Ryan Yarbrough stifles Red Sox, Rays take first of doubleheader 9-2
BOSTON (AP) — Ryan Yarbrough watched an impressive outing from teammate Yonny Chirinos a night earlier and felt it was his turn to follow up with something good.
Yarbrough held Boston to an unearned run into the eighth inning, Travis d'Arnaud hit a three-run homer and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Red Sox 9-2 in the opener of day-night doubleheader Saturday.
"Obviously we played with each other for the last couple of years," Yarbrough said. "The way his stuff moves he's going to go deep into every game with the sinker he throws. I feel like that's good competition. It's a nice little competition to have."
The 27-year-old Yarbrough (5-2), who was demoted to the minors after a rough April when he had an 8.10 ERA in five appearances, baffled Boston's hitters limiting them to three singles, striking out seven without issuing a walk before Bradley homered off the Pesky Pole in the eighth.
"We didn't do much against him," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.
On Friday, Chirinos pitched five perfect innings and went eight scoreless against Boston, allowing just two singles.
"He kind of picked up right where Yonny left off," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We've just had two really, really strong starts from some young pitchers. They go about it different ways, but Yarbs was outstanding. I think they feed off each other a little bit."
It was the Rays' fourth straight victory and made them 4-0 at Fenway Park this season.
Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a solo homer for Boston, which has dropped the first two of a four-game series.
The Rays jumped ahead 4-0 in the second against Josh Smith (0-2). D'Arnaud drove a cut fastball completely out of Fenway over the Green Monster after Ji-Man Choi singled leading leadoff and Willy Adames drew a two-out walk. Brandon Lowe added an RBI single.
"I did a good job getting to two outs and had the cutter to d'Arnaud," Smith said. "I don't know if he was sitting on it or what, but he did a good job hitting it."
Sam Travis' RBI single sliced it to 4-1 in the second after second baseman Brandon Lowe booted Eduardo Núñez's grounder. Tampa Bay added an unearned run in the fifth when Austin Meadows scored on Sandy León's passed ball after the bases were loaded with two walks and first baseman Michael Chavis' throwing error.
D'Arnaud singled and scored on Brandon Lowe's bunt single in a four-run ninth.
The doubleheader was caused by a rainout in late April.
Yarbrough posted career-highs with 7 2/3 innings and 110 pitches. ... The Rays' staff entered the day with the majors' best ERA (2.95), best road ERA (2.66) and second-lowest batting average against (.219).
Smith looked out to left field and tipped his cap to Travis, who went from a full sprint into a headlong dive for a catch on Avisaíl García's line drive. ... Red Sox 2B Núñez lost Adames' popup in the sun, but RF Mookie Betts threw him out at first after he rounded too far. SS Adames got Betts back a few innings later with a diving play on a grounder in the hole.
Rays: OF Tommy Pham left the game an inning after getting hit by a pitch on the right wrist and went for X-rays that came back negative. ... CF Kevin Kiermaier fouled one off the inside of his right knee, went to the ground in pain but stayed in. ... INF Joey Wendle (out since April 26, fractured right wrist) is slated to play shortstop in a rehab game for Triple-A Durham on Saturday.
Red Sox: 1B Mitch Moreland went back on the 10-day IL with a right quadriceps strain a day after he came off. He was previously out with a strained lower back. ... J.D. Martinez missed his second straight game after being removed Thursday with back tightness. "We'll try for Sunday," Cora said.
LHP David Price (3-2, 2.83 ERA) looks to keep his solid stretch going for the Red Sox in the nightcap. He's allowed three or fewer runs in seven straight starts, and two or less in six of those. Ryne Stanek (0-1, 2.88) was set to start for the Rays.