Gonzalez first Red Sox cleanup hitter to go 0-for-8

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Gonzalez first Red Sox cleanup hitter to go 0-for-8

BOSTON -- Adrian Gonzalez wanted to pitch. He was clearly trying to do anything he could to help the team get a win in Sunday's 17-inning marathon game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park, because he sure wasn't hitting.

Gonzalez finished the 9-6 loss going 0-for-8 with two strikeouts. It marks the first time a Red Sox cleanup hitter finished a game 0-for-8, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

As bad a day that it was for Gonzalez, he still offered to move from first base to the mound, once Bobby Valentine used up his entire bullpen.

But that wasn't happening.

"Adrian really wanted to pitch, just for the record," said Valentine after the loss. "And for the record, I didn't put him out there."

What Valentine really wanted Gonzalez to do was put one in the seats in the bottom of the 17th, after Ryan Sweeney led off with a single and Dustin Pedroia walked. A home run there would have tied the game. Instead, Gonzalez struck out swinging against the Orioles' designated hitter who also finished the game 0-for-8.

Gonzalez didn't talk to the media after the game. But the Red Sox hitter who pitched on Sunday, did.

When Darnell McDonald was asked if it came down to him or Gonzalez jumping onto the mound, McDonald said, "Adrian, to pitch? Nah, Adrian ain't pitching."

On Sunday, Gonzalez didn't pitch or hit, and it hurt the Red Sox.

Red Sox can't rally against Rays after Chris Archer's start

Red Sox can't rally against Rays after Chris Archer's start

The appearance of Tampa Bay Rays lefty Ryan Yarbrough almost got the Boston Red Sox back in their spring training exhibition game. The Sox managed to score all three of their runs against the 25-year-old in their 7-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida on Sunday.

But the Rays, who scored runs in five different innings, managed to widen their lead in the eighth inning by beating up on Sox lefty Luis Isla, a 24-year-old who spent last season with Portland and Pawtucket. In the eighth, Rays' Joe McCarthy homered and Luke Maile managed an RBI single, which cappped off the scoring in the contest. Sox starter Hector Velazquez allowed three hits and an earned run in his two innnings. The 28-year-old, who spent 2016 in the Mexican League, still managed to amass four strikeouts.

"I was a little nervous at the start, being in the United States for the first time and playing for a big league club for the first time," Velazquez told RedSox.com through an interpreter. "But once I got the first out, all the nerves went away, and I was able to bear down."

Despite allowing two homers, Boston pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts.

With the exception of the Sox' inning against Yarbrough, Boston's veterans and prospects struggled mighltily against the Rays pitching staff. Chris Archer started for Tampa, and set the tone in the first two innings, where he threw two strikeouts, one walk and allowed one hit and no runs. Andrew Benintendi (0-for-3), Sam Travis (0-for-2) and Bryce Brentz (0-for-3) went hitless on the day. Travis, however, reached base on balls.

"I felt good. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish," Archer said, via the Red Sox' team website. "Just out there having fun, it was really fun to be out there in the spectrum with the umpire, the fans, the batter. It was fun."

Marco Hernandez's triple got the Sox' eighth-inning off to a strong start, and singles from Matt Dominguez, Deven Marrero, Rusney Castillo and Cole Sturgeon followed. The Sox' eighth inning scoring ended after Castillo got thrown out by left fielder McCarthy at third. Six Red Sox finished with one-hit outings, including Brock Holt and Blake Swihart.

The Sox will next host the St. Louis Cardinals in Fort Myers on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET.