Nelson Cruz and Mike Zunino each homered twice and had four RBIs to lead the visiting Tampa Bay Rays in a 12-7 rout of the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.
Jordan Luplow added a three-run blast late and matched Zunino with three hits as the first-place Rays (88-51) won for the fourth time in five games. Cruz, who went 4-for-5, reached 30 home runs for the seventh time in his last eight seasons.
Bobby Dalbec homered twice off the bench for the Red Sox (79-62), who have lost three straight. Boston has allowed at least 11 runs in each defeat.
The Rays struck early off Eduardo Rodriguez, scoring three runs in the second inning. Zunino drove in a pair on a triple that narrowly bounced off the chalk down the right field line.
After Boston got on the board on a Christian Vazquez RBI groundout in the bottom of the frame, Tampa Bay moved ahead 5-1 on Cruz’s first blast to deep center with one out in the third.
Zunino crushed his first homer in the fourth before Rodriguez (11-8) was removed an out later. The left-hander, who held the Rays scoreless over six innings in his last outing, was tagged for six runs on eight hits over 3 2/3 innings. He struck out three.
Drew Rasmussen (2-1), meanwhile, cruised through five innings. He allowed one run on six hits and whiffed two.
Cruz hit his 30th homer in the fifth, and Zunino followed with his 29th in the sixth for an 8-1 Tampa Bay lead. Cruz would double home another run in the seventh before Luplow’s three-run shot made it 12-1.
Defensive replacements Dalbec and Danny Santana hit back-to-back homers for Boston during a four-run eighth. Dalbec hit his second two-run shot in the ninth.
In the seventh, Rays rookie Wander Franco worked a walk to extend his on-base streak to 37 games, an American League record for a player 20 years old or younger. Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle had held the record since 1952.
–Field Level Media