Lightning Star Steven Stamkos Ruled Out Of Wednesday’s Game Vs. Bruins

The Boston Bruins haven’t had an ideal start in the NHL’s Toronto bubble, but it looks like they’ll at least avoid having to play against one star forward in their second round-robin game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper announced Tuesday that Steven Stamkos will miss the team’s second straight Stanley Cup qualifying tilt Wednesday against Boston.
Stamkos joined his teammates on the ice to skate Tuesday, but had not practiced since Friday after sustaining a lower-body injury before the start of training camp during a voluntary workout. He also missed the Lightning’s last seven games of the regular season before the NHL paused operations due to COVID-19 while dealing with a core muscle injury that required surgery.

Coop's morning media included notes on Bogo pairing with Heddy, ruled out Stamkos for tomorrow's game vs. Boston, and talked the goalie schedule for the next two round robin games.
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) August 4, 2020

Despite these road bumps, Stamkos was his team’s runner up in goals (29) and points (66).
And though Tampa Bay still is a formidable opponent without him, his absence certainly will be missed by the Lightning.
Puck drop for Bruins-Lightning is set for 4 p.m. ET.
More NHL: Here’s Update On Nick Ritchie, Ondrej Kase’s Status For Bruins-Lightning

QBs Matthew Stafford, Gardner Minshew Each Removed From NFL’s COVID-19 List

The NFL got some good news Tuesday.
With training camps slowly ramping up and increased COVID-19 testing among teams, it’s starting to really feel like football is on the horizon. One thing that could hurt this, though, is if positive tests exponentially increase.
Both Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and Gardner Minshew of the Jacksonville Jaguars were added to the league’s COVID-19 list this past week, but luckily both were removed Tuesday.
For more on the pair of the QBs, check out the “Need To Know” video above from Tuesday night’s “NESN After Hours,” presented by People’s United Bank.
More NFL: Max Kellerman Admits Two Ways He Was Wrong About Tom Brady ‘Cliff’ Take

How Celtics Lack Of Size Proved Issue Vs. Heat, And Could Moving Forward

Brad Stevens admitted it himself.
The Celtics “were toast” when the Miami Heat got the ball inside during Boston’s 112-106 loss to the Heat on Tuesday from the campus in Walt Disney World.
“Our defense has to improve,” Stevens said, bluntly.
The Celtics, surprisingly held a major advantage in regards to points in the paint (54-28), but that statistic probably doesn’t tell the whole story as it was Miami who had the tenacious advantage inside.
The Heat got the ball deep in the paint and it left the smaller C’s with no choice but to foul — especially when 6-foot-3 Marcus Smart was tasked with the responsibility of guarding 6-foot-9 Bam Adebayo. Smart had four fouls in the first two quarters and fouled out late in the third. That certainly didn’t help the defensive-struggling Celtics.
“Well, we’re fouling because they’re getting the ball so deep,” Stevens said, as seen on NBC Sports Boston’s postgame coverage. “The post fouls they’re getting in deep and they’re using the strength and size. So, we’re going to have to not allow the ball to get deep, going to have to figure that out. Beginning of the year, I thought we guarded with great intensity. We kept the ball out of the paint. We’re not doing as good a job now keeping the ball out of the paint. So, we just got to figure out. If it gets down there, we’re toast. So we have to keep it from getting there.”
More Celtics: Kemba Walker Out Vs. Nets; Brad Stevens Expresses Optimism In Recovery
Adebayo led the Heat with a team-high 21 points and 12 rebounds (three offensive). Ex-Celtic Kelly Olynyk even gave Boston some trouble inside, finishing with 15 points and having the presence of mind to kick it out to the Miami shooters, who connected on 15 3-pointers, 10 of which came in the first half. It proved a nice display of inside-out basketball.
“I think first of all (Bam) Adebayo’s strength in the post, and then Kelly (Olynyk) posted. When they got switched, they went straight to the block and posted really hard,” Stevens said. “It put us in a bad spot, we were so spread out on the shooters. So, we got to do a better job of again, keeping them from getting a clean look in there, and keeping it from getting there to begin with. So, that might be a tough team to play (entering the playoffs).”
Stevens is right, it could be a tough team to play when the postseason gets underway. But does Tuesday’s contest tell a bigger story?
For example, how will the Celtics combat Miami’s size inside should they have to play them in the second round as the No. 3 vs. No. 4 matchup? Heck, how will the Celtics fare if they run into the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round — a No. 3 vs. No. 6 matchup — a team who has Joel Embiid and Al Horford.
Whether that be by playing stronger defense inside, denying the ball on the block completely or just forcing turnovers, one thing is for sure, the Celtics defense has to be better.
More Celtics: Cold Shooting, Fouls Plague Boston In Loss To Heat

