Boston RHP Clay Buchholz (11-6) in the finale of the four-game series on Thursday night. … Red Sox RHP Daniel Bard faced five batters. He walked three and gave up one hit. … Aceves allowed four runs in two-plus innings. … Justin Gatlin, the 100-meter bronze medalist at the London Olympics, threw the ceremonial first pitch.
Yanks sweep Blue Jays
NEW YORK — Ichiro Suzuki had a go-ahead single in the eighth inning, his seventh hit of the day, to help the New York Yankees complete a doubleheader sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays with a 2-1 win that ensured they remained atop the AL East.
Suzuki made a difficult catch with the bases loaded in the eighth inning of the opener to preserve a lead for Andy Pettitte in a 4-2 victory.
New York will end the night with at least a half-game division lead, pending on the outcome of Baltimore’s game against Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners.
The wily outfielder had three hits in the opener batting leadoff in place of Derek Jeter, who rested his sore ankle in the first game of the day-night doubleheader. Jeter started at shortstop for the first time in a week and got his 200th hit on Ricky Romero’s first pitch.