After Lightning-Quick Start, Sox Collapse, Lose Game and Series

April 24

McClanahan pitches for the Rays against Hill in the finale. On the first pitch of the afternoon, Story hits a double to the right-field corner. He scores on a Hernández single to right on the next pitch as Boston takes a 1-0 lead after just two pitches! A single to right puts two on with one out just before Verdugo singles in Hernández to make it 2-0. The other runners do not score. Ramírez hits a two-out double to left in the bottom of the inning, a walk puts two on, and a single to left loads the bases before a fly out ends the inning. Arozarena tries for a double with two out in the bottom of the second but is thrown out to end the inning. This is confirmed after a managerial challenge. The Rays put two on with two out in the bottom of the third before a pop out ends the inning. Vázquez catches Brujan stealing for the second out of the fourth. New callup Rob Refsnyder hits a one-out double to right in the top of the fifth but is stranded.

Back-to-back walks lead off the bottom of the inning and a fly out puts runners at the corners with one out before another hit batter loads the bases and leads to a pitching change. It doesn’t work, as Choi drives a double to deep left to tie it at 2-2. A groundout scores a run from third as the Rays take their first lead of the afternoon at 3-2. Another groundout ends the inning. The Rays put two on with one out in the bottom of the sixth on two infield singles. A groundout puts both in scoring position with two out and causes a pitching change. A wild pitch scores Kiermaier to make it 4-2. Arozarena gets cocky and tries for home too but is thrown out to end the inning. Díaz hits a one-out homer in the seventh that feels like a death blow at 5-2. It’s his first of the year. Sox lose by that score in a game that takes under three hours, which is unheard of in this day and age, and now they jet off to Toronto tonight.