On a night where Chris Archer did not have his best stuff, or even his second-best, the Tampa Bay Rays did all they could to try and get back into the contest with the Boston Red Sox. However, a grand slam by Mookie Betts was too much to overcome, as Boston doubled up the Rays 8-4 at Tropicana Field Friday.
Boston's hitters got to Archer right off the bat. Brock Holt started the game with a base hit, and after Dustin Pedroia walked and David Ortiz flied out, Yoenis Cespedes brought in Holt with a base hit and a 1-0 lead.
Mike Napoli struck out for the second out, but Daniel Nava plated Pedroia with a single, and after Betts reached on a fielding error by Archer, Will Middlebrooks scored Cespedes when his ground ball to second baseman Ben Zobrist could not be picked by James Loney for the second error of the inning.
Archer fared no better in the second, as a throwing error by Yunel Escobar on what would have been an inning-ending double play grounder by Ortiz, allowed the Boston DH to take second base. He would then score on a double by Cespedes to make it 4-0. Napoli drew a walk, and Nava was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Betts blew the game wide open with a grand slam, his third home run of the year, to make it an 8-0 game.
Archer took his seventh loss, going just four innings, though the Rays would save the bullpen by getting three innings of relief from Cesar Ramos, and two scoreless frames from Grant Balfour.
Tampa Bay got one run back in the bottom of the second on a base hit by Kevin Kiermaier, scoring Escobar.
Brandon Guyer inched the Rays closer in the fifth, as his two run homer off Ranaudo made it 8-3.
Tampa Bay tried to even things in the ninth, with Kiermaier doubling to lead off the final half-inning, and Guyer bringing him in with a base hit.
Tampa Bay will attempt to rebound Saturday, when Jake Odorizzi (9-11, 4.23 ERA) takes on Allen Webster (3-2, 5.81 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10, with pregame coverage starting at 6:00 with the Suncoast Hyundai Dealers Inside Pitch.