ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- It took five of their six relievers, but the Red Sox held off the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-1, in the first game of the second half of the season.
After Franklin Morales shut out the Rays for five innings -- but needed 90 pitches in doing so -- manager Bobby Valentine turned to his relievers and, thanks to rest during the All-Star break, began matching up in the sixth inning.
Scott Atchison, Andrew Miller, Matt Albers, Vicente Padilla and Alfredo Aceves combined to get the final 12 outs, with Aceves notching his 20th save of the season. The only run scored off the relievers came off Atchison, and it was unearned thanks to a two-base error by shortstop Mike Aviles in the sixth.
David Ortiz gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead with a mammoth homer deep into the right bleachers in the first inning.
A bases-loaded single by Pedro Ciriaco in the second pushed the Red Sox lead to 3-0. Ciriaco enjoyed a three-hit night and in just four games with the Sox, has 10 hits and six RBI.
Evan Drellich explains why he is not ready to be concerned about Rick Porcello following a loss to the Twins.
BOSTON - Adalberto Mejia pitched 5 2/3 innings in his second straight scoreless start, Max Kepler hit a two-run homer and the Minnesota Twins rebounded from two consecutive losses against Boston to beat the Red Sox 4-1 on Wednesday night.
Kepler also had an RBI single, and Miguel Sano added an RBI double to help the Twins improve to 24-11 on the road.
Mejia (3-3) allowed five hits, struck out three and walked one. On Friday night at Cleveland, the rookie left-hander held the Indians to two hits over five innings in a victory.
Brandon Kintzler got the final three outs for his 21st save.
Boston starter Rick Porcello (4-10) gave up four runs on six hits in six innings, striking out six and walking two. It was his 14th straight start going at least six innings, the AL's longest active streak.
Red Sox manager John Farrell was back in the dugout after serving a one-game suspension Tuesday for poking umpire Bill Miller in the chest during an argument Saturday.