CT Sun Wrap: Connecticut Extends Losing Streak To Five In Loss To Storm

Sue Bird wasn’t on the court for the Storm on Tuesday thanks to a knee injury, but the Connecticut Sun still couldn’t overcome Seattle’s wrath.
Connecticut dropped its fifth game in a row and of the season, falling 87-74 to the Seattle Storm at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The Sun now currently sport the worst record in the league, having failed to win a single game since the season began July 25.
Breanna Stewart dazzled for the Storm with 22 points and five rebounds. In total, Seattle’s starting five combined for a whopping 67 points, with Sami Whitcomb contributing 15 from the bench.
It wasn’t all bad news of the Sun, however. Brionna Jones scored a career-high 22 points, while Alyssa Thomas recorded her third double-double (15 points, 13 rebounds) of the season.
The Sun fall to 0-5 while the Storm improve to 4-1.
Here’s how it all went down:
PG: Jasmine Thomas
SG: Natisha Hiedeman
PF: Alyssa Thomas
SF: DeWanna Bonner
C: Brionna Jones
There wasn’t much daylight between the Sun and the Storm in the first.
Things remained fairly even through the first 10 minutes. Connecticut attempted to break away from Seattle several times, but the Storm managed to stay within striking distance.

Our ball.#SUNState
— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun) August 5, 2020

Express delivery from AT to Bria#SUNState
— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun) August 5, 2020

[email protected]_canada @jewellloyd #StrongerThanEver
— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) August 5, 2020

— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) August 5, 2020

Jones looked stellar early, leading all scorers with 11 points in the first and notching her first career triple.

Must be the carpool lane because Brionna is great in traffic#SUNState
— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun) August 5, 2020

— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun) August 5, 2020

The Sun took a 19-16 lead into the second.
Things stayed rather even in the second, though both teams saw separate bursts of success.
Seattle found its rhythm early in the quarter, opening up a five-point lead on Connecticut midway through thanks to some nifty stuff from Natasha Howard, Jewell Loyd and Jordin Canada.

The youth movement #StrongerThanEver
— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) August 5, 2020

— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) August 5, 2020

But the Sun pushed back, retaking the lead on a quick 7-0 run. Jones continued to dazzle, tying her career-high in points with 18 in the first half alone.
The two squads traded leads late in the half, but Connecticut found itself on top 40-38 at the buzzer.
Things were going well for the Sun in the third… until they weren’t.
Connecticut and Seattle continued to trade leads through much of third. Some good looks from Alyssa Thomas and Theresa Plaisance helped give the Sun an edge.

The Midas touch.#SUNState
— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun) August 5, 2020

Theresa with the fade away#SUNState
— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun) August 5, 2020

But the Storm began to pull away late, capitalizing on some sloppy defense from the Sun.

AC FOR THREE#StrongerThanEver
— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) August 5, 2020

@ezimagbegor #StrongerThanEver
— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) August 5, 2020

And just like that, Connecticut found itself down 61-53 heading into the final frame.
The Sun simply ran out of gas in the fourth, allowing the Storm to take complete control.
Seattle came out strong, eventually opening up a 19-point lead midway through the quarter. Stewart and Canada led the charge, accumulating 22 and 14 points, respectively.

STEWIE SPLASH #StrongerThanEver
— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) August 5, 2020

[email protected]_canada with the swipe and the bucket #StrongerThanEver
— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) August 5, 2020

Sadly for Connecticut, there wasn’t much more to the fourth. The Storm ultimately topped the Sun 87-74, climbing to an impressive 4-1 in the process.
What. A. Play.

