Velazquez, Red Sox take 3 of 4 from the Rays with 2-1 win

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) The Boston Red Sox have never started a season with pitching like this.

Hector Velazquez continued a riveting stretch by the rotation, working into the sixth inning and leading the Red Sox over the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 Sunday for their third win in a row.

The first four Boston starters - Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello and Velazquez - combined to give up two runs over 24 innings. The Red Sox, citing the Elias Sports Bureau, said it's the first time in the club's 118-year history the starters allowed one run or fewer in each of the first four regular-season games.

The defending AL East champions won three of four at Tropicana Field under new manager Alex Cora.

''Our starting pitchers did an outstanding job in this series,'' Cora said. ''For me, it's great, it's a good start. We've been playing well for a while now.''

Velazquez (1-0) allowed one run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. Marcus Walden, Bobby Poyner, Matt Barnes and Joe Kelly, who got three outs for his first career save, combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings of three-hit relief.

Kelly gave up two-out singles to Mallex Smith and Adeiny Hechavarria in the ninth before striking out Denard Span. Cora said closer Craig Kimbrel was not available after saving games Friday night and Saturday.

''They pitched great,'' Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts said. ''We didn't give them too much run support but they held up for us. If we can win these low-scoring games, we know we can win the high ones, too.''

Brad Miller homered for the Rays, who totaled just nine runs in the series.

''Beginning of the year, and also those are pretty good pitchers over there,'' Miller said. ''Coming right out of the gate with three Cy Young Award winners, it's no easy task.''

The Rays hit .190 (24 for 126) in the series.

Boston took a 2-1 lead in the sixth on Rafael Devers' one-out, bases-loaded RBI single off Yonny Chirinos. Tampa Bay's defense kept the Red Sox from a big inning as right fielder Carlos Gomez threw out Brock Holt, who tried to score from second on Devers' hit, and left fielder Smith made a lunging catch on J.D. Martinez.

Devers has driven in a run in six straight regular season games, dating to last year.

Miller put the Rays ahead 1-0 with a leadoff homer in the second.

Martinez tied it at 1 with his first Boston RBI, coming on a fifth-inning single off Jake Faria. Jose Alvarado (0-1) then replaced Faria after Martinez's hit and worked out of a two-on, no-out jam.

Faria allowed one run and four hits in four-plus innings.

Boston's Xander Bogaerts, who went 8 for 12 with five doubles and a homer over the first three games, was hitless in five at-bats.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: OF Andrew Benintendi didn't start after playing three days on the artifical turf. He is hitless in 11 at-bats during the season-opening series. Benintendi entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth.

BRADLEY'S BATTLE

Jackie Bradley Jr. had a rare hit at Tropicana Field, getting a single in the sixth inning and later scoring the go-ahead run on Devers' hit. He went 1 for 10 in the series and is a career .158 hitter (19 for 120) at the ballpark.

RARE

This just the second time the Rays have lost at least three consecutive games when holding an opponent to three runs or fewer. The other time was a four-game stretch June 18-22, 2003, against the New York Yankees and Florida.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson makes his seventh career start Monday in the first of two interleague game at Miami. He went 2-0 with a 4.33 ERA in five starts last season.

