Chris Archer failed to make it out of the fourth inning, as the Boston Red Sox used an early barrage to take the lead and kept piling on the Rays, who dropped a 9-3 decision at Fenway Park Friday.
Archer, who lasted just eight pitches in his last start against the Chicago White Sox, started out just as poorly this time, giving up a single by Dustin Pedroia and a double by Andrew Benintendi before Mookie Betts flared a pitch around the pole in right for a three-run homer and Boston had a 3-0 lead before getting a single out.
The Rays starter had quiet second and third inning but saw a flare double by Rafael Devers followed by a flare single from Christian Vazquez lead to a RBI single by Jackie Bradley Jr. that made it 4-0, followed by an error by Logan Morrison on a Pedroia ground ball and a single by Andrew Benintendi that made it 6-0 and chased Archer (9-9) from the game.
Chaz Roe then walked Betts and allowed a base hit by Hanley Ramirez and a double play grounder from Mitch Moreland that each scored an inherited run.
Meanwhile, the Rays did not get a hit off Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz until the fifth, when Brad Miller singled to start the inning and Jesus Sucre followed with his fifth home run of the year.
Tampa Bay cut the deficit to 8-3 in the seventh on a Lucas Duda fielder's choice, but Vazquez's RBI double in the bottom of the inning off Ryne Stanek scored Devers to set the score at 9-3.
The loss drops the Rays back to two games under .500 at 70-72.
Tampa Bay will look to even the series Saturday with Matt Andriese (5-2, 3.78 ERA) getting the start, taking on Chris Sale (15-7, 2.85 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 5:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Sykes Lakeland.