Boston’s Hunter Renfroe celebrates his two-run home run with Xander Bogaerts in the third inning Tuesday at St. Petersburg, Fla. Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Wander Franco hit a three-run homer and doubled in his big league debut for the Tampa Bay Rays, who lost their seventh straight in falling to the Boston Red Sox 9-5 in 11 innings Tuesday night.

The 20-year-old Franco, considered the best prospect in the minor leagues, connected in the fifth off Eduardo Rodriguez and drew his first curtain call in the majors.

Franco doubled in the seventh and finished 2 for 4 with a walk. The switch-hitting infielder came up with one out and a runner on first in the ninth, and grounded out to the mound.

Rafael Devers hit a hard grounder that went between first baseman Yandy Díaz’s legs for a two-run double during Boston’s four-run 11th off Pete Fairbanks (1-3).

Darwinzon Hernandez (2-2) went 1 1/3 scoreless innings, retiring Brandon Lowe with two on and two outs in the 10th.

Hunter Renfroe homered for the AL East-leading Red Sox. Rodriguez allowed five runs and seven hits over six innings, and had his winless streak reach eight games.

Renfroe had an RBI single and Kike Hernández hit a sacrifice fly in the 11th.

Called up from Triple-A Durham earlier in the day, Franco received a nice ovation when he went on the field to run pregame. Some fans at Tropicana Field stood when Rays’ lineup was announced over the public-address system and the salute grew to full standing ovation with fans in the left field stands chanting ‘Wander Franco” as he walked to the plate to bat in the first.

Batting second and debuting at third base, Franco alertly began a double play in the eighth. It came after Devers doubled off an overhanging catwalk.

Franco fielded Renfroe’s grounder and ran toward Devers, who was called for running out the base line trying to advance. Franco then threw to first to complete the play.

J.D. Martinez drove in two with a double, Devers had a sacrifice fly and Renfroe hit a two-run homer off Ryan Yarbrough as Boston went up 5-2 in the third.

Francisco Mejía drove in a run with an infield single in the first, with Franco scoring the second run on shortstop Xander Bogaerts’ errant throw to second trying to get a forceout.

NOTES: Connor Wong, traded from the Dodgers in the February 2020 blockbuster Mookie Betts deal, was called up as the Red Sox placed backup catcher Kevin Plawecki, who left Sunday’s game against the Royals, on the injured list with a left hamstring strain. … INF Christian Arroyo (bruised right shin bone) could be available on Wednesday.

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