With the win, the Red Sox pulled out of last place for the first time since June 9, moving a half-game in front of the Rays. In fact, Boston is now just a game behind the third-place Orioles.
It was a game that swung back and forth. The Rays led 3-0 in the first and 3-1 after six. Boston scored three in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead, but that was short-lived as the Rays rallied back for three in the top of the eighth, backed by a two-run double from Grady Sizemore.
"You know, we really did it two times, and the second time was a little more special because it happened with two outs and Xander came through with a big hit that just capped a really nice night for him," said Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo.
The game-winning rally started with two outs and nobody on, when Jackie Bradley Jr. was hit by a pitch. Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia followed with singles, bringing Bogaerts -- Boston's best all-around hitter this season -- to the plate. Bogaerts jumped on a 2-2 slider from Brandon Gomes and ripped it over the Green Monster.
"The home run pitch was actually a halfway decent pitch," Gomes said. "He just put a good swing on it. But I have to make pitches earlier than that. It should never have gotten to that situation."
Rays ace Chris Archer held the Red Sox to three hits and a run over five innings, walking five and striking out three. Archer left with a 3-1 lead but lost a chance to get the win when Tampa Bay's bullpen gave up three in the bottom of the seventh.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bogaerts making push for 200: Bogaerts also delivered the key hit in Boston's three-run rally in the seventh, an RBI double high off the Green Monster. With 13 games left in the season, Bogaerts is 18 hits away from 200. The last Red Sox players to reach the 200-hit plateau were Jacoby Ellsbury and Adrian Gonzalez in 2011.
"I mean, it's just nice to contribute to the team, help us win," Bogaerts said. "I threw away that ball in the seventh inning. I was really mad. It's part of the game, you learn and you move on. I was happy after I got that double to help us get back into the game." More >
Archer reaches 200 innings: When Archer recorded his fifth out of the game, he reached his goal of 200 innings. He became the seventh pitcher in team history to reach the blue-collar goal that says so much about a starter. More >
E-Rod settles down nicely: After that bumpy first inning, Eduardo Rodriguez got into a strong rhythm and didn't allow the Rays to mount any damage for the rest of the night. Making possibly his final home start of the year, Rodriguez went six innings while allowing six hits and three runs. Heading into the start, Lovullo said that Rodriguez had about 10-14 innings left this season.
"For me, in the first inning, all my pitches were in the middle of the plate," said Rodriguez. "I tried to go outside, and they'd go to the middle. Same with the inside corner. After that, all my pitches were working pretty good to both sides of the plate."
Four straight to start:Brandon Guyer led off the Rays' first by hitting the second pitch of the game over the Green Monster. Guyer's second home run in as many games proved to be the first of four consecutive hits to put the Rays up, 3-0.
"Xander Bogaerts is a very dangerous hitter, obviously. This year he's one of the better ones in this division. So he's been hitting a lot of good pitches all year long." -- Rays manager Kevin Cash
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Bogaerts became the first Red Sox player to hit a go-ahead grand slam at Fenway in the eighth inning or later since Rico Brogna's walk-off slam on Aug. 14, 2000.
Archer walked the first two batters in each of the first two innings and escaped without being scored upon. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Baltimore's Arthur Rhodes was the last pitcher to accomplish the feat, which he did on July 19, 1992, at Texas.
Nine days after clocking career homer No. 500 at Tropicana Field, David Ortiz came back to Fenway and celebrated his milestone at the place that has become as much of a home to him as the Dominican Republic. More >
Both teams challenged calls in the first inning. When Mikie Mahtook slid head-first at home to score the Rays' second run, the Red Sox challenged but lost as the umpires returned after 2 minutes and 43 seconds and announced the call had been confirmed.
Later in the inning, Rays shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera hit into a double play. The Rays challenged the out call at first, and the call was overturned after 1 minute and 12 seconds.
In the seventh, there was a crew-chief review when Guyer stole second base for the Rays. After 2 minutes and 51 seconds the call was overturned and Guyer was ruled out.
The final challenge of the evening came in the eighth with a crew-chief review after Deven Marrero stole third. The call on the field was confirmed following a 2-minute, 31-second review.
WHAT'S NEXT Rays: Left-hander Matt Moore (1-4, 7.06 ERA) will make his 10th start on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET after throwing seven scoreless innings en route to a no-decision against the Orioles on Thursday. He has faced the Red Sox twice this season (once at home, once on the road) and yielded a combined 18 hits and 12 earned runs in eight innings.
Red Sox: Lefty Henry Owens (3-2, 4.33 ERA), who is coming off the best start of his career, gets the start on Tuesday night against the Rays. Pitching against the Orioles last time out, Owens fired 7 2/3 scoreless innings and didn't walk anyone.