Red Sox defeat the Rays, 2-1

Steve Lyons

The 2016 AL Cy Young Award victor went 2-4 with a 3.93 ERA in six starts against Tampa Bay last season, although he was 2-1 with a 1.27 ERA in three starts at Tropicana Field.

The Boston Red Sox opened their season by taking three out of four games from the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

BLUE JAYS 5, YANKEES 3: Yangervis Solarte hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning and Kevin Pillar added an insurance run by stealing second, third and home to send Toronto over NY for its first win of the season. Hanley Ramirez scored the Red Sox's other run when Eduardo Nunez reached on a throwing error.

The Rays lost 2-1 on Easter Sunday to the Red Sox in front of 14,256 at Tropicana Field.

In the four game series, Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello, and Hector Velazquez combined to deliver 24 innings allowing just two earned runs.

It was the first time in the Red Sox's 118-year history that the team's starters permitted one or fewer runs in each of the season's first four games.

"Our starting pitchers did an outstanding job in this series", Cora said.

"It felt good. That's what I know best", said Price, who threw 76 pitches.

Red Sox starter Hector Velazquez (1-0) pitched 5 2/3 one-run innings while allowing five hits and a walk and striking out five.

Walden was the beneficiary of some good fortune in his big league debut, coming on with a runner at first and two outs in the sixth.

"They've pitched really well", Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We didn't give them too much run support but they held up for us".

These games have been low scoring, and the Rays have had ample opportunity to score runs to close the game out.

On the mound, Rick Porcello appeared to be the Cy Young Ricky of 2016, rather than the 17-loss guy that we saw past year.

The Rays scored just three runs in the final three games of the four-game series. Tampa Bay's defense kept the Red Sox from a big inning as right fielder Carlos Gomez threw out Brock Holt, who tried to score from second on Devers' hit, and left fielder Smith made a lunging catch on J.D. Martinez.

The 32-year-old Holland tied for the National League lead in saves last season with 41.

Miller put the Rays ahead 1-0 with a leadoff homer in the second.

Faria allowed one run and four hits in four-plus innings.

Bogaerts, who also had three hits on opening day, is 8 for 12 with five doubles in three games.

However, after their opening day victory, the Rays have struggled to overcome any deficits in both games that have followed. Benintendi entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth.

Boston's second run came on a single off the bat of Rafael Devers that scored Jackie Bradly Jr.in the sixth inning. He went 1 for 10 in the series and is a career.158 hitter (19 for 120) at the ballpark. They put runners on first and third in the bottom of the ninth inning but were unable to push the tying run across as Denard Span struckout swinging to end the game.

The right-handed Velazquez had an ERA over 4.00 for five straight years in Mexico until 2016, when he posted a 2.47 with a career-high strikeout rate of 8.2 batters per nine innings.

Rays: With just three healthy starters - Chris Archer, Blake Snell and Faria - on the roster, manager Kevin Cash will use a second bullpen day in three days Monday when Tampa Bay travels to NY for the Yankees' home opener. After the game, they announced that Austin Pruitt would start.

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