Sox score six in eighth to down Rays

Reliever Joe Kelly right and catcher Christian Vazquez celebrate after the Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Sunday

Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) is congratulated by designated hitter Hanley Ramirez (13) after scoring against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Fenway Park.

The Boston Red Sox are off to the best nine-game start in franchise history.

On Saturday, a few more bats in the lineup joined in, too.

After a run for Boston in the first inning, Tampa Bay answered with single runs in each of the next five frames - including the homer by Cron in the second - before plating two in the seventh to go up 7-2. We throw a fastball up in the zone and (Matt) Duffy, he put a good swing on it. "Now he's doing it with power".

In addition to his slam, Bogaerts drove in two runs with his seventh double in eight games. Rafael Devers also connected. Rodriguez struck out 150 hitters in 137 innings past year (24 starts), while finishing the season 6-7 overall with a 4.19 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.

"We've been on and off".

After the game, and after Red Sox manager Alex Cora observed that Price "has been in a good place from the get-go in Fort Myers", which presumably means happy as well as healthy, the lefty was asked the usual array of questions about pitch counts, heaters, breaking stuff, etc.

"We can do that often. But I feel like I can step in and do a good job".

Arizona lost for just the second time this season as Greinke had a rough outing.

The Rays, meanwhile, haven't won since opening day and have lost eight in a row.

Rays: Manager Kevin Cash said Brad Miller tweaked his groin running out of the box. The shortstop got hurt while sliding down into the Tampa Bay dugout and will have tests Monday.

Eduardo Rodriguez started the game for the Red Sox and was pulled after allowing five hits and three runs over 3.2 innings. First, Mitch Moreland drove in a run with a double off the Green Monster.

Price is 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA.

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"We're playing good baseball right now", Bogaerts said.

"I don't think he thinks he needs to prove anyone wrong". "I think he was a little bit erratic".

Rays starter Jake Faria (0-1) lasted 1 2/3 innings after surrendering a career-high eight runs on five hits and five walks.

"It's frustrating, it's embarrassing", he said.

Kiermaier returned to the Rays' lineup after missing Saturday's game with an illness.

With just six outs to go Sunday, the Boston Red Sox were facing a Herculean task. Included in that impressive defensive opening is throwing the potential winning run down at home plate with two outs in the ninth inning on Tuesday night in Miami.

The Rays are just 1-7 SU and have gone 5-2 against the spread (ATS).

Cora stressed infielders who stayed back at JetBlue Park and didn't travel to certain spring training road games worked hard with major league coach Ramon Vazquez as well as the Double-A and Triple-A coaching staffs.

That should make Sunday's win all the more sweeter for Boston.

He needed help to get off the field and walked with a noticeable limp. OF Andrew Benintendi and a few other starters made a decision to hit inside instead.

RHP Andrew Kittredge will start for the Rays on their third scheduled bullpen day of the season, and second in four days in Boston.

They're also charged with teaching a Red Sox team how to lose. He's been on the disabled list since March 26th recovering from offseason right knee surgery.

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