Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Rays

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 5-2 win over Red Sox

On Diaz’s dynamic offense, Cash’s not always obvious bullpen plan, Pham’s issues with wall ball.

• The Yandy Diaz acquisition continues to look good, with a double and a triple Sunday keying both early scoring rallies. He leads the team with seven homers and 13 extra-base hits, is third with 16 RBIs, and is batting .289. Jake Bauers, for whom he was swapped, is hitting .225 with three homers and 10 RBIs for Cleveland.

• It might not always be evident, but there’s (usually) a plan to how manager Kevin Cash uses his bullpen. Why have Jose Alvarado start the eighth rather than hold him for the ninth? Because Cash feels strongly about getting the first out in late innings, and Alvarado matched up better with leadoff man Andrew Benintendi.

• Leftfielder Tommy Pham takes everything serious and has much pride in his defense, but it’s fair to say he needs work on playing the Green Monster. Obviously, familiarity will help him get a better sense of when to try for the catch and when to play the carom. The wall played him Sunday.