ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Xander Bogaerts kept getting on base — for six hours.
It paid off in the 15th inning Friday night when the Boston shortstop contributed two hits in a seven-run inning that lifted the Red Sox to a 13-6 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
“The more you get on base, the more there’s a possibility of you scoring, so just creating the opportunity is huge,” said Bogaerts, who was hit by a pitch in the first inning and reached base five straight times from the ninth inning on.
By winning the 6-hour, 5-minute game, the Red Sox maintained their three-game lead over the New York Yankees in the AL East. It was their 13th win in 16 extra-inning games this season.
“We can say that we’ve been there. To play those long games, you become accustomed to it physically,” said Jackie Bradley Jr., who had two of Boston’s 21 hits. “It stinks, but we know that we can still battle back and get the job done.”
Austin Pruitt (7-5) walked Bradley to lead off the 15th. Bogaerts followed with a single, and Dustin Pedroia hit a ground ball that was misplayed by second baseman Brad Miller, allowing Bradley to score the lead run. Andrew Benintendi, Mitch Moreland, Deven Marrero and Bogaerts drove in extra runs for the Red Sox, who have won seven of nine.
Brandon Workman (1-1) got the win. Blaine Boyer, the 21st pitcher to appear in the game, pitched the 15th for Boston.
Nine Red Sox pitchers set a club record with 24 strikeouts.
Boston rallied for three runs in the ninth off closer Alex Colome to tie the game, a rally cut short by Kevin Kiermaier’s…
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