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Oct 5, 2022 7:45 pm

J.D. Martinez (2 HRs), Red Sox hand Rays fifth straight loss

J.D. Martinez homered twice and drove in four runs to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 6-3 win against the visiting Tampa Bay Rays in the regular-season finale for both teams Wednesday afternoon.

Xander Bogaerts and Christian Arroyo each contributed two hits for the Red Sox, who finished 78-84, their worst mark in a 162-game season since finishing with the same record in 2015.

Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta went four innings, allowing two runs and four hits while striking out five and walking three.

Eduard Bazardo (1-0) pitched a scoreless fifth for Boston to earn his first major league win in his 14th relief appearance over the past two seasons.

Ji-Man Choi had three hits, including a two-run homer, and Vidal Brujan also homered for Tampa Bay (86-76), which opens the American League wild-card round on Friday at the Cleveland Guardians.

Josh Fleming (2-5) allowed four runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings for the Rays, who finished the regular season on a five-game losing streak. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.

Rafael Devers and Bogaerts had back-to-back one-out singles in the first before Martinez came up with two outs and blasted a three-run homer into the Boston bullpen in right-center field for a 3-0 lead.

Randy Arozarena singled with one out in the third before Choi came up and lifted a full-count fastball over the fence in left for a two-run homer that cut the lead to 3-2.

Martinez teed off on another two-strike pitch when he homered off a Fleming changeup to lead off the fourth and extend the lead to 4-2.

Brujan went deep in the seventh to trim Boston’s lead to 4-3.

The Red Sox tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth on a bases-loaded walk to Triston Casas and an RBI single by Arroyo to extend the lead to 6-3.

Matt Strahm, John Schreiber and Matt Barnes also pitched scoreless innings of relief for Boston, with Barnes earning his eighth save.

–Field Level Media

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