The Boston Red Sox dropped the opening game of the 3-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night, July 30th, 7-3 and are now only a half game ahead of the Rays, in the AL East.

Martin Perez started for Boston and went only 4.0 innings allowing 6 runs on 7 hit. Of the 7 hits, 3 were home runs. He struck out 3 and walked 1.

Yacksel Rios came on in the 5th inning, and allowed 1 run in 2 innings.

Hirakazu Sawamura reinstated from the 10 day injured list pitched a scoreless 7th inning and Josh Taylor pitched a scoreless 8th inning.

The Red Sox played without Rafael Devers who had "left quad soreness". Jonathan Arauz, recalled from Triple A Worcester, played 3rd, and was 2-3.

Xander Bogaerts was 2-5

Hunter Renfroe was 1-3 with a double and drove in a run.

Christian Vazquez was 2-4 and drove in a run.

For the Rays, Yandy Diaz hit a 3-run homer in the 1st inning, his 7th of the season.

Mike Zunino hit his 20th homer, in the 4th inning, a solo homer

Randy Arozarena hit his 14th homer of the season in the 4th inning, a solo homer.

Manager Alex Cora on the game.

The Yankees beat the Marlins 3-1 and the Blue Jays defeated the Royals 6-4. The Red Sox are now a half game ahead of the Rays in the AL East, 7.5 games ahead of the Yankees (3rd place) and 8.5 games ahead of the Blue Jays (4th place)

The Red Sox and Rays will play game 2 of the series Saturday night. Nathan Eovaldi starts for the BoSox. Pregame starts at 5:10 and 1st pitch at 6:10 on AM 1370 WDEA.