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Shane McClanahan, Rays subdue Red Sox

Sportsnaut
Apr 24, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi (26) hits a 2 RBI double during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Shane McClanahan tossed seven strong innings, Ji-Man Choi hit a key pinch-hit double and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Boston Red Sox 5-2 on Sunday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The hard-throwing McClanahan (1-1) yielded two runs on six hits while striking out seven without issuing a walk over 86 pitches.

The Rays won the final two contests of the three-game series against their American League East rivals.

Yandy Diaz homered and reached base on a walk and a hit by pitch. Choi went 2-for-2 off the bench with a double and two RBIs, and Randy Arozarena had two hits and a run scored.

A member of the Rays’ starting rotation last season with McClanahan, Boston’s Rich Hill — the majors’ older pitcher at 42 — spun four shutout innings and worked out of trouble in the first three. He allowed four hits and three walks with a strikeout.

Quiet in Saturday night’s 3-2 loss in 10 innings, the Red Sox offense produced just six hits and struck out nine times in the series finale.

After a wild Saturday affair that featured six Rays relievers holding Boston hitless through the opening nine innings, the Red Sox ambushed McClanahan for four hits in the first five batters Sunday.

Leadoff hitter Trevor Story doubled on the game’s first pitch, and Enrique Hernandez knocked the next offering into center for a 1-0 lead. Alex Verdugo added an RBI single for a 2-0 lead.

McClanahan settled in after the rocky first inning. Hill, however, hurled three scoreless innings and stranded six Rays baserunners along the way.

Following two hit batsmen and a walk in the fifth against Phillips Valdez (0-1), Choi tied it with a one-out, pinch-hit double off the wall in left field.

The Rays got the go-ahead run when Manuel Margot’s groundout plated Diaz for a 3-2 lead. They sent three across on just one hit.

In the sixth, the Rays pushed the lead to 4-2 on a wild pitch by Jake Diekman, but Arozarena was tagged out at home trying to score from second.

Diaz’s first homer, a solo shot that narrowly got out to right off Diekman, gave the home side a 5-2 edge in the seventh.

Reliever Ryan Thompson closed out the game with a perfect ninth with one strikeout to notch his first save.

–Field Level Media