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Red Sox lose to Rays with one eye on hurricane

  • Tampa Bay Rays' Brad Miller, left, tries to tag Boston Red Sox's Brock Holt, right, as Holt steals second base in the second inning Sunday in Boston. AP

  • Boston Red Sox's Rick Porcello delivers a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne



Associated Press
Sunday, September 10, 2017

BOSTON — Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash went to check his phone for Hurricane Irma news as soon as he reached his office after the final out.

Wilson Ramos stood at his locker and wanted to show reporters a video on his iPhone of heavy winds swaying palm trees that a friend watching his house had sent.

The Rays had a lot on their minds as they beat the Boston Red Sox 4-1 Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.

“I think in the training room the whole day we just had the weather on, the radar,” pitcher Alex Cobb said. “You’re not thinking about it while you’re playing, obviously, but I think every other minute of the day we’ve been trying to be forecasters in seeing what best possibilities we could have going into this storm for our area and for our friends and families.”

“It definitely consumes a lot of your time and your emotion,” he said. “I think we’ve done as good of a job as we could have done.”

Cobb (11-9) allowed one run and four hits — all singles — and three walks in five innings. Ramos and Lucas Duda each hit a solo homer for the Rays.

“It’s hard to not think about the situation,” Ramos said. “We have houses over there — all our families are from Florida, too.”

Alex Colome pitched a perfect ninth to complete a five-hitter and earn his major-league leading 43rd save in 48 chances.

Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello was dealt his major league-leading 17th loss, the victim of poor run support once again.

Porcello (9-17) took a 1-0 lead into the fifth, when Ramos and Evan Longoria hit RBI singles. Boston has scored two runs or fewer 18 times in 30 starts while Porcello was in the game. He gave up five hits in five innings.

“In the fifth inning, obviously, there were some things I’d like to correct, but overall it wasn’t bad,” Porcello said.

Ramos homered in the sixth off Brandon Workman, a drive that just cleared the center field wall, and Duda went deep in the seventh against Robby Scott.

Tampa Bay stopped Boston’s four-game winning streak. The Red Sox began the day 4½ games ahead of the second-place Yankees in the AL East.

Christian Vazquez hit a run-scoring single in the first for Boston.

TRAINER’S ROOM — Red Sox INF Eduardo Nunez was sidelined with a bruised right knee sustained on a headfirst slide on Saturday. Farrell said Nunez was sore but expected back Tuesday. ... Farrell said the LHP Dave Price (left elbow inflammation) felt fine after his two-inning simulated game Saturday is likely to pitch three innings in a simulated game on Wednesday. ... Hanley Ramirez got the day off.

CLOSE ONE — Vazquez was called out by plate umpire Brian O’Nora when he tagged up and tried to score on Sam Travis’ second-inning fly to right fielder Mallex Smith. The call stood on a video review, though on replays it appeared one of Vazquez’s legs touched the plate before Ramos’ tag.

HELPING OUT — Players of the Boston Bruins, Red Sox, Rays and Florida Panthers were at gates collecting donations for support of relief efforts that may be needed because of Irma. The Panthers are training in the area with their AHL affiliate.