BOSTON — Emilio Pagan was sitting at his locker nearly 30 minutes after the game was over and still had a big smile.

Sent down the minors at the end of spring training and then brought back up in mid-April, he has his first three big league saves.

Yandy Diaz hit David Price’s second pitch over the Green Monster for a home run, Charlie Morton pitched six shutout innings and the Tampa Bay Rays held off the Boston Red Sox 2-1 Saturday. The Red Sox left 11 runners on base.

“Yeah, it’s a lot of fun,” Pagan said. “I closed in college and closed in the minors. That’s not to say I’m a closer. It’s definitely fun when you get the opportunity to do it.”

He’s one of five Rays pitchers with a save this season. Tampa Bay has converted 11 of 13 opportunities.

“They’re pretty selfless,” Tampa Bay Manager Kevin Cash said. “They recognize that we’re mixing and matching trying to get the best matchup for each individual.”

Pagan allowed Christian Vazquez’s leadoff single in the ninth, threw a called third strike past Andrew Benintendi, then gave up a popup to Betts that Diaz lost and allowed to drop on the infield dirt. The first baseman quickly grabbed the ball and threw to second to force Vazquez, however, and Pagan struck out Mitch Moreland for the final out.

Mookie Betts hit an eighth-inning homer into the center-field triangle against Diego Castillo. The Red Sox loaded the bases with two outs before Jose Alvarado struck out Jackie Bradley Jr. swinging on a sharp slider.

“Those guys are pretty good,” Boston Manager Alex Cora said. “They made some good pitches when they had to.”

Mike Zunino hit a fourth-inning RBI single off the Green Monster for the AL East-leading Rays, who were swept at home by Boston in a three-game series last weekend.

Morton (3-0) gave up two hits, struck out five and walked four, and five relievers completed a five-hitter.

Price (1-2) gave up two runs, four hits and three walks in six innings. He entered 10-2 with a 2.78 ERA in his previous 17 starts in Fenway Park

Boston slugger J.D. Martinez was scratched from the lineup because of back spasms.

Tampa Bay had lost five of seven coming in and had not played since Wednesday afternoon.


Seventeen years earlier, Red Sox right-hander Derek Lowe no-hit the Rays in a 10-0 victory. It was the first no-hitter in Fenway Park since Boston’s Dave Morehead accomplished the feat on Sept. 16, 1965.


An 18 mph breeze was blowing straight out at the first pitch.

“Yeah, you’re aware of this stadium and how it can play with the wind,” Rays Manager Kevin Cash, saying it reminded him of Chicago’s Wrigley Field.


Red Sox: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia (left knee irritation) and infielder Eduardo Nunez (back strain) took grounders before Boston’s batting practice.

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