BALTIMORE — Alex Cora and the Boston Red Sox have been waiting for Rafael Devers to find a spark.

At the very least, his double in the 12th inning of last night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles sparked his team.

With the game tied 0-0 and the Red Sox offense in the midst of a 46-inning stretch in which it scored only eight runs, Xander Bogaerts led off the 12th with a single through the right side. Devers then smoked a double – Boston’s first extra-base hit of the game – and Brock Holt lifted a sacrifice fly to finally break the deadlock.

It took almost four hours, but the Sox walked away with a 2-0 win in the opener of a three-game series.

“I know there are going to be stretches where you don’t score runs,” said Manager Alex Cora. “Sometimes you score runs against staffs that have been dominating the league, and then you don’t score runs against other teams. … It happens.”

Devers entered the night hitting .184 with a .244 on-base percentage and .551 OPS in his previous 32 games. He was 0 for 4 before connecting on a long double to the wall off Michael Givens in the 12th which led to the only two runs of the game.

It was the swing he’s been looking for.

“Yeah that was the one,” he said. “My mindset going into today was just each at-bat making the adjustments necessary. After the first at-bat, I made an adjustment, second at-bat and so on.”

Helping Devers become a consistent, productive hitter again is among the Red Sox’ top priorities right now. He provides length and protection in the middle of the lineup when he’s hitting the way he did his rookie year (.284 with an .819 OPS and 10 homers in 58 games).

But he’s been cold for most of the season. So has the Red Sox offense the past five games.

Seven of the nine starters were hitless through eight scoreless innings thrown by Baltimore’s Dylan Bundy, who entered with a 4.79 ERA in 62 innings against the Red Sox before holding them to three hits, two singles by Andrew Benintendi and one by Bogearts.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright pitched 62/3 scoreless innings and four relievers combined to hold it scoreless until Devers’ double sparked the rally in the 12th.

Devers is hitting just .231 with a .686 OPS. He’s still connecting on home runs with the same frequency he did last season, but the most noticeable difference is he’s not hitting for average, not getting his singles and not going to the opposite field.

“My swing is definitely geared toward opposite field, so I don’t know what’s been happening lately, but it’s a good sign to see it go that way,” he said.

Perhaps that double will give him some confidence.

“It was a good swing, but I feel like I’m always confident,” he said. “I know I can hit. I know I have a talent for hitting, and I never lost faith in that. Just remaining confident and knowing that I’m only a swing away.”

Cora announced reliever Carson Smith will have shoulder surgery Wednesday in New York and is almost certain to miss the rest of the season.

Smith, with 18 appearances this season, injured his shoulder throwing his glove in frustration after a poor outing against the Athletics on May 14. He has since had three opinions on the injury, with the consensus being that surgery was the necessary option.

“Carson had subluxation of his right shoulder,” said head athletic trainer Brad Pearson. “Anytime you have a subluxation, you’ll want to evaluate the structures in the shoulder. We found some suspicion in the labrum and the capsules.

“They’re gonna go in and look at all the structures and fix everything they feel is necessary to add stability back to that shoulder so he can handle the rigors of pitching and throwing.”

Pearson said there is no definite timetable for Smith’s return and that more will become clear after the surgery.

Smith, who was acquired in a trade with Seattle during the 2015 winter meetings, has made only 29 appearances for the Red Sox in parts of three seasons. He underwent Tommy John surgery in May 2016 and missed most of the 2017 and 2018 campaigns before returning healthy at the beginning of this year.

TWINS: Minnesota signed right-handed reliever Matt Belisle, bringing back the popular veteran after a stint with Cleveland.

The Twins made the move Tuesday before their game at Detroit and designated utility infielder Gregorio Petit for release or assignment to make room on the roster.

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