ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The sliding Tampa Bay Rays couldn’t recover from an early eight-run deficit.
Rookie Mookie Betts hit his first career grand slam, Anthony Ranaudo pitched six effective innings and the Boston Red Sox beat the Rays 8-4 Friday night.
The Rays have lost nine of 13.
After Yoenis Cespedes drove in his second run of the game with a double, Betts connected off Chris Archer (8-7) to cap a five-run second inning that made it 8-0.
“I didn’t execute many pitches,” Archer said. “The game has a funny way of humbling you and tonight was a very humbling experience.”
It was the first homer allowed by Archer, who allowed eight runs and 10 hits over four innings, since David Ortiz took him deep on July 27.
There were no incidents in the first meeting between the teams since Archer and the Rays took issue with the way Ortiz acted after that three-run homer last month. Archer made a point then of saying he didn’t appreciate Ortiz flipping his bat before beginning his home run trot, and added that the star DH “feels like he’s bigger than the game.”
Former Rays ace David Price, traded to Detroit July 31, and Ortiz began feuding after Big Papi homered off the former AL Cy Young winner last fall in the AL championship series. Price hit Ortiz with a fastball May 30, leading to more verbal sparring.
Ortiz singled in five at-bats.
Brandon Guyer hit a two-run homer in the fifth and added an RBI single in the ninth for the Rays.
Ranaudo (3-0), recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket before the game, gave up three runs and five hits. He has won all three of his big league starts.
Cespedes, Daniel Nava and Will Middlebrooks each hit RBI singles during a three-run first. The Rays also made an error in the inning, and have committed at least one error in six consecutive games.
“It broke badly,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “We made a couple mistakes.”
Red Sox: Manager John Farrell fully expects INF Xander Bogaerts to be reinstated Saturday from the seven-day concussion list.
Rays: CF Desmond Jennings was a late scratch due to left knee soreness. … OF Wil Myers had an infield single in four at-bats and is 6 for 37 with 14 strikeouts since returning from a broken right wrist that kept him sidelined for 70 games.
The Rays are 29-37 at home this season. In contrast, Tampa Bay has a 36-33 road mark.
Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi (9-11) and Red Sox RHP Allen Webster (3-2) are Saturday night’s scheduled starters. Webster gave up two runs, three hits and five walks in 5 1-3 innings to beat Archer on July 27.
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