Rays: With just three healthy starters - Chris Archer, Blake Snell and Faria - on the roster, manager Kevin Cash will use a second bullpen day in three days Monday when Tampa Bay travels to New York for the Yankees' home opener. RHP Austin Pruitt will start against Yankees LHP Jordan Montgomery.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
BOS3-1
000011000260
TB1-3
010000000181
  • W: H. Velazquez (1-0)L: J. Alvarado (0-1)S: J. Kelly (1)
  • HR: TB - B. Miller (1)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Betts RF31200000.286.444.357.8027.0
R. Devers 3B40110112.250.308.333.6412.5
J. Martinez LF50110024.200.294.267.5611.0
A. Benintendi LF00000000.000.154.000.1540.0
X. Bogaerts SS50000024.471.471.9411.412-1.0
M. Moreland 1B40000002.000.125.000.1250.0
C. Vazquez C30000002.222.300.222.5221.0
J. Bradley CF31100101.100.182.100.2825.0
B. Swihart DH30100111.333.500.333.8331.5
B. Holt 2B30000104.000.375.000.3751.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    D. Span DH50000022.167.333.333.667-1.0
    K. Kiermaier CF40000020.067.125.067.192-1.0
    C. Gomez RF40000020.133.188.400.588-1.0
    B. Miller 1B31111110.200.333.500.8336.5
    M. Duffy 3B40200011.375.375.438.8131.5
    J. Wendle 2B40200001.222.200.333.5333.0
    W. Ramos C30100112.200.273.200.4731.5
    M. Smith LF40100004.286.375.286.6611.0
    A. Hechavarria SS40100002.200.200.200.4001.0
      BATTING
      • RBI - R. Devers (4), J. Martinez
      BATTING
      • 2B - J. Wendle
      • HR - B. Miller
      • RBI - B. Miller (2)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - M. Betts, J. Bradley
      FIELDING
      • Outfield Assist - C. Gomez (2)
      • E - J. Faria
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      H. Velazquez (W, 1-0)5.25111511.591.0617.5
      M. Walden (H, 1)1.11000000.000.752.0
      B. Poyner (H, 2)0.10000009.001.000.0
      M. Barnes (H, 2)0.20001200.000.750.0
      J. Kelly (S, 1)1.020002027.004.509.0
      PITCHERSIP
      H. Velazquez (W, 1-0)5.2
      M. Walden (H, 1)1.1
      B. Poyner (H, 2)0.1
      M. Barnes (H, 2)0.2
      J. Kelly (S, 1)1.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Faria4.04113202.251.755.0
      J. Alvarado (L, 0-1)1.01110104.501.50-3.5
      Y. Chirinos4.01001300.000.5011.5
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Faria4.0
      J. Alvarado (L, 0-1)1.0
      Y. Chirinos4.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - H. Velazquez 79-58, M. Walden 14-10, B. Poyner 1-1, M. Barnes 15-8, J. Kelly 19-12
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - H. Velazquez 3-9, M. Walden 1-3
      • Batters Faced - H. Velazquez 23, M. Walden 5, B. Poyner, M. Barnes 3, J. Kelly 5
      PITCHING
      • HBP - J. Faria, Y. Chirinos 2 (2)
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Faria 83-53, J. Alvarado 17-13, Y. Chirinos 56-38
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Faria 6-5, J. Alvarado 1-1, Y. Chirinos 3-5
      • Batters Faced - J. Faria 21, J. Alvarado 4, Y. Chirinos 15
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      BOS3-1
      000011000260
      TB1-3
      010000000181
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      M. Betts RF31200000.286.444.357.8027.0
      R. Devers 3B40110112.250.308.333.6412.5
      J. Martinez LF50110024.200.294.267.5611.0
      A. Benintendi LF00000000.000.154.000.1540.0
      X. Bogaerts SS50000024.471.471.9411.412-1.0
      M. Moreland 1B40000002.000.125.000.1250.0
      C. Vazquez C30000002.222.300.222.5221.0
      J. Bradley CF31100101.100.182.100.2825.0
      B. Swihart DH30100111.333.500.333.8331.5
      B. Holt 2B30000104.000.375.000.3751.0
      Total3326204620-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        D. Span DH50000022.167.333.333.667-1.0
        K. Kiermaier CF40000020.067.125.067.192-1.0
        C. Gomez RF40000020.133.188.400.588-1.0
        B. Miller 1B31111110.200.333.500.8336.5
        M. Duffy 3B40200011.375.375.438.8131.5
        J. Wendle 2B40200001.222.200.333.5333.0
        W. Ramos C30100112.200.273.200.4731.5
        M. Smith LF40100004.286.375.286.6611.0
        A. Hechavarria SS40100002.200.200.200.4001.0
        Total3518112912-----
          BATTING
          • RBI - R. Devers (4), J. Martinez
          BATTING
          • 2B - J. Wendle
          • HR - B. Miller
          • RBI - B. Miller (2)
          BASERUNNING
          • SB - M. Betts, J. Bradley
          FIELDING
          • Outfield Assist - C. Gomez (2)
          • E - J. Faria
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          H. Velazquez (W, 1-0)5.25111511.591.0617.5
          M. Walden (H, 1)1.11000000.000.752.0
          B. Poyner (H, 2)0.10000009.001.000.0
          M. Barnes (H, 2)0.20001200.000.750.0
          J. Kelly (S, 1)1.020002027.004.509.0
          Total9.0811291---
          PITCHERSIP
          H. Velazquez (W, 1-0)5.2
          M. Walden (H, 1)1.1
          B. Poyner (H, 2)0.1
          M. Barnes (H, 2)0.2
          J. Kelly (S, 1)1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          J. Faria4.04113202.251.755.0
