St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Rene Rivera knocked in the game- winning run as the Rays beat the Red Sox 2-1 in walk-off fashion on Thursday.
The finale of the three-game set was decided by which bullpen blinked first after Jake Odorizzi and Clay Buchholz kept the bats quiet most of the night.
Relievers from both sides kept it 1-1 until the home ninth, which began with Allan Dykstra greeting Anthony Varvaro (0-1) with a single. Tim Beckham came in as a pinch-runner and moved to second on Kevin Kiermaier's base hit, and Rivera sent a line drive down the third-base line to give Tampa Bay the rubber match.
"It was a big night for Rene. He needed that and we needed that," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I'm sure he's feeling pretty good."
Brad Boxberger (2-1) tossed a perfect ninth to earn the win.
Pablo Sandoval doubled and scored Boston's only run on a Daniel Nava sacrifice fly in the second inning. Evan Longoria doubled and scored on a Logan Forsythe single in the bottom half.
Those were the only two hits the Rays had against Buchholz, who walked three and struck out 10 over six innings of one-run ball.
"Clay threw the ball outstanding," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He did his job."
The Red Sox put two on in the fifth, but Kiermaier made a diving catch in short right-center to rob Mookie Betts of a potential run-scoring hit.
Odorizzi was pulled with two on and two outs in the seventh, and Brandon Gomes buckled Hanley Ramirez at the knees on a payoff pitch to keep it 1-1.
Buchholz recorded his fifth career double-digit strikeout game ... Boston lost its first series of the season (3-1-1) ... Odorizzi, who was charged with one run on three hits and three walks, was just the second starter to throw a quality outing against Boston this season ... Starter Drew Smyly will be activated off the disabled list and make his season debut for the Rays in Friday's game against the Blue Jays.