S T. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Manuel Margot and David Peralta each hit a run with a double in the seventh inning, sending the Tampa Bay Rays to a 4-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Monday.
Tampa Bay snapped Boston’s five-game winning streak and stayed within five games of the American League East-leading Yankees. New York beat Minnesota 5-2 earlier in the day.
The Rays hold one of three AL wild-card spots in a tight race that also includes Seattle, Toronto and Baltimore.
Finding a way to win for the 12th time in 15 games, Tampa Bay received an unusual contribution from underused Vidal Bruján, who came on as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning and left with a knee injury in the ninth.
With the Rays trailing 3-2, Bruján was hit by a pitch from Jeurys Familia (2-2) and stole second. Bruján advanced on a groundout and scored on Margot’s double off Familia.
One out later, Peralta had an RBI double off Zack Kelly’s first baseman to give Tampa Bay a 4-3 lead.
“Everyone knows what they have to do to help us win,” said Margot, who had two hits and scored twice. “Everyone has their own role. We have a different kind of game that we play. We are not the Yankees. We don’t hit a lot of home runs, but that’s the kind of team we are.”
Tampa Bay has won 25 games this season without hitting a home run, most in the majors.
“Home runs are good,” manager Kevin Cash said, “but you can win games without them.”
Calvin Faucher (2-3) got the win in relief after striking out Trevor Story with the bases loaded in the seventh. Pete Fairbanks pitched the ninth for his fifth save in five attempts.
Four Rays relievers combined to allow two hits in four innings and struck out nine.
“We had a lot of traffic. We put pressure on them a couple of times, but we couldn’t cash in like they did,” Boston coach Alex Cora said. “They put the ball in play in certain situations and then they shot well, and that’s why they won.
“In general we pitch well, but we hit the first batter (Bruján). That’s the way they do it. They put pressure on you and they win a lot of games that way.”
Red Sox starter Michael Wacha struck out seven as he tried to win a fifth straight start. He allowed two runs on seven hits, leaving after six innings with a 3-2 lead.
Rays starter Luis Patino, recalled Monday after making two starts for Triple-A Durham, pitched five innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. Two of the walks proved costly, coming before RBI hits by Rafael Devers and Story in the third that gave the Red Sox a 3-1 lead.
Alex Verdugo homered off Patiño, his ninth of the season, to put Boston up 1-0 in the first.
Harold Ramirez hit an RBI single in the bottom half and Randy Arozarena cut it to 3-2 with an RBI double in the fifth.
Red Sox: LF Franchy Cordero was ejected in the fifth inning with a sprained right ankle after hitting the wall chasing down Arozarena’s double. They’ll do an MRI on Tuesday. … DH JD Martinez sat out for the second straight game with a stiff back.
Rays: Wander Franco (right hook to broken hook) was scheduled to play seven innings at shortstop in a rehab game for Triple-A Durham, but was replaced by a pinch hitter in the fifth. He felt some discomfort in his hand during his second and final at-bat. Durham has Tuesday off, and it remains to be seen whether Franco will play on Wednesday. … Bruján was helped off the field after Verdugo punctured his right knee while attempting to complete a game-ending double play. The knee was taped up after the game, but the Rays don’t believe there was structural damage. … To open up a roster spot for Patiño, the Rays designated RHP Matt Wisler for assignment.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Rays RHP Drew Rasmussen (9-4, 2.70 ERA) makes his first start of September Tuesday night after being selected as the AL pitcher of the month for August. LHP Rich Hill (6-5, 4.52), who hasn’t allowed an earned run in 11 innings in two starts against Tampa Bay, will pitch for the Red Sox.