ST. PETERSBURG — It just couldn’t last. Aaron Civale had a no-hitter through four innings and a career high in strikeouts Monday.
The Rays right-hander, however, also had a very high pitch count early and couldn’t get out of the sixth inning. The Red Sox hitters wore him down, then jumped on the bullpen for a 7-3 win in front of 18,302 at Tropicana Field.
It was the first time the Red Sox (72-66) had beaten the Rays at Tropicana Field since April 22, 2022, snapping a streak of 13 straight losses at the Trop. The Rays (83-55) have lost three of their last four games.
Red Sox right-hander Brayan Bello settled in and retired 11 straight after allowing three runs in the first inning. He quieted a Rays lineup that was without Yandy Diaz and Isaac Paredes (rest day) for the next five innings. Bello allowed just those three runs on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
“It felt good just to keep them at bay like that,” Bello said via a translator. “Give time for the offense to do what they ended up doing. Feels good to keep us in it.”
Civale, the Rays’ big trade-deadline acquisition, held the Red Sox at bay, but could only get one out in the sixth inning.
He allowed three runs on two hits and three walks. He struck out a career-best 12 batters, which also tied the most by a Rays pitcher this season, joining Jeffrey Springs (April 2 vs. Detroit) and Tyler Glasnow (June 25 vs. Kansas City). He generated 17 swings-and-misses.
“He was really good, everything looked crisp. He had a good fastball, it felt like he was throwing the ball where he wanted to,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “That’s back-to-back, maybe three outings in a row now that his stuff has played really, really well. We’ve got to be pleased with where he’s at.
“Just wish we had a little bit more to show for it for him.”
Civale became the 10th pitcher in Rays history to record at least 12 strikeouts and not receive a decision, the first since Glasnow did it this season against the Royals.
Because he went to a three-ball count on 10 of the 21 batters he faced, Civale’s pitch count soared early. While Cash considered giving Chris Devenski a clean start in the sixth, he went with Civle to start the sixth inning with 86 pitches to face the top of Boston’s tough lineup.
“Given where our bullpen was coming into the game and the way he had been throwing,” Cash said of his reason for sticking with Civale to start the sixth. “And then (Wilyer) Abreu had a first-pitch double, then Justin Turner ... he always has good at-bats.”
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Civale then had to sit and watch as Triston Casas teed off on Devenski for a go-ahead, three-run home run. It was Devenski’s second appearance with the Rays and his second loss.
“I just left it over to plate too much and he put a good swing on it. Props to him,” Devenski said. “I got a little ticked off after that and felt like I kind of settled into that. But, (I’ve go to) find ways to get better and help contribute to this team.”
Casas also had a hard-hit RBI single and Masataka Yoshida had a two-run homer off Andrew Kittredge in the eighth. Rafael Devers had scored in the fourth on Adam Duvall’s line-drive single after drawing a walk.
The Rays jumped on Red Sox right-hander Bello early.
Josh Lowe led off with a single and after a one-out walk, he and Randy Arozarena were in scoring position on a double steal. They both scored on Brandon Lowe’s single through the middle. Brandon Lowe scored on Harold Ramirez’s double, but the designated hitter was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.
Bello got out of the inning and settled into a strong groove — retiring the next 11 batters he faced until Vidal Brujan’s single in the fifth.
“We had good at-bats early on, and then I felt like Bello settled in. He threw a good ball game. He had a lot of late movement between the sinker and the changeup going one direction and then the big sweeping slider going the other direction,” Cash said. “He made it tough for us.”
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