Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena connects for a three-run homer off Chris Sale in the first inning Wednesday at St. Petersburg, Fla. Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays won their 12th straight game to start the season, one short of the major league record, as Randy Arozarena hit a three-run homer in a 9-7 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.

The 1987 Milwaukee Brewers and 1982 Atlanta Braves both opened 13-0, tying for the best mark in big league history. Tampa Bay’s 12-game winning streak matches the team record set in June 2004.

Taj Bradley won his major league debut for the Rays. The 22-year-old right-hander, recalled from Triple-A Durham when Zach Eflin went on the injured list, allowed three runs and struck out eight over five innings.

Arozarena made it 3-0 with an opposite-field homer off Chris Sale (1-1) in the first. Tampa Bay leads the majors with 30 home runs and has outscored opponents 92-27.

Rafael Devers, who had been hitless in 10 at-bats with six strikeouts in the series, pulled Boston to within 8-7 by hitting a three-run homer off Colin Poche in the seventh.

Arozarena’s sacrifice fly in the eighth made it 9-7.


Red Sox reliever Zack Kelly left in the fifth because of right elbow pain. After throwing a pitch that hit Yandy Díaz, an emotional Kelly went into a squat on the mound and used his hands to cover his face.

Sale (1-1) gave up six runs, five earned, in four innings. His ERA remained at 11.25.

Pete Fairbanks, the fifth Rays reliever, worked the ninth to get his second save.

Wander Franco drove in a pair with a double during a three-run fourth as the Rays took a 6-1 lead.

Alex Verdugo got the first hit off Bradley with a leadoff double in the fourth and scored on Justin Turner’s single. Kiké Hernández stopped an 0-for-28 slide with an RBI double in a two-run fifth that cut the deficit to 6-3.

Christian Bethancourt, who entered 2 for 19, got his second hit of the game with an RBI double during a two-run fifth that put Tampa Bay ahead 8-3.



Red Sox: Outfielder Masataka Yoshida (right hamstring) didn’t play.

Rays: Right-hander Tyler Glasnow (left oblique) is throwing off a mound.


With Yoshida out, Hernández moved from shortstop to center field, and Bobby Dalbec got his second start and fourth overall appearance at shortstop. Dalbec cleanly fielded Díaz’s grounder leading off the first, but was charged with an error on a ground ball by the next hitter, Franco.

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