So much to unpack in your clip…what's your favorite part?#SUNState
— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun) August 5, 2020

The Sun will take on the Dallas Wings on Thursday as they look for their first win of the season. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.
More WNBA: Sabrina Ionescu Expected To Miss Roughly One Month With Ankle Sprain

Red Sox Notes: Andrew Benintendi’s Struggles Continue In Loss Vs. Rays

Andrew Benintendi has been struggling mightily this season, to say the least.
The Red Sox left fielder is a painful 2-for-29 with 12 strikeouts through Boston’s first 11 games. And those struggles were on full display in his team’s 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.
Benintendi went 0-for-5 at Tropicana Field with two strikeouts, including getting rung up in the ninth with the bases loaded to end the game with the tying run at the plate. If he ever needed a hit, then was the time to get one.
Of course, there’s still time for Benintendi to break out of his slump and go on a tear, which Boston so desperately needs after dropping to 3-8 on the season.
But it’s not just Benintendi. Jackie Bradley Jr. has gone cold, too. The center fielder, who showcased his brilliant defense Tuesday night with a web gem, is on an 0-for-21 stretch after beginning the season hot.
That’s all changed now, though, but manager Ron Roenicke doesn’t see himself benching either play for more than one game.
“We’ve been kind of switching off the outfield, (Kevin) Pillar continues to have good at-bats for me. He’ll be out there tomorrow,” Roenicke said during his Zoom postgame press conference. “So we’ll continue to switch guys up. But we also know these guys that we know can hit, we’ve got a plan to get them going. Yes, I can sit them a game. I really wouldn’t want to do more than that just because I know what they can do to help this offense. And I think when all those guys are doing what I know they can, then we’ve got a powerful offense that we know can score a lot of runs. And to sit them for a while doesn’t help that much. I don’t mind sitting them a game. But if you sit them longer than that, then all of a sudden what they’ve been working on, you can’t use that transition into a ball game and then getting out of their little slump they’re in and get it going.”
Something’s gotta give. But the Red Sox don’t have a whole lot of time to figure it out.
More Red Sox: Josh Taylor Stresses Taking COVID-19 Seriously To ‘Get This Thing Over With’
Here are some other notes from Tuesday’s Red Sox-Rays game:
— Things were going well for Nathan Eovaldi… until the Tropicana Field catwalk happened.
The Red Sox were up 1-0 in the third thanks to a Mitch Moreland homer an inning prior. But after a missed called-third strike by home plate umpire Randy Rosenberg and Hunter Renfroe hitting the catwalk in what should have been the inning-ending out for Rafael Devers to make, things started to turn.
The ball was ruled dead and Renfroe smacked a two-out double to bring in two runs.
“It’s the only ballpark that has those rules,” Eovaldi said during his postgame Zoom presser. “You’ve just got to deal with it.”
— The Red Sox left five runners on base in the final two innings. And even though they had a bit of tough luck and J.D. Martinez hitting a ground-rule double that likely would have score Jose Peraza, Roenicke said the opportunities to get the big hits were there.
“Some things went not our way, little unlucky on J.D.’s ball too,” he said. “… But we had opportunities to get those big hits that we’ve been looking for. I know Nate wasn’t happy with his outing but he still threw the ball well. He kept us in the ballgame … if we get some of those big hits were looking for the that’s fine.”
— Boston has won two of its three games when Eovaldi has been on the mound, and Roenicke noted postgame that the team counts on him to keep them in games.
“We count on Nate to keep us in games, which he has,” Roenicke said. “And because we know he’s got a big arm we know every time he goes out there we think we’re going to win. … Put it his way: when Nate pitches we feel like we have a great chance to win…”
— Martinez, who’s in a bit of a slump himself, noted the restrictions due to COVID-19 have limited him in getting as much work in for his swing via video than he usually does every season.
It’s also impacted how he interacts with his teammates.
“You’re kind of on your own,” he said on Zoom. “It’s like ‘Survivor.’ … “There’s no computers. They’re all gone. They’ve disappeared. It’s tough, but we’ve got to adjust. We’ve got to adapt.”
— Boston has one more game against the Rays on Wednesday in hopes to snap the four-game losing skid before welcoming the Toronto Blue Jays to Fenway Park.
More Red Sox: How Rafael Devers Views Defense In Quest To Become Boston Superstar

