Abreu and Wong drive in two, Red Sox beat Rays to complete three-game sweep

Boston Red Sox's Wilyer Abreu, right, celebrates his two-run home run off Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Kevin Kelly with Jarren Duran during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Wilyer Abreu and Connor Wong both drove in two runs, Brayan Bello overcame a tough second to go six innings, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-5 on Wednesday night to complete a three-game sweep.

Boston swept the Rays on the road for the first time since April 19-21, 2019. The Red Sox had lost 15 of their previous 16 games at Tampa Bay entering the series.

“It’s very important to come here and sweep this team,” Abreu said through a translator. “Even more when we haven’t done it in a long time. That will give us extra confidence.”

Boston star Rafael Devers had his 11-game hitting streak end after going 0 for 4. His team record of homering in six consecutive games was stopped on Tuesday night.

José Caballero drove in a pair with a single during a three-run second for the Rays, who have lost a season-high four straight and dropped under .500 at 25-26. Yandy Díaz hit a ninth-inning solo homer.

Bello (5-2) gave up three runs and four hits. The right-hander struck out six and walked four.

“I think he found the changeup,” Boston manager Alex Cora said about Bello’s recovery.

Rob Refsnyder had a tiebreaking RBI single off reliever Kevin Kelly during a five-run fifth as the Red Sox took a 5-3 lead.

Ceddanne Rafaela ended Ryan Pepoit’s night with an RBI single in the fifth. Richard Lovelady (0-2) entered and allowed Wong’s two-run single before Refsynder and Dominic Smith had consecutive run-scoring hits off Kelly.

Abreu connected on a two-run homer in a three-run sixth against Kelly to make it 8-3.

“We did a lot of good things,” Cora said. “We put the ball in play. The value of putting the ball in play, it was huge.”

Pepiot, making his first start since being hit on the lower left leg by a 107.5 m.p.h. liner by the New York Mets’ Starling Marte on May 5, allowed three runs, two hits, four walks and hit a batter in four-plus innings.

“Overall just didn’t execute pitches,” Pepiot said. “Just one of those days.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: RHP Garrett Whitlock (right elbow ligament) will see Dr. Jeff Dugas on May 29 in Birmingham, Alabama to determine if he needs surgery. … 1B Garrett Cooper was a late scratch due to right shoulder discomfort.

Rays: CF Josh Lowe departed in the second inning with right side strain and will have a MRI. He started the season on the injured list with a right oblique strain. … RHP Drew Rasmussen (right elbow internal brace surgery) had his first bullpen session.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: RHP Kutter Crawford (2-2, 2.17 ERA) will face Milwaukee RHP Brice Wilson (2-1, 2.79 ERA) on Friday night,

Rays: LHP Tyler Alexander (2-2, 5.17 ERA), who took a perfect game into the eighth inning last Friday at Toronto, starts Friday night against Kansas City RHP Seth Lugo (7-1, 1.79 ERA).

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