Manuel Margot scored on a wild pitch with two outs in the ninth inning as the Tampa Bay Rays held off the visiting Boston Red Sox 1-0 in the rubber match of a three-game series on Thursday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Red Sox closer Matt Barnes (3-2) threw a breaking ball that bounced in front of catcher Christian Vazquez and rolled far enough away to his right to allow Margot to score.
Margot reached on a two-out single, stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error by Vazquez. Joey Wendle was intentionally walked to bring up catcher Francisco Mejia, who took a first-pitch strike before the miscue by Barnes.
Boston starter Nick Pivetta did not allow a hit in 6 2/3 innings before being pulled after throwing 100 pitches. Pivetta struck out eight, walked two and hit a batter before being relieved by Josh Taylor with two outs in the seventh.
Taylor coaxed an inning-ending flyout by Wendle after intentionally walking pinch hitter Margot to preserve the no-hitter. Darwinzon Hernandez relieved Taylor to pitch the home eighth and surrendered a one-out double to left field by Kevin Kiermaier for the Rays’ first hit of the night.
Rays starter Michael Wacha tossed five scoreless innings, allowing one hit, walking two and striking out seven. J.P. Feyereisen (4-3) earned the win after allowing no hits and walking one in a scoreless inning of relief.
Tampa Bay won its second straight game and moved a half-game ahead of Boston atop the American League East standings. The Red Sox have dropped three of their last four.
Rays top prospect Wander Franco was hitless in four at-bats with three strikeouts. The 20-year-old shortstop went 2-for-11 in the three-game series, including hitting a three-run homer for his first hit in his major league debut on Tuesday.
Boston nearly broke a scoreless tie on Vazquez’s one-out single in the seventh, but Hunter Renfroe got a slow jump off second base and was thrown out by Rays center fielder Kiermaier at home plate. The Red Sox challenged the play, but the call was upheld.