          J. Alvarado (L, 0-1)1.01110104.501.50-3.5
          Y. Chirinos4.01001300.000.5011.5
          Total9.0622460---
          PITCHERSIP
          J. Faria4.0
          J. Alvarado (L, 0-1)1.0
          Y. Chirinos4.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - H. Velazquez 79-58, M. Walden 14-10, B. Poyner 1-1, M. Barnes 15-8, J. Kelly 19-12
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - H. Velazquez 3-9, M. Walden 1-3
          • Batters Faced - H. Velazquez 23, M. Walden 5, B. Poyner, M. Barnes 3, J. Kelly 5
          PITCHING
          • HBP - J. Faria, Y. Chirinos 2 (2)
          • Pitches-Strikes - J. Faria 83-53, J. Alvarado 17-13, Y. Chirinos 56-38
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Faria 6-5, J. Alvarado 1-1, Y. Chirinos 3-5
          • Batters Faced - J. Faria 21, J. Alvarado 4, Y. Chirinos 15
          • 6TH INNING
            Devers singled to right, Bradley scored, Holt out at home, Betts to second21
          • 5TH INNING
            Martinez singled to left, Betts scored, Devers to second11
          • 2ND INNING
            Miller homered to right center01
          • 9TH INNING
            • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
            • R. Devers: Foul, Devers flied out to deep center
            • J. Martinez: Strike swinging, Foul, Strike looking, Martinez struck out looking
            • X. Bogaerts: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Bogaerts struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Joe Kelly relieved Matt Barnes
            • Andrew Benintendi in left
            • J. Wendle: Ball, Wendle popped out to third
            • W. Ramos: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Ramos struck out looking
            • M. Smith: Ball, Smith singled to right
            • A. Hechavarria: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Foul, Hechavarria singled to center, Smith to third
            • D. Span: Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt to first, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Span struck out swinging
            • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
            • B. Swihart: Swihart flied out to left
            • B. Holt: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Holt flied out to center
            • M. Betts: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Betts grounded out to third
            • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Bobby Poyner relieved Marcus Walden
            • K. Kiermaier: Kiermaier flied out to left
            • Matt Barnes relieved Bobby Poyner
            • C. Gomez: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Gomez struck out swinging
            • B. Miller: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Miller walked
            • M. Duffy: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Duffy struck out looking
            • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
            • X. Bogaerts: Bogaerts grounded out to third
            • M. Moreland: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Moreland grounded out to third
            • C. Vazquez: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Vazquez hit by pitch
            • J. Bradley: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Bradley flied out to deep left
            • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • M. Walden Pitching:
            • M. Smith: Ball, Smith lined out to shortstop
            • A. Hechavarria: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Hechavarria lined out to pitcher
            • D. Span: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Span grounded out to first
            • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • J. Alvarado Pitching:
            • J. Bradley: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Bradley singled to center
            • Yonny Chirinos relieved Jose Alvarado
            • B. Swihart: Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Swihart struck out swinging
            • B. Holt: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Bradley stole second
            • M. Betts: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Betts hit by pitch, Bradley to third, Holt to second
            • R. Devers: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Devers singled to right, Bradley scored, Holt out at home, Betts to second
            • J. Martinez: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Martinez lined out to left
            • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • H. Velazquez Pitching:
            • C. Gomez: Gomez grounded out to third
            • B. Miller: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Miller struck out swinging
            • M. Duffy: Strike looking, Foul, Duffy singled to center
            • Marcus Walden relieved Hector Velazquez
            • J. Wendle: Foul, Wendle doubled to deep right, Duffy to third
            • W. Ramos: Strike swinging, Ramos flied out to deep right
