Tampa Bay Rays' Wander Franco, right, celebrates with relief pitcher Collin McHugh after they defeated the Boston Red Sox in 10 innings of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 6, 2021, at Fenway Park in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Rays look to stay hot in series vs. Red Sox

The Tampa Bay Rays, who lead the American League, battled the Boston Red Sox in a dramatic extra-inning win at Fenway Park on Labor Day in the first game of the final regular-season series match-up between the two teams. 

The Rays (87-51) are currently ranked first in the American League East standings while the Red Sox (79-91) are ranked third in the division. 

In the early September series between the Rays’ and the Red Sox, the Rays came away with a win in the first two games but dropped the next two losses at home.

Rays and Sox Battle at the Plate

Both teams seemed to struggle on the mound they went through a combined 14 pitchers. However, the Rays overcame this and continued to battle offensively after being down six runs. 

In the fourth inning, trailing 7-1, after a series of errors from the Red Sox, the Rays inched back up and scored four unanswered runs, making the score 7-5. The Rays then held the Red Sox scoreless for the next three innings.

In the top of the sixth, the Rays pulled within one run of Boston. Outfielder Jordan Luplow hit a single with two outs and two strikes on him that brought in shortstop Wander Franco. 

The Sox extended their lead 8-6 with a single from right fielder Hunter Renfroe that brought in third baseman Taylor Motter. 

The Rays continued to cause havoc at the plate. 

In the top of the seventh, Randy Arozarena hit a single to center field that allowed for Mike Zunino to score to make it 8-7. 

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, and with a full count, Red Sox Jonathan Arauz hit a 416-foot home run, extending the lead to 9-7. 

The Rays responded again in the top of the eighth when Nelson Cruz hit a 406-foot solo shot to left field to narrow the score to 9-8. 

Austin Meadows scored an inside-the-park home run to tie the game at nine runs apiece to send the game into extra innings.

In the top of the 10th, Nelson Cruz hit a single to bring in Arozarena. Brandon Lowe, pinch-hitting for Yandy Diaz, singled, and Cruz scored off an error to push the Rays lead 11-9. The Red Sox was not able to get the job done in the bottom of the 10th, only scoring a single run. Rays win 11-10.

The Drama Continues

The drama continues tonight as the Rays look to pick up back-to-back wins in game two of the final regular-season series against the Red Sox at 7:10 p.m. 

The Rays are expecting to start right-hand pitch Drew Rasmussen, while the Red Sox are planning to start left-hand pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez.

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