Boston 6, Tampa Bay 5
When: 6:10 PM ET, Saturday, April 20, 2019
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg
Special to Digital Sports Desk by Field Level Media
ST. PETERSBURG – Boston’s Andrew Benintendi hit a grand slam and drove in the game-winning run with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly to lead the Red Sox to a 6-5 win over the host Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.
Benintendi’s fly ball to right field scored Jackie Bradley Jr. to break a 5-5 tie in the ninth after the Rays had rallied with five consecutive runs.
The Rays had runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom half of the ninth, but Boston catcher Christian Vazquez picked off Tommy Pham at first base to end the game.
Reliever Matt Barnes (2-0) earned the win, Ryan Brasier recorded his fifth save and Mookie Betts had two hits for the Red Sox, who won their second straight.
Avisail Garcia and Yandy Diaz each homered, and Ji-Man Choi, Brandon Lowe (two hits), Kevin Kiermaier and Austin Meadows (two RBIs) all tripled for the Rays, who lost their third straight.
The four triples hit by the Rays marked the first time they had done so in their 3,421-game history and the first time Boston had allowed that many since June 9, 1983, against Detroit.
Jose Alvarado (0-1) took the loss.
Rays starter Charlie Morton allowed a leadoff single to J.D. Martinez in the second inning and issued two walks to load the bases with one out before plunking Sandy Leon to force in a run.
Benintendi then slugged an opposite-field drive to left-center that was caught 405 feet away by a fan in the first row — ruled a grand slam but prompting a video review.
The umpires took a look and decided the ball was caught beyond the field of play, giving Benintendi his first career grand slam and second homer this season, and the Red Sox a 5-0 lead.
Tampa Bay got on the board in its half of the frame when Garcia ripped a solo shot off Boston starter Rick Porcello to right-center for his fourth homer.
Choi launched a triple to deep center to open the Rays’ fourth, and Lowe smoked another three-bagger into the right field corner to drive home Choi and make it 5-2.
However, Porcello stranded Lowe at third by fanning Garcia and getting Kiermaier on a tapper back to the mound.
Kiermaier tripled to open the seventh and one out later Meadows hit the team’s fourth triple to drive in two and make it 5-4. Diaz homered off Barnes leading off the bottom of the eighth to make it 5-5.