Rays lose 2-0 to Red Sox despite Smyly gem
BOSTON (AP) -- Tampa Bay Rays starter Drew Smyly had a no-hitter through five innings Tuesday night before he faced Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts leading off the sixth.
Betts hit his first of two home runs off a Smyly cutter to give the Red Sox their first run and lead them to a 2-0 victory at Fenway Park.
Smyly (0-1) had walked two batters and allowed one to reach on an error during his five hitless innings. But pitching a no-hitter didn't really cross his mind.
"But I knew I probably wasn't going to go nine," Smyly said. "So even though I knew I hadn't given up a hit, it wasn't much of a thought. I just wanted to keep it a 0-0 game but I couldn't do it."
The Rays' offense did little to help Smyly, as they left six men on base through the first five innings and seven for the game.
"We had some opportunities," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Put some hits together. Just didn't get them at the right times, I guess."
On the night the Red Sox honored their 1975 AL championship team, Betts hit two solo shots over the Green Monster that Carlton Fisk cleared in the World Series. It was Betts' first career multi-homer game.
The Red Sox had lost four straight and nine of their last 12 to fall into last place in the AL East.
Rick Porcello (3-2), who was the starter in Boston's last win, pitched seven innings of shutout ball. He scattered eight hits while walking none and striking out six. Koji Uehara pitched the ninth for his fifth save.
After Betts homered, Smyly gave up a one-out double to David Ortiz, then retired Mike Napoli and Pablo Sandoval to end the inning.
In all, the Rays left-hander allowed two hits and two walks and struck out six in six innings. Betts also homered off Ernesto Frieri to lead off the eighth and make it 2-0.
David DeJesus and Steven Souza Jr. each had a pair of hits for the Rays.
Betts has seven extra-base hits and eight RBIs in the eight-game homestand.
Evan Longoria's fourth-inning single was his 1,000th career hit. He is third on the Rays' all-time list, 16 behind Ben Zobrist for second place.
"That's pretty cool," Cash said. "Hopefully he gets another thousand in that time frame. He's a pretty impressive baseball player."
Tampa Bay center fielder Kevin Kiermaier robbed Ortiz of an extra-base hit when he caught his fly ball in the Fenway triangle against the bullpen wall, a few steps from the 420-foot marker.
"The ball looked like it was going over the bullpen, then it looked like it came back," Cash said. "The wind the last two nights has been a little tricky out there, to say the least. But K.K., he seems to do that probably once or twice a series."
Rays: The Rays have shut down RHP Alex Cobb's rehabilitation program after a report that he has a partial tear of a ligament in his throwing elbow. The Tampa Bay Times reported on Tuesday that he has a partial ligament tear. He will try to pitch through it after receiving platelet-rich plasma therapy, the paper said. If that is unsuccessful, he would need Tommy John surgery.
Red Sox: OF Hanley Ramirez is day-to-day with a left shoulder sprain he injured running into the side wall in left field pursuing a fly ball on Monday.
Rays: Alex Colome (1-0) pitches the series finale for Tampa Bay before the Rays head home for four against the Texas Rangers.
Red Sox: Justin Masterson (2-0) faces the Rays in Game 3 of the series on Wednesday, then the Red Sox have an off day before facing the Blue Jays in Toronto.