ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Austin Meadows got two hits after missing the first 10 games of the season with the coronavirus and the Tampa Bay Rays stopped their losing streak at five, beating the Boston Red Sox 5-1 on Tuesday night.
“Looked like he didn’t miss a beat,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
Boston lost its fourth in a row, including a three-game sweep at Yankees Stadium over the weekend, and fell to 3-8 overall.
“No doubt there’s frustration there.” Boston manager Ron Roenicke said. ‘They know that we’re a better team than that, they know that it is important to win these games, especially early. So a lot of times, especially offensively, if you don’t start out swinging the bat well, you start to press a little bit, because you know you’ve got to get it going, and you know that the whole team has to get it going, so you press a little bit different.”
Meadows was an All-Star outfielder last year in his first full season, hitting 33 home runs.
“We’re locker neighbors,” Rays starter Charlie Morton said. “I wanted to give him a hug but you can’t. You kind of just look at each other, say hi. It’s so weird.”
Meadows hit an an RBI triple in the fifth inning off Nathan Eovaldi (1-1) and scored on Brandon Lowe’s single to put the Rays up 4-1.
“It’s been like 10 months since I played an actual major league game that counts,” Meadows said. “It’s just good to be back out there with the guys. It’s a long hard road this year for everybody in general.”
Morton (1-1) allowed one run and five hits and struck out five in 5 2/3 innings. Hunter Renfroe drove in two to help Tampa Bay improve to 5-1 at home — the Rays went 0-5 on their first road trip of the season that ended Sunday.
Mitch Moreland homered for Boston. Eovaldi gave up four runs and six hits over five innings.
Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on Renfroe’s two-out, two-run double. It came soon after he hit a ball that may have been playable between home and third that struck an overhanging catwalk in foul territory.
Moreland put the Red Sox up 1-0 on a second-inning homer. He has gone deep seven times in his last 12 games at Tropicana Field.
The Red Sox loaded the bases with one out in the ninth against Ryan Thompson before Nick Anderson entered and struck out Jose Peraza and Andrew Benintendi to get his first save.
Boston also threatened in the eighth with one out but Pete Fairbanks worked out of the jam by striking out J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts with two on.
Red Sox CF Jackie Bradley Jr. took away a hit from Lowe with Meadows on first and two outs in the third on a full extension diving catch. The grab had a video review that took about two minutes.
The Rays placed OF Manuel Margot on the bereavement list following the death of his father.
Red Sox: Roenicke told Boston reporters that third base coach Carlos Febles had an inconclusive coronavirus test and didn’t make the trip as a precaution.
The two-game series concludes Wednesday night when Rays LHP Ryan Yarbrough (0-1) is scheduled to face Boston LHP Martin Perez (1-1).