Red Sox Offense Sputters Vs. Rays As Boston Drops Fourth Straight Game

It wasn’t the Boston Red Sox’s night Tuesday.
The Red Sox began a quick two-game set on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, and at first it seemed promising. First baseman Mitch Moreland belted his third home run of the season to give Boston an early 1-0 lead in the second inning, but they wouldn’t hold on.
Boston was unable to push across another run throughout the contest, while Tampa Bay’s offense woke up en route to a 5-1 win over the Red Sox.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts entered Tuesday’s contest following his best performance of the season against the New York Yankees where he went 4-for-4 with two home runs, but wasn’t able to get anything going against the Rays on Tuesday night finishing the game 0-for-4.
For more on his night and the offense as a whole, check out the video above from “Red Sox Final,” presented by Rodenhiser Home Services.
More: Watch Mitch Moreland Hit Second-Inning Home Run For Red Sox Vs. Rays

Celtics Notes: Cold Shooting, Fouls Plague Boston In Loss To Heat

Trailing the Miami Heat all game, the Boston Celtics were in desperate need of some momentum.
A promising 11-0 run in the third quarter, where the Celtics ultimately outscored the Heat 32-28, hit a few speed bumps with a plethora of foul calls.
So with a few main contributors on the bench in foul trouble, and with Kemba Walker’s minutes restriction quickly approaching, the point guard took it upon himself to make sure his time on the court count.
As the seconds ticked away in the frame, Walker caught an inbounded pass, dribbled it up a few feet and sunk it in from half court to beat the buzzer.
The momentum shifted back in their favor, kind of, as the Celtics cut their deficit to as few as three points late in the fourth. But it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback, as Boston fell 112-106 in an ugly loss where the Heat were without Jimmy Butler on the second game of a back-to-back.
Not great, but Walker was a bright spot — if the only one.
Despite being limited to 27 minutes, he had 15 points and four assists. His playmaking and passing was a great indicator that his health may not be as big of a concern as we feared. He was even taking charges like his old self and playing hard, deep into the final quarter.
“It’s important,” head coach Brad Stevens said of Walker getting those late-game minutes. “I wasn’t planning on doing that but obviously when (Marcus) Smart fouled out I didn’t have much a choice. He’s got to get as much reps as he can in that and obviously those are good things.”
Kemba will sit out Wednesday in the second game of Boston’s back-to-back as a means of load management to get him 100 % for the playoffs.
More Celtics: Kemba Walker Won’t Play Vs. Nets; Brad Stevens Expresses Optimism In Recovery
Here are some other notes from Tuesday’s Celtics-Heat game:
— With the loss, Miami is just 1.5 games behind Boston.
The Heat must win two more games than the Celtics through the rest of the seeding games to steal the No. 3 seed in the East, but it still seems unlikely to happen based on the remainder of their respective schedules.
The Celtics get the Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic, Memphis Grizzlies and Washington Wizards to close things out. The Heat, meanwhile, have a tougher road ahead with the Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns, Oklahoma City Thunder and the Indiana Pacers twice.
Long story short, it’s looking like the Celtics may have to go through the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round.
— So let’s get back to all those fouls, which certainly were one of the Celtics’ biggest downfalls.
Marcus Smart fouled out with more than three minutes to play in the third, and it got to the point where Jaylen Brown was asking the officials to stop picking on him. After all, Smart was fined after the Milwaukee Bucks loss for criticizing the refs.

lol I’m pretty sure I could hear Jaylen say “Don’t pick on Smart, man. We need him. Come on.”
— Tom Westerholm (@Tom_NBA) August 5, 2020

Jayson Tatum came close to the same fate around the same point in the game, and got a technical in garbage time for talking to himself out of frustration.

Jayson Tatum, after getting a tech: "I was talking to myself."
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) August 5, 2020

Even Gordon Hayward got a tech, the third of his career and his first as a Celtic, for a questionable charge.
Maybe it’s the mustache or the fact that he’s pent up at Disney, but the bubble has given Hayward some fire. But to be fair, it’s hard to blame him after that technical. Especially when he likely thought he’d drawn an and-1.

