Brayan Bello lasts just 4 innings in second start as Red Sox fall to Rays, 10-5

The Red Sox did not arrive in St. Petersburg, Fla. until about 4 a.m. eastern time Monday morning. It showed in their loss to the Rays on Monday night as Boston fell to Tampa Bay by a final score of 10-5 at Tropicana Field to drop to 47-40 on the season.

Brayan Bello, making his second start of the season, did not fare much better than he did in his major-league debut against the Rays at Fenway Park last Wednesday. This time around, the rookie right-hander allowed five earned runs on seven hits, three walks, and one hit batsman to go along with five strikeouts over four innings of work.

All five of those Tampa Bay runs came within the first two innings of Monday’s loss. In the first, Bello put three of the first four batters he faced on to fill the bases for Josh Lowe, who lifted a softly-hit two-run single to center field to give the Rays an early 2-0 lead. The Sox were able to respond in their half of the second, though, as Xander Bogaerts reached second base via a leadoff double, advanced to third on a passed ball, and scored from third on an infield RBI single off the bat of Alex Verdugo.

Despite getting one of those runs back, Bello ran into more trouble in the bottom of the second by issuing a leadoff walk to Luke Raley. He then got the first two outs of the inning, but gave up run-scoring hits to three of the next four batters he faced to make it a 5-1 game in favor of Tampa Bay.

Again, Boston responded in its half of the third. Jarren Duran went from first to third on a Christian Vazquez double. Both runners were then driven in on a two-run double from J.D. Martinez that cut the deficit down to two runs at 5-3. Duran struck again in the fourth by plating Rob Refsnyder on an RBI single, although he was tagged out in between first and second base to end the inning.

Bello, meanwhile, had begun to settle in a bit and ended his night by tossing back-to-back scoreless frames. The 23-year-old finished with a final pitch count of 82 (48 strikes) and was taken off the hook in the top of the fifth.

There, while matched up against Luke Bard, J.D. Martinez ripped a 105.9 mph double and was immediately driven in by Bogaerts. Bogaerts and Verdugo then proceeded to advance to second and third base, but both runners were stranded in scoring position with Trevor Story grounding out and Franchy Cordero striking out to extinguish the threat.

In relief of Bello, Austin Davis received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The left-hander yielded just one single in the bottom of the fifth before making way in the sixth for fellow southpaw Jake Diekman, who took over in a 5-5 game but could not keep the tie intact.

Instead, Diekman plunked the first Ray he faced in Taylor Walls, got the first out of the inning, and then surrendered a go-ahead RBI double to Yandy Diaz. Kaleb Ort came in for Diekman and allowed the runner he inherited to score on an RBI single from the pinch-hitting Harold Ramirez.

Phillips Valdez was next. He retired the side in order in the seventh but did not receive much defensive help in the eighth. Bobby Dalbec failed to catch a pop-up off the bat of Raley that should have gone for the first out of the inning. Walls then grounded into a force out at second before advancing to third on a Brett Phillips single. Diaz drove in Walls on a sacrifice fly before Ramirez scored Phillips on an RBI base hit back up the middle.

A groundball from Randy Arozarena that could not be corralled by Cordero kept the inning alive for Yu Chang, who plated Tampa Bay’s 10th and final run on another RBI single. Valdez was charged with three runs in the eighth. All three were unearned.

Down to their final three outs of the ninth, the Red Sox went down quietly against Jason Adam. They did not record a single hit in the last four innings of another defeat at the hands of a divisional opponent.

Next up: Sale’s 2022 debut on deck

Chris Sale will make his highly-anticipated season debut for the Red Sox in the second game of this four-game set. Boston will need to activate the left-hander from the 60-day injured list before first pitch on Tuesday night.

Opposing Sale will be veteran right-hander Corey Kluber for the Rays. Kluber and Sale finished first and second in American League Cy Young Award voting back in 2017.

First pitch from Tropicana Field on Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Brayan Bello: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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