S T. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Kevin Kiermaier capped Tampa Bay’s three-run 10th inning with a game-ending home run, and the Rays beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 on Saturday after losing your wager on a combined no-hitter in the top half. of the final frame.
Matt Wisler (1-0) gave up Boston’s first hit when Bobby Dalbec led off the 10th with a triple, driving in automatic runner Jackie Bradley Jr. for a 1-0 lead. Christian Vazquez followed with a sacrifice fly to left field.
Major League Baseball rules say it doesn’t count as a no-hitter until the game is over and a team goes no-hitter.
“You don’t want that to go to waste,” Kiermaier said. “They pitched very well. Both sides did. This is the best pitching matchup you can get, with each team using six or seven arms. But this is 2022 for you. Nothing is normal anymore.”
Hansel Robles (1-1) came on for Boston and struck out the first two Tampa Bay batters in the bottom half. But automatic runner Randy Arozarena advanced on a balk and scored when Taylor Walls reached on a throwing error by second baseman Trevor Story.
“A tough play. Amazing play (for Story) just to stop the ball,” Boston bench coach Will Venable said. “A ball that you have to get rid of quickly, and it didn’t go the way we wanted it to.”
After Walls swiped at second, Kiermaier drove Robles’ pitch to right field on a 3-1 count for his first home run of the season.
Boston finished with two hits. Tampa Bay had three.
“It is a dream of mine. I wanted to hit a walk-off home run. I’ve never done it at any level,” said Kiermaier, who was hitting .125 when he batted in the 10th. “I will never forget this moment, this day. After my problems at the beginning of the season, I needed it so much. Our team did. What a victory!”
Brandon Lowe’s leadoff double in the fourth off Boston starter Garrett Whitlock was the only hit of the game before Brett Phillips’ two-out single in the eighth off Kutter Crawford. Mike Zunino followed with a 400-foot fly ball that was dragged by Kiké Hernández to the center wall.
Whitlock, who made 46 relief appearances for Boston last season, struck out seven in four innings in his first major league start.
JP Feyereisen pitched two perfect innings in Tampa Bay’s opener, striking out two. Javy Guerra then got two outs before Jeffrey Springs pitched two innings. Jason Adam got four outs, Ryan Thompson pitched the seventh and Andrew Kittredge pitched the eighth and ninth.
“It’s challenging, but they’re also all really good,” Venable said. “We know our job is done for us when we play these guys. They have a lot of great pitchers that can mix and match and do a lot of different things.”
The home run was Kiermaier’s first since Aug. 16.
“I’m just hoping HR clicks me so I can make a more offensive contribution,” he said. “It hasn’t been very good so far, but I’m going to get my swings going and hopefully this is a turning point for me.”
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