David Ortiz hits 2-run homer, Red Sox beat Rays 2-1

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer during the first inning. AP Photo

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – David Ortiz hit a two-run homer in the first inning to set the RBIs record for a player in his final season, and the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Friday night for their ninth straight win.

Ortiz’s 37th homer came off Chris Archer (8-19) and raised his RBIs total to 124, one more than Shoeless Joe Jackson in 1920. The 40-year-old’s 540th homer, his 300th on the road, struck an overhanging catwalk above the right-field seats.

Coming off four-game sweeps of the New York Yankees and Baltimore, the Red Sox began the night with a six-game lead over second-place Toronto in the AL East. They lowered their magic number to two for clinching a playoff berth.

Drew Pomeranz (3-5) allowed one run and four hits in five innings. Brad Ziegler, the fifth Boston reliever, got his fourth save after allowing a leadoff double in the ninth to Evan Longoria.

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