MLB Rays spoil Chris Sale’s return for Red Sox

Tampa Bay ruined a strong 2022 debut by Boston left-hander Chris Sale with a wild sixth inning as the Rays defeated the Red Sox 3-2 on Tuesday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Sale, who had not pitched since last October due to a broken rib, threw 78 pitches in five innings. He held the Rays scoreless and allowed only three hits. The seven-time All-Star struck out five.

The Red Sox held a 2-0 lead when Sale was replaced by reliever Ryan Brasier in the sixth inning. But that lead did not last. The Rays scored three runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 3-2 lead with the help of a bizarre play.

A line drive off the bat of Tampa Bay’s Taylor Walls struck Boston reliever Matt Strahm (3-3), who had replaced Brasier, in the arm. Strahm was knocked down momentarily, got up and threw wildly toward first base. First baseman Franchy Cordero then made another throwing error.

Two runs scored on the play to give the Rays a lead they wouldn’t surrender.

Tampa Bay scored its first run earlier in the inning when Francisco Mejia singled home Harold Ramirez.

The Rays got six innings of solid work from Corey Kluber (5-5), who earned the win. Kluber allowed two runs on four hits to go along with seven strikeouts and a walk.

A pair of relievers, Jalen Beeks and Brooks Raley, combined to pitch three scoreless innings to close it out. Raley struck out two in the ninth to earn his fifth save of the season.

The Red Sox broke things open with the help of two bloop singles in the fifth inning off Kluber.

After Xander Bogaerts struck out to lead off the inning, Alex Verdugo and Jeter Downs had back-to-back base hits to put runners at the corners. Verdugo then scored on a sacrifice bunt by Cordero to make it 1-0. Bobby Dalbec followed with a triple to drive in Downs.

–Field Level Media

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