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 5TH INNING
            • J. Faria Pitching:
            • M. Betts: Foul, Betts singled to center
            • R. Devers: Ball, Strike looking, Strike (foul tip), Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Ball, Devers walked, Betts to second
            • J. Martinez: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Martinez singled to left, Betts scored, Devers to second
            • Jose Alvarado relieved Jake Faria
            • X. Bogaerts: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Bogaerts struck out swinging
            • M. Moreland: Ball, Pickoff attempt to second, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Moreland flied out to deep center
            • C. Vazquez: Vazquez grounded out to second
            • Middle of the 5th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • H. Velazquez Pitching:
            • A. Hechavarria: Hechavarria lined out to second
            • D. Span: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Span popped out to third
            • K. Kiermaier: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Kiermaier struck out swinging
            • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • J. Faria Pitching:
            • M. Moreland: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Moreland grounded out to third
            • C. Vazquez: Strike swinging, Vazquez lined out to center
            • J. Bradley: Foul, Ball, Bradley safe at first on Faria fielding error
            • B. Swihart: Ball, Foul, Swihart singled to left, Bradley to second
            • B. Holt: Ball, Ball, Foul, Holt grounded out to first
            • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 1 Error)
            • H. Velazquez Pitching:
            • B. Miller: Foul, Miller flied out to center
            • M. Duffy: Strike looking, Duffy flied out to left
            • J. Wendle: Strike looking, Wendle singled to center
            • W. Ramos: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ramos walked, Wendle to second
            • M. Smith: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Smith lined out to center
            • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • J. Faria Pitching:
            • M. Betts: Ball, Betts hit by pitch
            • R. Devers: Strike (foul tip), Strike looking, Strike swinging, Devers struck out swinging
            • J. Martinez: Martinez reached on fielder's choice to third, Betts out at second
            • X. Bogaerts: Bogaerts grounded out to shortstop
            • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • H. Velazquez Pitching:
            • D. Span: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Span struck out swinging
            • K. Kiermaier: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Kiermaier struck out swinging
            • C. Gomez: Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul tip, Gomez struck out on foul tip
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • J. Faria Pitching:
            • M. Moreland: Moreland grounded out to second
            • C. Vazquez: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Vazquez lined out to right
            • J. Bradley: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Bradley walked
            • B. Swihart: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Bradley stole second, Ball, Swihart walked
            • B. Holt: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Holt lined out to left
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • H. Velazquez Pitching:
            • B. Miller: Miller homered to right center
            • M. Duffy: Duffy singled to center
            • J. Wendle: Ball, Wendle fouled out to third
            • W. Ramos: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ramos singled to left, Duffy to second
            • M. Smith: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Smith flied out to left
            • A. Hechavarria: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Hechavarria reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Ramos out at second
            • End of the 2nd (1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • J. Faria Pitching:
            • M. Betts: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Betts singled to right center
            • R. Devers: Strike looking, Devers flied out to right
            • J. Martinez: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Betts stole second, Foul, Strike looking, Martinez struck out looking
            • X. Bogaerts: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Bogaerts flied out to deep right
            • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • H. Velazquez Pitching:
            • D. Span: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Span lined out to left
            • K. Kiermaier: Kiermaier flied out to deep center
            • C. Gomez: Gomez grounded out to shortstop
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)