So you can’t blame Matt Barnes – shown giving up the ball to Manager Alex Cora – for Boston losing 10 of its past 12 games, but he certainly shouldered a fair share of the blame on Tuesday, allowing four runs in the ninth inning in an 8-4 loss. Charles Krupa/Associated Press

BOSTON — Matt Barnes allowed four runs in the ninth inning as Tampa Bay broke open a tie game and went on to an 8-4 win, sending the Red Sox to their 10th loss in 12 games and extending Tampa Bay’s lead in the AL East to five games..

Tampa Bay’s Francisco Mejía singled with the bases loaded in the ninth, Boston’s Hunter Renfroe made a costly error on the play, and it helped the Rays rally. The Rays were 2 of 9 with runners in scoring position before Mejía, who entered the game as a defensive substitution in the seventh, delivered a single to right. The ball skipped past Renfroe for an error and that allowed all three runners to score, giving Tampa Bay a 7-4 lead.

The Rays added another run on Brandon Lowe’s single. Louis Head shut down Boston in order in the ninth to finish off the Red Sox, who lost for the 10th time in 12 games.

Lowe also homered for the Rays, who got a two-run double from pinch-hitter Ji-Man Choi to tie it at 4-all in the seventh after Boston had led 4-1. Andrew Kittredge (8-1) pitched two scoreless innings of relief for Tampa Bay.

Pitcher Matt Barnes heads to the dugout after the Tampa Bay Rays scored three runs in the ninth inning, breaking a tie en route to a 4-0 win. Charles Krupa/Associated Press

The Red Sox blew a game they desperately needed, coming off a 2-8 road trip that started with a three-game sweep by the Rays in Tampa Bay. Barnes (6-5) pitched the ninth for Boston and took his second straight loss.

Renfroe hit a three-run homer for Boston in the fourth and Rafael Devers led off the second with his 28th homer of the year. Eduardo Rodríguez gave Boston a solid start, striking out eight over 5 1/3 innings. He allowed two runs on four hits and a walk, getting pulled in the sixth after Wander Franco’s RBI single scored Mike Zunino to pull the Rays within 4-2.

The only other run allowed by Rodríguez was Lowe’s 25th homer in the third.

Luis Patino pitched six innings for the Rays, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks. He struck out seven.

NOTES: The Rays reinstated outfield Randy Arozarena from the COVID-19 IL and had him batting leadoff. Arozarena drove the first pitch of the game for a single to center. … Tampa Bay also placed LHP Ryan Yarbrough on the COVID-19 IL and placed RHP DJ Johnson (right shoulder sprain) on the 10-day IL, retroactive to Monday.  … Red Sox OF/1B Kyle Schwarber (strained right hamstring, left groin soreness) has been working out and is getting closer to making his debut for Boston, but Manager Alex Cora would not say when he hopes to have Schwarber added to the lineup. Schwarber was acquired from the Washington Nationals before the trade deadline and has yet to play for the Red Sox. “He feels good,” Cora said. “We’re feeling a lot better – much better today than actually over the weekend.”

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.