Tampa Bay left fielder Austin Meadows walks toward the scoreboard in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. Boston blasted the Rays, 20-8.  Charles Krupa/Associated Press

BOSTON — Bobby Dalbec drove in a career-high five runs, Xander Bogaerts and Hunter Renfroe each had four RBI and the Boston Red Sox routed the Tampa Bay Rays 20-8 Wednesday night.

The Red Sox moved within four games of the AL East-leading Rays with their highest-scoring game since 2015.

Tampa Bay had won five in a row overall and six straight against Boston. The Rays had not not allowed at least 20 runs since 2007.

J.D. Martinez got four of Boston’s season-high 19 hits. The Red Sox began the first inning with three straight doubles by Kiké Hernández, Renfroe and Bogaerts and scored in bunches — they had innings in which they tallied six, five, four, three and two runs.

Bogaerts’ three-run homer highlighted a six-run burst in the eighth off Rays catcher Francisco Mejia, who moved from behind the plate to the mound.

Down 20-1, the Rays scored seven times in the ninth against Phillips Valdez, with Brett Phillips hitting his third career grand slam and Mike Zunino connecting for his 22nd homer.


Nathan Eovaldi (10-7) went seven innings, giving up one run on Brandon Lowe’s 26th homer. He matched his season high with 10 strikeouts, allowing three hits and one walk.

Josh Fleming (9-6) was tagged for 10 runs on 11 hits and six walks in 3 1/3 innings.

Dalbec reached base five times with a triple, single, two walks and a hit by pitch.

NOTES: Boston Manager Alex Cora announced he had demoted RHP Garrett Richards from the rotation to the bullpen. Richards joins RHP Martin Perez, who was demoted last week. Their rotation spots are expected to be taken by LHP Chris Sale, who is scheduled to be activated from the injured list on Saturday, and RHP Tanner Houck, the team’s top pitching prospect. … Red Sox C Christian Vazquez was placed on the bereavement list prior to the game. C Connor Wong was recalled from Triple-A Worcester. … Cora said closer Matt Barnes, who’s had several rocky outings recently, including giving up four runs while getting just two outs in a loss to the Rays on Tuesday, is not expected to be available until Friday because of usage.

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