Jarren Duran looks to lead Red Sox to sweep of Rays

After clinching their first series win at Tropicana Field since July 2019, the Boston Red Sox will aim for a sweep of their three-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday evening in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Red Sox picked up Tuesday’s series-clinching victory in exciting fashion, scoring three runs over the final two innings to record a 5-2 win.

Jarren Duran was one of Boston’s stars, hitting a game-tying solo home run in the sixth inning before stealing home in the eighth to deliver a crucial insurance run. He now has hit safely in seven straight games.

“He can run. He can hit it out of the ballpark. He’s a good defender. And I’m glad he’s our leadoff guy,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.

The series also has featured some history for third baseman Rafael Devers, who set a Red Sox record by homering in six consecutive games before going 1-for-3 on Tuesday.

Right-hander Brayan Bello (4-2, 3.96 ERA) will take the mound for Boston on Wednesday after he just missed facing Tampa Bay in last week’s series at Fenway Park, having his three-game win streak snapped in a Friday outing at St. Louis. The Cardinals tagged him for five runs on seven hits, three of which were home runs.

Before his last start, Bello had worked at least five innings and issued two or walks or less in six consecutive outings dating to last season.

“The team did everything possible to score runs,” Bello said of his most recent start, a 10-6 loss to the Cardinals. “They gave me some run support, but I wasn’t able to make the adjustment tonight, and it was a bad outing for me.”

Bello is 1-3 with a 6.92 ERA in five career starts vs. Tampa Bay.

The Rays will look to avoid a season-high fourth straight loss and a sweep on Wednesday, though Isaac Paredes enjoyed a 3-for-4 night with a double and two RBI on Tuesday.

Paredes has a team-high 18 multi-hit games and has reached base in 19 of his last 20 overall.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s just part of his continued development in being a really good major league hitter,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said last week. “I think (the recent run is) a credit to just him being selective at the plate, getting pitches that he can handle and not swinging at pitches that he can’t.”

Cash’s club will need more from the third baseman, as it has scored just four runs over the last three games.

Tampa Bay right-hander Ryan Pepiot (3-2, 3.68 ERA) will be activated off the 15-day injured list to make his first career start against Boston on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old left his May 5 start against the New York Mets with a lower left leg contusion after being hit by a line drive. He allowed three runs in two innings before the injury.

Pepiot threw three simulated innings last Friday in Toronto, touching 95 miles per hour.

“It was what, 15 days? So, basically, just like missing two starts kind of, so there (weren’t) really a lot of factors into (making a rehab start),” Pepiot said. “It was a lot of just based on when I did touch the mound and how it felt and how it responded.”

Pepiot earned his most recent win on April 29 at Milwaukee, tossing six shutout, two-hit innings with seven strikeouts.

–Field Level Media