Prospect McCarthy leads Rays past rival Red Sox in Grapefruit League action

PORT CHARLOTTE, FLORIDA – Joe McCarthy, who spent last year with the Rays’ Single-A teams in Bowling Green and Charlotte, drove in three runs and scored twice as Tampa Bay defeated the Boston Red Sox 7-3 in Sunday’s Grapefruit League game at Charlotte Sports Park.

Tampa Bay catcher Jesus Sucre’s single in the second inning opened the scoring and Rickie Weeks Jr. made it a 2-0 game with a solo home run in the third. McCarthy scored on Luke Maile’s two-out infield single in the fourth and belted an RBI double to center in the sixth.

After the Red Sox used five base hits in the top of the seventh inning off left-handed reliever Ryan Yarbrough to move within one at 4-3, McCarthy provided some much-needed insurance with a two-run home run to right field in the bottom of the eighth. Maile’s second RBI single of the day in the eighth accounted for the final margin.

Starting in left field, McCarthy drew walks in his first two at-bats. The organization’s fifth-round draft pick in June 2015 and former Virginia Cavalier has batted .282 with 28 doubles, five triples, eight home runs, 81 RBI and 75 runs scored since beginning his career with Hudson Valley of the Class A Short Season New York-Penn League.

The winning pitcher was Tampa Bay starter Chris Archer. Archer struck out two and allowed one hit in two shutout innings.

Archer, who has lost 11 consecutive regular-season decisions to the Red Sox since winning his first career start against them on Sept. 19, 2012, gave up a single to lead-off hitter Brock Holt and walked Blake Swihart with two outs in the second. Holt was gunned down attempting to steal second after Archer struck out Andrew Benintendi.

The Rays used seven pitchers in the game and received perfect innings in the fourth from right-hander Chase Whitley, who worked two innings and struck out the side in the fourth, and in the eighth from right-hander Chih-Wei Hu. Tampa Bay yielded eight hits, walked three and struck out nine.

Taking the loss for Boston was right-hander Hector Velazquez. Recently purchased from the Piratas de Campeche of the Mexican League by the Red Sox, Velazquez gave up one run on three hits, walked one and struck out four over the first two innings.

Boston’s seven pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts. Right-hander Marcus Walden followed Velazquez and gave up two runs on two hits and four walks in 1.2 innings of work, while left-hander Luis Ysla yielded three runs, including the two-run home run by McCarthy, and was chased after retiring just one batter in the eighth.

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