ST. PETERSBURG (620 WDAE) -- After outdueling Dallas Keuchel in his last start, Austin Pruitt did his best going toe to toe with Boston's ace Chris Sale, but it was one double play not turned that proved to be the difference Tuesday at Tropicana Field. That ground ball by Rafael Devers allowed Dustin Pedroia to score the only run of the game needed as the Tampa Bay Rays fell to the Red Sox 2-0.
Pruitt had to work out of a first inning jam thanks to a leadoff double by Eduardo Nunez, but settled in to post zeroes in the first three innings, but a leadoff walk to Pedroia and base hit by Andrew Benintendi led to a fielder's choice grounder by Mookie Betts to erase Benintendi but move Pedroia to third. Devers then grounded back to Pruitt, who went to turn the double play, but his throw to Adeiny Hechaverria made the shortstop go down to a knee to field it and prevented a turn that would have ended the inning.
Meanwhile, Sale (14-4) did not allow a base runner until the fourth inning, when Plouffe reached on a throwing error by Devers, and was hitless until Wilson Ramos singled off him an inning later.
The left-hander would allow just one other hit in working the first eight, while Craig Kimbrel struck out the side to end the game for his 28th save.
Pruitt (6-3) would exit after six innings of work.
Ryne Stanek would allow an insurance run in the ninth with an RBI single by Jackie Bradley Jr.
The loss drops Tampa Bay back to two games over .500 at 58-56 and 6 1/2 games behind Boston for the lead in the American League East.
The Rays will look to salvage a split of the two-game set Wednesday, when Jake Odorizzi (6-4, 4.47 ERA) comes off the disabled list to face Rick Porcello (5-14, 4.70 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10, with coverage on WDAE