Miller, Smyly strong vs. split Red Sox

Miller, Smyly strong vs. split Red Sox

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Drew Smyly was nearly perfect over four innings and Brad Miller led the offense as the Rays topped the Red Sox, 4-3, in Grapefruit League play on Wednesday.

Brandon Guyer led off the Rays' first with a single to right off Red Sox starter William Cuevas. Miller followed with a double to right that scored Guyer for a 1-0 lead. Miller got thrown out at third on the play trying to stretch the hit into a triple.

Smyly made his final start of the spring and held the Red Sox scoreless on no hits and a walk while striking out seven in four innings of work. Of the 61 pitches he threw, 37 were for strikes.

Smyly's hitless start

Smyly will begin the season as the Rays' No. 2 starter, which means he'll start against the Blue Jays on Monday night at Tropicana Field.

"I put the most emphasis on my curveball today, to really be aggressive with it, try and throw it full speed, try and get some swing and misses, and I got some good results," said Smyly.

In 2015, Smyly was limited to 12 starts as he spent 105 games on the disabled list with a left shoulder injury. After returning from his second stint on the disabled list on Aug. 16, he made nine starts and went 5-1 with a 3.24 ERA.

Mikie Mahtook pushed the Rays' lead to 3-0 in the fifth when he homered with a man aboard on a 3-1 pitch from Cuevas, giving the outfield hopeful his second home run of the spring.

Mahtook's two-run homer

Brad Miller added a solo home run off Cuevas in the sixth to make it 4-0 Rays.

Cuevas, who got assigned to Minor League camp on March 13, earned the start against the Rays since staff ace David Price pitched against the Pirates in Bradenton. The right-handed Cuevas allowed four runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Hanley Ramirez had a couple of hits, including an RBI double, to continue his hot spring for the Red Sox.

Hanley's RBI double

Up next for Rays: Right-hander Jake Odorizzi will make his final start of the spring on Thursday afternoon when the Rays host the Pirates in a 1:05 p.m. ET contest at Charlotte Sports Park. Also scheduled to pitch are left-handers Erasmo Ramirez, Xavier Cedeno, and Dana Eveland; and right-handers Alex Colome, Ryan Webb, Danny Farquhar, and Steve Geltz.

Listen to a free, exclusive webcast Thursday.

Up next for Red Sox: Right-hander Clay Buchholz makes his final start of Spring Training when the Red Sox take the short bus ride to Hammond Stadium to play the Twins on Thursday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Following the game, the Red Sox will travel to Montreal to play the Blue Jays for exhibition games on Friday and Saturday.

Watch the action live on MLB.TV.

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