David Ortiz hit his 21st home run of the season, Bryce Brentz had two hits and broke a tie with an RBI single in the sixth and Boston beat Tampa Bay 6-5 on Friday.
The win was Boston’s fourth in five games as it tries to gain ground on AL East-leading Baltimore before the All-Star break.
Brentz’s RBI came after he entered the game in the fourth inning for an injured Brock Holt. Ortiz’s homer – the 524th of his career – tied him with Jimmie Foxx for seventh-most in American League history.
Robbie Ross, Jr. (1-1) got the victory for Boston. Koji Uehara picked up his third save.
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Red Sox starter Sean O'Sullivan had won in each of his previous three starts, but he allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings on Friday.
Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer (4-12) took the loss, surrendering five runs and seven hits in six innings.
Evan Longoria had four hits and a home run for the Rays, who have lost four straight and 20 of 23.
The Red Sox, who have had their share of injuries the past two months, left a little more scuffed up.
Holt left with a left ankle sprain after getting his leg caught underneath him on a slide while stealing second.
He was able to walk off the field under his own power, but did have a slight limp. X-rays were negative and he will be re-evaluated on Saturday. Holt just returned to action July 1 after missing 37 games with a concussion.
Hanley Ramirez also limped his way through an eighth inning at-bat after fouling a ball off his left leg. He left the game with a left shin bruise.
Archer entered the night with a 9.50 ERA in the first inning this season – the third-highest in the American League.
He got off to another slow start Friday.
The Red Sox got their first three batters on base, then used an RBI single by Xander Bogaerts and a sacrifice fly by Jackie Bradley, Jr. to take a 2-0 lead.
Tampa Ray got one run back in the second inning, and then tied it up in the third when Logan Forsythe crushed his eighth home run of the season over the Green Monster in left field.
Ortiz’s homer and an RBI single by Aaron Hill put Boston back in front 4-2. But the Rays were able to manufacture two runs on RBIs by Brad Miller and Longoria in their half of the fifth to tie it up again.
Notes: Outfielder Kevin Kiermaier (wrist) will go through another batting practice session Saturday, and could start a rehab assignment Monday or Tuesday.
Who: Tampa Bay at Boston
When: Saturday, 4:10 p.m.
Where: Fenway Park, Boston
Probable pitchers: Matt Moore (5-5, 4.54) vs. Rick Porcello (10-2, 3.82)
Radio: 620 AM