The momentum of a four-game winning streak and having closed the gap in the East by three games since last weekend should have given the Red Sox something of a lift at the start of a big homestand.
It did not.
None of that meant much when the Red Sox were faced with trying to solve Tampa Bay Rays righthander YonnyChirinos. Chirinos retired the first 15 hitters he faced and when the Sox finally broke through in the sixth, loading the bases with one out, made sure that things went no further.
He fanned Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers back-to-back and the Sox mustered just three more hits -- and one rather meaningless run -- over the final three innings in a deflating 5-1 setback to the Rays.
Boston managed a mere for hits all night. That four-game winning streak in which they scored at least seven runs each time didn't matter much Friday night.