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BOSTON (AP) — A shuffled lineup provided a needed boost for the Tampa Bay Rays' struggling offense.
Jake Odorizzi pitched seven strong innings, Joey Butler hit his first career homer and Tampa Bay's offense perked up a bit in the Rays' 5-1 win over the Boston Red Sox on Monday night.
"I do like the lineup we put out there today," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "The fact that we're versatile with the right-left going through the lineup is pretty important."
David DeJesus drove in a pair of runs for Tampa Bay, which scored just four runs in a three-game set this past weekend against Baltimore.
It was more than enough for Odorizzi, who allowed hits in five innings, but limited Boston to one run.
"I thought my last inning is when I felt the best all night," he said.
Boston left fielder Hanley Ramirez was injured in the first inning and left the game with a sprained left shoulder after he ran into a padded side wall attempting to make a catch.
"He's day to day," Boston manager John Farrell said. "Right now obviously with the sprain to the left shoulder on the collision, we're hopeful over the next couple days there's some improvement. There's no clear-cut DL at this point."
The Rays have been held to two or fewer runs in nearly half of their games.
Odorizzi (3-2) gave up seven hits and struck out six. He matched a Rays' club record by not allowing a homer for the sixth straight start.
Xander Bogaerts had an RBI triple for the Red Sox, who have lost a season-high four straight and nine of 12.
Clay Buchholz (1-4) gave up five runs in 6 1-3 innings, raising his ERA to 6.03.
"You go out there and try to throw a lot of strikes, not walk guys," he said. "Whenever you do make a mistake, they capitalize on it. Like I said, I felt pretty good with all my pitches tonight and gave up a couple hits that were missed location."
The Rays jumped out to a 4-0 lead with two runs in each of the first two innings.
James Loney was credited with a double when his slicing fly ball down the line was originally caught by Ramirez, but the ball popped out as he hit the wall. Evan Longoria followed with an RBI double and DeJesus added an RBI single.
Ramirez went to one knee after throwing the ball in. He was checked by a trainer and walked slowly off the field.
In the second inning, Butler hit a two-run homer into the Green Monster seats.
Boston cut it to 4-1 in the second on consecutive triples by Brock Holt and Bogaerts.
Buchholz didn't make it out of the third inning in his previous start, allowing five runs — four earned — in a loss last Tuesday.
A CHALLENGING ISSUE
First-year manager Cash is 0 for 11 on challenges, and the Rays have failed in a major-league record 12 straight dating back to last season. St. Louis missed on 11 on 2014.
"That was something we really tried to go after at the start of the season," he joked. "I'm glad we've succeeded at it."
Butler had the ball from his first homer.
"I came in and it was here in my locker," he said.
Rays: LHP Jake McGee, who had offseason elbow surgery, is expected to make his third rehab appearance at Triple-A Durham on Tuesday. ... RF Steven Souza Jr. was hit by a pitch on the right forearm, but stayed in the game.
Red Sox: Farrell said RF Shane Victorino, on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring, took BP and did "more intense running." The plan is still to have him start a rehab stint in Double-A Portland on Friday.
Rays: LHP Drew Smyly (0-0, 3.38 ERA) is slated to start the middle game of the three-game series on Tuesday. He's 3-1 with a 2.01 ERA in nine starts since joining the club.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (2-2, 5.34 ERA) looks to follow up his best start in a Red Sox uniform. He gave up two hits and one run over seven innings to earn a victory against Toronto on Friday.
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