BOSTON (AP) — David Price had a milestone night and Marco Hernández completed his long journey back to the big leagues.
Hernández hit a key two-run double in his first major league start in over two years, Price pitched six solid innings in his 300th career start and the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 to salvage a split of their day-night doubleheader Saturday.
“That’s cool,” said Price, who began his career with the Rays in 2008. “I definitely take pride in that. I was drafted 12 years ago to yesterday by the team that I threw my 300th start against, so that kind of comes full circle in that sense.”
It was Boston’s first home win over the Rays this season after losing the first four meetings, including Tampa Bay’s 9-2 victory in the opener.
The Rays’ Mike Zunino had a single, snapping a 0-for-21 stretch. Tampa Bay’s four-game winning streak ended.
Hernández injured his left shoulder on May 3, 2017, then missed the remainder of that season and all of 2018 recovering from surgery. He started this year on the 10-day injured list.
“It feels pretty good right now,” he said. “It’s been a blessing for me to be able to play baseball again.”
Price (4-2) gave up a run on five hits, matched his season high with 10 strikeouts and walked two. He’s allowed three or fewer runs in eighth consecutive starts.
The Rays stranded eight and went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
“We had guys on base putting pressure, his pitch count was starting to rise, we just couldn’t get that big hit,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said.
Reliver Colin Poche took the loss in his major league debut, giving up two runs in 1 1/3 innings.
Michael Chavis’ two-run double gave Boston a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Hernández doubled off the Green Monster, just over the head of Guillermo Heredia’s leaping bid to make it 5-1 in the sixth.
Price loaded the bases on two singles and a walk with two outs in the sixth, but got Kevin Kiermaier to pop out to short.
Hernández, who was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket Saturday, had a pinch-hit double in the first game, his first major league at-bat since the injury.
In the opener, Ryan Yarbrough held Boston to an unearned run into the eighth inning and Travis d’Arnaud hit a three-run homer to lead the Rays.
The 27-year-old Yarbrough (5-2), who was demoted to the minors after a rough April when he had an 8.10 ERA in five appearances, baffled Boston’s hitters. He limited them to three singles and struck out seven without issuing a walk before Jackie Bradley Jr. homered off the Pesky Pole in the eighth.
“We didn’t do much against him,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.
On Friday, Yonny Chirinos pitched five perfect innings and went eight scoreless against Boston, allowing just two singles.
“He kind of picked up right where Yonny left off,” Cash said. “We’ve just had two really, really strong starts from some young pitchers. They go about it different ways, but Yarbs was outstanding. I think they feed off each other a little bit.”
Yarbrough posted career highs with 7 2/3 innings and 110 pitches.
The Rays jumped ahead 4-0 in the second against Josh Smith (0-2). D’Arnaud drove a cut fastball completely out of Fenway over the Monster after Ji-Man Choi singled leading off and Willy Adames drew a two-out walk. Brandon Lowe added an RBI single.
Sam Travis’ RBI single sliced it to 4-1 in the second after second baseman Lowe booted Eduardo Núñez’s grounder. Tampa Bay added an unearned run in the fifth when Austin Meadows scored on Sandy León’s passed ball.
The doubleheader was caused by a rainout in late April.
Chants of “Let’s Go Bruins!” broke out in the sixth inning of the nightcap. Boston faces St. Louis in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final Sunday night.
In the second game, a fan a few rows back jumped up and made a one-handed grab of Daniel Robertson’s bat near the Rays’ dugout. The bat went flying over the protective netting when Robertson swung and missed.
Rays: OF Tommy Pham left the first game an inning after getting hit by a pitch on the right wrist and went for X-rays that came back negative. He had the nightcap off. … CF Kiermaier fouled one off the inside of his right knee in the opener, went to the ground in pain, but stayed in and played the second game, too. … INF Joey Wendle (out since April 26, fractured right wrist) was slated to play shortstop in a rehab game for Triple-A Durham on Saturday, but it was rained out.
Red Sox: 1B Mitch Moreland went back on the 10-day IL with a right quadriceps strain a day after he came off. He was previously out with a strained lower back. … J.D. Martinez has missed three straight games after being removed Thursday with back tightness. “We’ll try for Sunday,” Cora said.
LHP Blake Snell (3-5, 3.68 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Rays against LHP Eduardo Rodríguez (6-3, 4.88) in the series finale Sunday.
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