Rays 'keep it rolling,' become 1st MLB team to open 10-0 since 1987

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays became the first major league team since the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers to open the season with 10 straight wins, getting a solo homer from Brandon Lowe in the eighth inning to defeat the Boston Red Sox 1-0 on Monday night.

Lowe homered for the third straight game, sending a one-out pitch from Chris Martin (0-1) into the right-field stands. Lowe has nine RBIs over his past three games.

"Brandon had a really good at-bat," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Hung in there on some pitches, and then he got a fastball that he could get the barrel to. And we know that he can knock it out of the ballpark when he connects."

The 1987 Brewers and the 1982 Atlanta Braves share the major league record for the best start to a season at 13-0.

"It's great to come out on top," Lowe said in his postgame, on-field interview. "Let's keep it rolling."

In a matchup of the American League's top two scoring teams, pitching and defense prevailed. This was the Rays' first win by fewer than four runs, and Tampa Bay fell one game short of the 1939 New York Yankees as the most recent team to win 10 consecutive games by four or more at any point in a season.

"This is the first night where it was kind of quiet offensively," Cash said. "I kind of felt like, at any given moment, someone can knock one out of the ballpark."

Tampa Bay opener Jalen Beeks allowed one hit over two innings, and Josh Fleming gave up one hit over the next four. After Garrett Cleavinger pitched a perfect seventh, Colin Poche (1-0) worked out of bases-loaded, two-out jam in the eighth by striking out Rafael Devers.

"I think overall it was a good baseball game," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "They pitched well. We pitched well. It was good defense. Obviously, we didn't win. But as for the game, it was great."

Pete Fairbanks completed the three-hitter and recorded his first save. The Rays have now posted three consecutive shutouts, after registering consecutive 11-0 wins over the Oakland Athletics to close out a weekend series.

"It just shows how unbelievable our pitchers really are," Lowe said. "That was a fun game. It's nice to leave with a win."

Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta gave up three hits in five scoreless innings. Josh Winckowski allowed one hit in two innings.

In the previous two wins over the A's, the Rays allowed just four hits overall.

Boston recorded a three-game weekend sweep over the Detroit Tigers in which the Red Sox outscored their hosts 24-9.

"Definitely felt like a Rays-Red Sox game," Cash said, later referring to Major League Baseball's new schedule in which teams play division rivals less frequently. "Look, they're a good team. I'm thrilled that we're not playing them 19 times."

Cora said "there's a good chance" right-hander Garrett Whitlock (hip surgery) will make his season debut Tuesday night against Rays ace Shane McClanahan (2-0).

"They've got good stuff; give them credit," Cora said of the Rays' pitching staff. "We've just got to get better for tomorrow."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.