BOSTON (AP) -- Drew Pomeranz did not allow a hit until the fifth inning and gave up two runs over six, Mookie Betts hit a three-run home run and the Boston Red Sox routed the Tampa Bay Rays 9-3 on Friday night.
It was the third straight victory for the Red Sox, who entered the game with a 3 1/2-game lead over the second-place New York Yankees atop the AL East. Tampa Bay came in 3 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild card spot.
Pomeranz (15-5) struck out seven, allowed two hits and walked two en route to tying Chris Sale for the team lead in victories.
Jesus Sucre slugged a two-run homer for the Rays, who have homered in a season franchise record 18 straight games.
Chris Archer (9-9) was roughed up for a season-high eight runs, six earned, and nine hits and struck out five in three-plus innings.