BOSTON — It has not taken Mitch Moreland very long to get comfortable in a Red Sox uniform.
Moreland’s two-run single in the seventh inning gave Boston the lead for good in a 7-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Easter Sunday at Fenway Park.
On the season, the newly signed first baseman is batting .356 (16-for-45) with an MLB-leading nine doubles, one homer and five RBIs through 12 games.
“The group of guys in here make it easy,” said Moreland, who spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Texas Rangers before joining the Red Sox on a one-year pact. “Everything’s just been a smooth transition. When you have that, you get pretty comfortable pretty quick I guess.”
Moreland, 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a walk on the day, stepped to the plate after Hanley Ramirez walked to load the bases with one out in the seventh. Moreland drove an 0-1 cutter for an opposite-field single to left, plating two.
“He’s put together a number of quality at-bats of late particularly,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Moreland.
Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run blast for his team-leading third home run and Mookie Betts and Christian Vazquez also had RBIs for Boston (7-5), which has won three of its last four.
Corey Dickerson and Tim Beckham each hit solo homers and Brad Miller had a triple and two RBIs as Tampa Bay (6-7) lost for the fifth time in its last six games.
“It was a little bit of a frustrating loss,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We had a few opportunities but were unable to hold the lead.”
Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz surrendered five runs on five hits — two homers — and two walks, but the southpaw struck out a season-high 10 batters in a 4 1/3-inning no-decision.
Joe Kelly (2-0) earned the win with 2 2/3 scoreless innings and Craig Kimbrel notched his fifth save. Kimbrel’s 24 consecutive saves is the second-longest streak in majors.
Boston native Alex Cobb allowed four runs on 11 hits and a walk while striking out none in five innings. It’s the first time in 89 career starts he failed to record a strikeout.
“Without getting any strikeouts you’re going to have more balls put in play and some chances for things to be a little weird,” Cobb said.
Danny Farquhar (0-1) took the loss.
Beckham’s blast on a 1-0 knuckle-curve broke a 4-4 tie with nobody out in the fifth. Pomeranz departed two batters later.
After Moreland’s big hit in the seventh, Ramirez pulled up limping while rounding second and was replaced by Steve Selsky. Ramirez is day-to-day with a left hamstring cramp.
“I’ll be fine. I’ll be in (the lineup Monday),” Ramirez said.
The Rays put a runner on second with nobody out for Longoria, who struck out chasing a Matt Barnes pitch in the dirt.
Barnes then fanned Miller, but walked pinch-hitter Logan Morrison. Robby Scott relieved Barnes and got Dickerson to pop out in foul territory to end the threat.
Vazquez added an insurance run in the eighth on his double down the line in left, allowing Chris Young to score from first.
Tampa Bay pounced on Pomeranz for three runs in the first.
Miller brought a pair home with his triple that Red Sox center fielder Andrew Benintendi lost in the sun. Miller scored on a passed ball the next at-bat, making it 3-0.
Boston got two runs back in its half of the first.
Betts’ shallow pop to right bounced into the stands for a ground rule double, allowing Benintendi to score from second. Benintendi reached on an accidental check-swing double to left against the Rays’ shift.
Moreland then squeezed an RBI single up the middle to plate Betts.
Dickerson homered to deep center in the fourth to pad the Rays’ lead. But Sandoval deposited a ball into the first row of the Green Monster in left with a runner on in the Boston fourth to tie it.
NOTES: Boston manager John Farrell earned his 500th career victory (346 with Red Sox) and moved passed Eddie Kasko for sole possession of eighth place on the team’s all-time managerial wins list. … Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi (left hamstring tightness), who left Saturday’s start in the second inning, was placed on the 10-day disabled list. RHP Chase Whitley was recalled from Triple-A Durham. … Boston CF Jackie Bradley Jr. (right knee sprain) will join Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday and start in center against Charlotte. Bradley could return as soon as Friday. INF Josh Rutledge (left hamstring strain) will also join Pawtucket on Tuesday. … Tampa Bay leads the American League in strikeouts with 139. … Rays LHP Blake Snell (0-1, 3.18 ERA) opposes Red Sox RHP Steven Wright (0-1, 13.50 ERA) on Monday.