Rays pounce on Red Sox 'pen to keep pace

Rays pounce on Red Sox 'pen to keep pace

ST. PETERSBURG -- Two-run homers by Asdrubal Cabrera and J.P. Arencibia fueled a five-run eighth to lead the Rays to an 8-4 win over the Red Sox on Friday night at Tropicana Field.

The Rays (69-71) kept pace in the race for the American League's second Wild Card spot, remaining five games behind Texas. The Red Sox (66-74) missed an opportunity to move to within a game of Tampa Bay.

"Obviously, exciting win," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Great team win to get back here, get home. This was a big one."

Cabrera on clutch homer

Red Sox lefty Wade Miley allowed three runs in seven innings before Junichi Tazawa took over to start the eighth. Evan Longoria doubled to start the inning and scored on Logan Forsythe's single to right to tie the score at 4. Tazawa fell behind 3-1 to Cabrera when the veteran shortstop turned on a 93-mph fastball and launched his 12th home run of the season over the wall in right-center field. With two outs in the inning, the Red Sox brought in Noe Ramirez to pitch to Arencibia with a runner on third. Arencibia rerouted an 0-1 pitch for his fifth home run of the season to put the Rays up by four.

Chris Archer started for the Rays and held the Red Sox to one run through five innings before allowing singles to Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz, which prompted Rays manager Kevin Cash to bring in Enny Romero. Travis Shaw greeted Romero with an RBI double to right. Pablo Sandoval followed with an RBI single to chase Romero before Ryan Hanigan's sacrifice fly off Brandon Gomes put the Red Sox up 4-3.

Two big innings bookend Rays' attack

Archer goes K-razy: When Archer struck out Sandoval with a 98-mph fastball to end the first inning, the Rays right-hander set into motion a stretch that saw him strike out seven consecutive batters -- including Bogaerts swinging at a 99-mph fastball to end the third. That tied Archer with Andy Sonnanstine for the club record for consecutive strikeouts. Ortiz snapped the streak when he grounded out while leading off the fourth.

"I obviously would prefer to not throw so many pitches in such a short amount of time," said Archer, who was lifted after 108 pitches (69 strikes). "But whatever it takes to get them out. If they're going to swing early and make contact early, cool. If I have to throw five or six pitches because they're fouling and being selective I guess I just have to do that, too."

Archer whiffs seven in a row

No relief for Miley: The eighth-inning ineffectiveness of Tazawa, who has now surrendered 14 earned runs in his last 13 2/3 innings, negated a quality performance by Miley, who continues to pitch effectively against the Rays. The veteran left-hander, who has pitched six-plus innings in eight consecutive trips to the hill, has a career 1.85 ERA (8 ER/39 IP) across six starts against Tampa Bay. Tazawa was charged with four runs on four hits in one-third of an inning. More >

"The hits that they were getting were because of the mislocation of my fastballs," Tazawa said through an interpreter. "Missing high has been a problem. It's probably just mechanics, release point. Today was definitely off. I gave up the runs, gave up the lead and we lost. That was the bigger issue for me."

Cabrera's go-ahead two-run shot

Kiermaier's charge: Kevin Kiermaier led off the Rays' seventh with a stumbling double and moved to third on a wild pitch by Miley. One out later, Brandon Guyer grounded to Sandoval at third and Kiermaier took off for home. Sandoval throw to the plate beat Kiermaier and catcher Hanigan applied the tag to erase the run that would have tied the game at 4.

Panda nabs Kiermaier at home

Papi keeps producing: Ortiz didn't clear the fences, keeping him two home runs shy of the 500 mark, but a first-inning RBI double off Archer gave the 19-year veteran 578 two-baggers for his career, tying him with Wade Boggs and Albert Pujols for 19th place on Major League Baseball's all-time list. Big Papi also singled and scored in the sixth inning.

Ortiz's RBI double

Archer struck out eight, giving him 236 strikeouts on the season and leaving him three shy of Scott Kazmir's (2007) club record.

Red Sox second baseman Brock Holt was pulled in the middle of the seventh inning with what the team described as upper-back spasms. Holt, who laid down a sacrifice bunt in the top of the frame, went hitless in three at-bats but recorded four putouts. He was replaced in the lineup by Josh Rutledge, who struck out to open the ninth. Holt is listed as day to day, according to Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo.

Shaffer's terrific diving play

Red Sox: Rick Porcello (7-12, 5.12 ERA) will take the ball Saturday when the three-game series resumes at 6:10 p.m. ET. The veteran right-hander, who has delivered a quality start in both of his appearances against the Rays this year, has pitched to a 1.61 ERA in 22 1/3 innings across three starts since his late-August return from the disabled list.

Rays: Matt Moore (1-3, 8.74) makes his second start since returning to the team from a stint at Triple-A Durham. He showed progress in his last outing, a 4 2/3-innings outing against the Yankees on Sunday. Moore's location improved dramatically en route to four flawless innings prior to getting in some trouble in the fifth.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.