Red Sox end rough road trip, fall to Rays, 9-1

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Red Sox end rough road trip, fall to Rays, 9-1

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Not since the first week of the season have the Red Sox had such a poor road trip. At least back in April, they still had the rest of the season in front of them.

With the season winding down, the Sox suffered their fifth loss in a row Sunday, absorbing a 9-1 pounding by the Tampa Bay Rays, who finished off a weekend sweep of the Sox. Boston completed its seven-game road trip with a 1-6 mark.

The setback cut the Red Sox' lead in the wild card chase to just three games in the loss column with 16 games remaining.

Jon Lester lasted just four innings after needing 43 pitches to get out of the first, when the Rays took a 3-0 lead. Lester lost for the first time in more than a month, having won his previous five decisions.

James Shields fell two outs shy of his 12th complete game this season, allowing a run on seven hits before being lifted with one out in the ninth.

B.J. Upton, who reached base in each of his five plate appearances, belted a grand slam off Matt Albers in the fifth, putting the game out of reach.

The lone run for the Red Sox came in the third when Marco Scutaro led off the inning with his sixth homer of the season.

In their six losses on the road trip, the Red Sox were outscored 41-22.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Report: Red Sox DH target Beltran agrees to 1-year deal with Astros

Report: Red Sox DH target Beltran agrees to 1-year deal with Astros

Carlos Beltran, the 39-year-old switch hitter who was a potential target of the Red Sox as a DH, agreed to a free-agent deal with the Houston Astros, ESPN's Buster Olney reported.

FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports that it's a one-year, $16 million deal. 

Beltran played for the Astros in 2004. He was dealt from the New York Yankees to the Texas Rangers at the July 31 trading deadline last season. He totaled 35 homers, 101 RBI and hit .295 in 2016. 

The Red Sox, looking to fill the void left by David Ortiz's retirement, will be looking for a DH at the Winter Meetings that begin next week. One possibility is the return of Mike Napoli, who played for the A.L. champion Cleveland Indians last season.

More on the Winter Meetings here from CSN Red Sox Insider Sean McAdam.