ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Mookie Betts hit his major league-leading 16th homer, Chris Sale struck out nine in 72/3 innings and the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 on Tuesday night.

Willy Adames made his big league debut and hit a solo home run off Sale in his second at-bat. The 22-year-old shortstop went 1 for 4 with three strikeouts. He was acquired from Detroit as part of a three-team trade that sent Rays ace – and current Sale teammate – David Price to the Tigers on July 31, 2014.

Sale (5-1) gave up four hits and walked two. He has allowed three runs or fewer in his first 11 starts, the longest stretch by a Boston pitcher to open a season since Pedro Martinez’s 12 in 2001.

Joe Kelly finished the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel got into a bases-loaded jam before getting his 14th save in 16 chances when Mallex Smith grounded into a game-ending forceout on his 32nd pitch of the ninth. Jesus Sucre led off with a single, pinch-hitter Brad Miller doubled with two outs and Rob Refsynder walked.

Betts hit a go-ahead, three-run drive in the third off Jake Faria (3-3), who left two batters later because of a strained left oblique. Faria was replaced with a 1-2 count on Hanley Ramirez by Austin Pruitt, who gave up one run in 51/3 innings.

Two hitters following Faria’s departure, Wilson Ramos was taken out due to a bruised left hand after Pruitt’s 0-2 pitch to Xander Bogaerts bounced and struck the catcher.

Faria allowed three runs and three hits in 22/3 innings.

Daniel Robertson’s sacrifice fly pulled Tampa Bay to 3-2 in the fifth, and Rafael Devers hit a solo homer in the sixth.

NOTES: Asked whether 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee surgery) could return Friday against Atlanta, Manager Alex Cora said “it depends on how he reacts but he’s getting close.” Pedroia is on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket.


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