The 'stache is not happy.#Celtics
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) August 5, 2020

The Heat ultimately had 39 free throw attempts on 26 Celtics fouls. Bam Adebayo in particular received 18 free throw attempts, and he bullied Boston all day.
Tatum couldn’t even get rid of him postgame.
— A.K (@Kungu_NBA) August 5, 2020

With a skilled big like Adebayo, Stevens said the issue was letting the ball get deep, and it’s something they’ll have to figure out.
“We’re fouling because they’re getting the ball so deep,” Stevens said. “I’ll have to go back and look at the perimeter fouls again … But if it gets down there we’re toast.”
— And between the foul trouble and Walker’s minutes restriction, the Celtics’ bench was exposed further.
Enes Kanter hit double-digit scoring with 10 points, but the rest of the bench combined for just 12. And only three of those points came from Smart.
— Even the Celtics starters weren’t getting shots to fall like they did against Portland, especially from beyond the arc. They shot just 30.3% from the 3, making 10 of 33 attempts to fall even further behind the Heat who shot well from that range to open the game. Boston, meanwhile, didn’t take enough chances to attack the rim.
Jaylen Brown’s performance was a good microcosm of that, as driving to the rim is one of the stronger points of his game. He was 0-for-5 from the 3-point range, but gave the Celtics a great spark once he started attacking the rim, powering through finishes and pulling down boards on both ends.
Brown finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and a block. And while six Celtics hit double-digits, led by Tatum’s 23-points, they felt off.
— Credit where credit is due, Miami played well. They went hard from the get-go, and had great ball movement which generated some good looks. Especially while attacking against Boston’s small lineup with Smart out there with the starters.
And Boston’s defense just couldn’t hang in a sloppy performance.
“They did a great job cutting,” Stevens said. “We weren’t solid and they exposed that. Our defense has to improve. Credit to Miami, they played with unbelievable intensity and togetherness tonight and I thought they were clearly the better team tonight.
“Miami was dictating how the game was played, they were great.”
— In his postgame Zoom interview, Tatum wore a mask with “8:46” screen-printed on it, as well as a T-shirt with the initials “GF” to symbolize George Floyd and the amount of time a police officer kneeled on his neck before killing him.

Jayson Tatum's mask tonight is for George Floyd: Eight minutes, 46 seconds, the amount of time the police were on Floyd's neck. Then the "GF" t-shirt with Floyd's initials.
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) August 5, 2020

— The Celtics return to play Wednesday, Aug. 5 against the Brooklyn Nets at 9:00 p.m. ET.
More Celtics: Jayson Tatum Shares What Went Into Achieving Career-High In Assists Vs. Trail Blazers

Watch Nationals’ Juan Soto Dance On Dugout After Josh Harrison Home Run

COVID-19 has changed the atmosphere in Major League Baseball parks across the United States, but Juan Soto is making the best of the situation.
Despite some noise fed through ballpark sound systems, players have little to feed off of when big plays are made on either side of the ball with no fans in the stands. That’s left players, like Soto, to get creative.
So when Josh Harrison launched a solo home run in the second inning of Tuesday’s game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park, the Washington Nationals outfielder displayed his boundless excitement by hopping on top of the dugout and breaking out a few dance moves.
Check it out, via MASN’s Dan Kolko:

Juan Soto approves of Josh Harrison’s homer.
— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) August 4, 2020

We stan that energy.
More MLB: Angels Confirm Shohei Ohtani Won’t Pitch Again In 2020, Expects To In 2021

Kemba Walker Won’t Play Vs. Nets; Brad Stevens Expresses Optimism In Recovery

Kemba Walker played more minutes (27) Tuesday than he had since January.
The Boston Celtics guard scored 15 points on 4-for-9 shooting, including 4-for-7 from 3-point range. He chipped in another four assists in the Celtics’ 111-106 loss to the Miami Heat from the campus in Walt Disney World.
In other words, Walker continued to show positive signs, even playing fourth-quarter minutes for the first time in the NBA bubble.
But Boston head coach Brad Stevens, while optimistic with Walker’s progress, remains consistent that he won’t rush the All-Star back. Stevens told reporters after the loss that Walker will not play Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets, the second night of a back-to-back.
“It’s important, I wasn’t planning on doing that but obviously when (Marcus) Smart fouled out, we didn’t have much choice,” Stevens said when asked about Walker’s fourth-quarter minutes, as seen on NBC Sports Boston postgame coverage.
“Brad (Wanamaker), I thought, gave us really good minutes to get us to that spot and then Kemba was going to play the rest. He’s got to get as much reps as he can, and obviously those are good things.”
Stevens, while explaining how Boston does not want Walker “going hard two day in a row,” said it’s likely the first-year Celtic will see another incremental increase in minutes Friday against the Toronto Raptors.
“I think he’s done a good job of preparing for it,” Stevens added. “These minutes will help him get there. And when he plays a couple games in the 30s, he’ll feel better about it and by then, the playoffs and everything, he’ll be fine.”
Jayson Tatum noted he’s happy to see Walker continue to get healthy, as well.
“That’s big for us,” Tatum said. “Obviously, we want to win all these games, but equally important is getting everybody healthy, playing well, building chemistry and just making sure guys are getting their rhythm for the playoffs.”
The Celtics will face the Nets starting at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
More Celtics: Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum Can’t Lead Boston Past Heat

