Red Sox

BSJ Game Report: Red Sox 6, Rays 3 – Sox earn a split with Tampa Bay

(Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

All you need to know, in quickie form, about the Red Sox' 6-3 win over the Rays, complete with BSJ analysis and insight:

BOX SCORE

HEADLINES

Easy decision on Perez: The Red Sox have some tough choices to make this winter as they go about trying to rebound from a last-place finish and attempt to become a contender in the division again. But one call is an easy one: they should absolutely pick up the option on Martin Perez. The Sox signed Perez to a one-year deal last winter, with a $6 million salary for 2020 and a team option for $6.25 for 2021. Perez's numbers this year -- 3-4, 4.33 ERA -- don't jump off the page, but he's consistently kept the Red Sox in games, which is more than can be said for almost anyone else in the Boston rotation. Sunday was a case in point: Perez went five innings and allowed just two earned runs. He did his job, even as his defense committed three errors behind him. It's also worth noting that Perez was signed as a back-end starter, but was forced to become the No. 2 starter -- and No. 1 while Nathan Eovaldi missed three weeks with a calf pull. Viewed through that lens, he's been a bargain and should return.

Vazquez ends homers drought: Catcher Christian Vazquez began the season right where he left off last year - mashing extra-base hits and looking like he had become one of the game's best hitting catchers. But then Vazquez quieted at the plate for a long time, as both the power dried up and the average dipped considerably. That's changed of late and Vazquez, in the first inning Sunday, finally ended a homer-less drought that lasted almost six weeks. Hitting second in the lineup, he crushed a pitch in the top of the first for his first homer since July 30. It was Vazquez's first homer in some 123 at-bats and presented the Sox with a 2-0 lead on the scoreboard. "He's been getting a lot of hits, his swings are good, his at-bats are tough at-bats,'' said Ron Roenicke. "And I think once you do that, you gain confidence.''