Red Sox outlast Rays in tense win

Red Sox outlast Rays in tense win

BOSTON -- Bryce Brentz stepped in for the injured Brock Holt and delivered a clutch, two-out, RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to help lead the Red Sox to a tense, 6-5 victory over the Rays on Friday night at Fenway Park.

Holt left the game in the bottom of the fourth after spraining his left ankle trying to steal second. That allowed Brentz to continue his recent trend of contributing whenever he gets an opportunity. His single in the sixth broke a 4-4 tie and gave Boston the lead for good. Brentz had another important single in the eighth that helped lead to a crucial insurance run.

"Honestly I was hoping Brock was OK," said Brentz. "Then after that, it's time to go to work. Platooning with Brock, I always come to the field ready, and unfortunately Brock had an incident, so hopefully he gets better. I was glad I could do something to help the team out."

Brentz's RBI single

Aaron Hill, playing his first game for the Red Sox, ripped a pair of RBI singles to contribute to the cause.

"Aaron comes in and gives us a spark," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Two big quality at-bats for a couple of RBIs, none bigger than the final one."

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Hill's RBI in the eighth loomed large when Evan Longoria took Koji Uehara deep for a solo shot in the ninth to make it a one-run game.

Hill's RBI single in the 8th

David Ortiz unloaded for his 21st homer, a towering shot to right in the fourth.

Chris Archer (4-12, 4.66 ERA) took the loss for the Rays, allowing seven hits and five runs over six innings.

Red Sox right-hander Sean O'Sullivan labored in the fifth, and the Rays came back with two runs, getting a game-tying, RBI single by Evan Longoria.

Logan Forsythe drilled a solo shot for the Rays against O'Sullivan in the third, while Longoria finished with four hits.

Longoria's long solo home run

"Still liking the way the guys are going out," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We got down. We answered back. Kind of back and forth, back and forth. Even to the last inning, when Longo goes up there and hits a home run and puts us within one. Can't complain about that. Just wins are very tough to come by."

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Hill of a debut: After waking up at 4:30 a.m. to get a flight out of Milwaukee, Hill made a strong first impression for the Red Sox with his two run-scoring hits. With several players banged up, he could see the field a lot this weekend.

"To get the win was pretty impressive," said Hill. "Obviously the last day has been kind of a whirlwind, and to walk away with a win and be able to contribute, it was a special day." More >

Hill's RBI single

First inning blues continue: After Archer escaped a bases-loaded, no-outs situation in the first in his previous start, one might have surmised that his first-inning problems might be in the rearview. Not so fast. The Red Sox scored two in the first, raising his first-inning ERA this season to 9.95. Of the 48 walks Archer has issued this season, 21 have come in the first inning.

Archer strikes out Betts

Walking wounded: One week after returning from the disabled list, Holt limped off the field with a left ankle sprain. Holt suffered the injury stealing second in the bottom of the fourth inning. His foot jammed into the base on the slide. X-rays on Holt were negative. Brentz replaced him as a pinch-runner and took his position in left field. In the eighth, Hanley Ramirez hit a foul ball hard off his left foot and was diagnosed with a shin contusion. Travis Shaw replaced him on defense to start the ninth.

"Right now, Grade 1," Farrell said of Holt's injury. "He's in a boot right now, precautionary. He was able to walk around in the clubhouse here. Whatever further imaging is to be had, I don't know that yet. Unfortunately we had to get him off the field." More >

Holt sprains ankle, exits game

Over the Green Monster: With the Rays trailing 2-1 after two innings, Logan Forsythe led off the third with a home run over Fenway Park's famed Green Monster in left. The blast tied the score at 2 and gave Forsythe eight home runs for the season.

"That's not a very good stat to have. Especially against the Boston Red Sox and their lineup. Because they have a team that's kind of waiting for you to come to them. When you have to, generally they've shown in the first half here, they're going to make you pay. So something that we can definitely work on going forward, get those first-pitch strikes. And just continue to stay working the zone." -- Cash, on the fact that Archer only threw nine first-pitch strikes to the 26 batters he faced

"Watching his swing, he doesn't look 40 that's for sure. The bat's still firing through the zone. And he's still putting up big numbers. So it's fun to watch and it's even more special to be a part of his family now." -- Hill, on his first day as Ortiz's teammate

Brandon Guyer got hit by a pitch in the fifth inning. He has now been hit 18 times this season, moving his Rays record career total to 53.

Ortiz's 56th extra-base hit allowed him to tie his own team record set in 2004 for the most before the All-Star break.

The Rays challenged a call with two outs in the first when Xander Bogaerts got caught in a rundown stealing home and was called safe at third. After a delay of 58 seconds, the call on the field was overturned.

Miller tags out Bogaerts

Rays: Matt Moore (5-5, 4.54) will make his 18th start at 4:05 p.m. ET at Fenway Park. The left-hander is on a roll, as he's gone at least six innings in his last six starts. He is seeking his first road win since Sept. 22, 2015, when he defeated the Red Sox at Fenway. Only five other pitchers in the Major Leagues remain winless over as many road starts.

Red Sox: Rick Porcello, who is 7-0 in eight home starts this season, will get the ball on Saturday against the Rays. Porcello beat Tampa Bay with a strong performance at Tropicana Field on June 28.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for since 2005.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.