ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Rafael Devers set a team record by homering in his sixth consecutive game, Tanner Houck allowed two hits over seven innings, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-0 on Monday night.

Devers had shared the Boston mark of a five-game homer streak with six others, including Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Jimmie Foxx.

The last big leaguer with a streak this long was Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, who had a seven-game run from Sept. 4-12, 2022.

“’I'm very proud to be in that conversation with him,” Devers said through an interpreter. “Obviously we know the type of superstar that he is. He's a future Hall of Famer and superstar, and to be able to be in the same level with him is very nice.”

Houck (4-5) allowed a third-inning single to Yandy Díaz and an infield hit to Josh Lowe in the seventh. He struck out five and was charged with one walk - which occurred when Devers was ruled to have violated defensive shift rules for an automatic ball on Jonathan Aranda's groundout in the second on a 3-2 pitch.

Houck stopped a personal four-game skid that included a loss to the Rays on May 15th in which he gave up three runs, five hits and three walks over 5 2/3 innings.

“I talked about last outing ... too many free passes.” Houck said. “That was the focus in between outings, just getting back in the zone and filling it up with with all my pitches, and just trusting the stuff. I felt like I accomplished that pretty well tonight.”

Ceddanne Rafaela also homered for the Red Sox, who returned to .500 at 24-24.

“It was fun,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “It was a good, well-played baseball game.”

Justin Slaten completed a three-hitter as Boston improved to 6-22 at Tampa Bay since the start of the 2021 season.

Rays starter Taj Bradley (1-2) struck out eight of his first nine batters before Jarren Duran opened the fourth with a triple and scored on a double by Wilyer Abreu. Devers put Boston up 3-0 as he extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his 10th homer, an opposite-field two-run drive to left.

“They made an adjustment,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “I thought Taj's stuff was really electric. He came out throwing bullets everywhere.”

Rafaela was hitless in 17 at-bats before his fifth-inning two-run drive against Bradley made it 5-0.

Bradley gave up five runs, six hits and struck out 10 in a career-high seven innings. It was the right-hander's third start this year after he began the season sidelined by a right pectoral strain.


Red Sox: Cora said RHP Garrett Whitlock has damage to a ligament in his throwing elbow and there is a possibility he will need surgery. Whitlock, 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA in four starts this season, will undergo further examinations and tests.

Rays: Opening-day starter Zach Eflin went on the 15-day injured list with lower back inflammation and is expected to miss two to four weeks. ... 2B Brandon Lowe (right oblique strain) returned after missing 37 games and went 0 for 3.


Boston RHP Cooper Criswell (2-1, 2.76 ERA) and Rays RHP Zack Littell (2-2, 3.44 ERA) are Tuesday night’s starters.



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