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Rays tweak lineup, whip Red Sox at Fenway (w/video)

Joey Butler gets a pat from Asdrubal Cabrera after hitting his first big-league home run, a two-run shot in the second.
Joey Butler gets a pat from Asdrubal Cabrera after hitting his first big-league home run, a two-run shot in the second.
Published May 5, 2015

BOSTON — Change, apparently, did the Rays did good Monday.

With manager Kevin Cash significantly renovating a batting order that had produced 10 runs over the previous six games, the Rays went relatively wild in posting a 5-1 win over the Red Sox.

"It helps a little bit,'' Cash said. "I thought we pieced together some really good at-bats. … There were a lot of good things, a lot of positives.''

Even with the adjustments, keyed around dropping Asdrubal Cabrera from third to seventh, the Rays still went into play with four hitters in the lineup on double-digit 0-fer streaks.

But by the end of the night, Rene Rivera stood alone, at 0-for-17.

David DeJesus, who came in 0-for-17, got two hits, knocking in a pair of runs. So did Cabrera, who was 0-for-14. And rookie Steven Souza, who was 0-for-17 with 12 strikeouts.

In addition to their contributions, the Rays (14-12) got an RBI double by Evan Longoria that was his 999th career hit and sixth RBI of the season; and a two-run homer by new addition Joey Butler, who became the first Ray to homer in his first career at-bat at Fenway Park.

Overall, the new look was, well, a hit. "Things like that, they can go either way,'' DeJesus said. "And I'm happy today it was able to go that way. We're confident.''

It helped that right-hander Jake Odorizzi, whose data the Rays must crunch differently than rookie Nathan Karns', worked seven solid innings and through the Boston order three full times.

Odorizzi got better as he went in winning for the first time at Fenway. He said getting an early lead, 2-0 in the first, 4-0 by second, was a big help, "especially here, it kind of takes the crowd out of the game.''

Cash, who took heat for pulling Karns after five innings of two-hit ball Sunday, said it definitely helps. "Then,'' he cracked, "there's no opportunity for me to butcher any calls.''

The two runs in the first came after Sox leftfielder Hanley Ramirez crashed into the leftfield side wall and dropped a James Loney drive. Longoria — who had his own 0-for-7 going — doubled and DeJesus, unaware he was 0-for-17, singled to make it 2-0.

"We'd been having trouble hitting with runners in scoring position, and we were able to get a couple big hits,'' DeJesus said.

Cabrera singled to start the second and Butler, called up Sunday, made his first visit to Fenway memorable, knocking a Clay Buchholz changeup over the Green Monster. "It was exciting,'' Butler said. "I enjoyed every minute of it.''

Cash's biggest move was dropping Cabrera, who had batted third in every game he played, to seventh with the idea he would relax. "We're all confident Cabby is going to help us out a lot his year,'' Cash said. "We just need to buy a little time with it now.''

Cabrera, 29, said he was fine with the move. "I've started to feel better, the last couple at-bats,'' he said.

Cash knew the change to the lineup was only a small part of the story Monday. But he also said the lineup would look quite similar tonight.

Contact Marc Topkin at mtopkin@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.