Red Sox Wrap: Boston’s Losing Streak Extends To Four With 5-1 Loss Vs. Rays

Things just aren’t going well for the Red Sox.
Boston amassed eightr hits, but only could score once in its 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.
Nathan Eovaldi started strong and was striking out guys, but it turned in a rough performance with four earned runs on six hits and a walk. He did amass six strikeouts.
Boston scored once in the second inning and made things quite interesting in the ninth by loading the bases to bring the tying run to the plate, but the Red Sox couldn’t get anything done.
There was some nice defense from Jackie Bradley Jr., though, as he flashed the leather in what was one of the only bright spots for the team.
With the loss, the Red Sox fell to 3-8, while the Rays climbed to 5-6.
More Red Sox: Josh Taylor Stresses Taking COVID-19 Seriously To ‘Get This Thing Over With’
Here’s how it all went down:
Another day, another game of things just not clicking.
— The Rays appeared to tie the game at 1-1 in the third when Brandon Lowe smacked the ball to center. But Bradley appeared to make the catch, but it was ruled it bounced before making it into his glove. Austin Meadows scored, but a review determined it indeed was a catch and Boston remained up by a run.

— NESN (@NESN) August 4, 2020

— The Rays got on the board in the fourth and took a one-run lead.
Yoshi Tsutsugo drew a walk to lead off the inning before Joey Wendle singled. Hunter Renfroe came up big with a double to drive in both runners for the 2-1 edge.

(B)ring ‘em in, Hunter!
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 5, 2020

— Eovaldi ran into more trouble in the fifth by hitting Michael Perez to begin the inning before Meadows drove him in with a triple.
Meadows then made it 4-1 when he crossed the plate on a Lowe single.
— Phillips Valdez took over in the sixth and gave up a one-out single and two-out walk, but that was enough for Ron Roenicke to make a change.
— Josh Osich got Perez to strike out swinging to end the frame.
The left-hander returned for the seventh and was removed after a one-out single from Lowe.
— Ryan Brasier took over and immediately gave up a single to Yandy Diaz to put runners on the corners with two outs.
A sacrifice fly off the bat of Ji-Man Choi to left made it 5-1.
Brasier got out of the inning with a Tsutsugo strikeout.
— Jeffrey Springs got the eighth and pitched a 1-2-3 frame.
— Mitch Moreland made his return to the lineup instantly felt when he hit a solo home run to right to give the Red Sox. 1-0 lead.

— NESN (@NESN) August 4, 2020

— The Red Sox had a chance to add to their lead when Jose Peraza led the third off with a single. J.D. Martinez then smacked a ground-rule double to left, which held Peraza at third.
Boston ended up stranding both runners.
— Roenicke made an interesting decision in the seventh when he pinch-hit Kevin Pillar for Alex Verdugo, a move that didn’t make much sense unless the skipper wanted to swap out a right fielder for a right fielder.
Regardless, Pillar was called out on strikes.
— Martinez had a chance to bring Boston back in it with two men on in the eighth, but he went down on three pitches. Xander Bogaerts also went down by way of the K to end the inning.
— The Red Sox tried to get something going in the ninth with back-to-back singles from Christian Vazquez and Pillar before Bradley loaded up the bags with an infield single.
But the threat ended when Peraza and Andrew Benintendi both were caught looking at strike three.
— Martinez led the way with three hits. Vazquez, Bradley, Pillar, Moreland, Verdugo and Peraza accounted for other hits with one apiece.
It was so pretty we had to show you again.

Never a doubt.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) August 5, 2020

The Red Sox wrap up their brief two-game set with the Rays on Wednesday night. Martin Perez is expected to get the ball for Boston, opposite of Ryan Yarbrough. First pitch from Tropicana Field is set for 6:40 p.m. ET.
More Red Sox: Jose Peraza Reveals Reason For Wearing Mask While On Field