Streaking Rays trounce Red Sox, extend perfect start to 11-0

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays ran their season-opening win streak to 11 games, moving closer to history by using another homer for Brandon Lowe and a strong performance by starter Shane McClanahan to defeat the Boston Red Sox 7-2 on Tuesday night.

Yandy Diaz and Lowe hit back-to-back solo shots with two out in the fifth inning. Lowe extended his homer streak to four straight games.

Isaac Paredes and Josh Lowe also connected for the Rays, and McClanahan (3-0) struck out nine while pitching five-plus innings of one-run ball.

"This team is having a lot of fun right now; we're doing what we need to do every single night," Josh Lowe said in his postgame, on-field interview, adding that the Rays have been "relentless." "We're just going to keep it rolling as long as we can."

The 1987 Milwaukee Brewers and the 1982 Atlanta Braves share the best start in major leagues since 1900 at 13-0. The Rays are closing in.

"We're just getting good pitches to hit. That's all, really," Josh Lowe said. "We've all worked really hard to get to this point that we're at right now. We're keeping it simple, and staying within ourselves. ... We're doing our job."

The four homers brought Tampa Bay's total to 29, matching the major league record through 11 games set by the 2000 St. Louis Cardinals. It was the Rays' third four-homer game of the young season.

"It's unbelievable. Everyone kind of wrote us off about our offense," McClanahan said. "But we believe in these guys, and they are showing why we believe in them. It's been awesome."

Boston's Alex Cora has watched his club produce just two runs in this series, and that was after the Rays posted back-to-back shutouts of the Oakland Athletics. But the manager has been impressed with Tampa Bay's offense, as well.

"They're playing good baseball right now. They did a few things offensively that they have cleaned up compared to last year; their approach is a lot different," Cora said. "They're putting good swings on good pitches and hitting the ball out of the ballpark."

McClanahan concurred.

"It's a good team win," McClanahan said. "And that's what it's about."

Before the game, the Rays placed starter Zach Eflin on the 15-day injured list with lower back tightness. In his pregame media availability, Rays manager Kevin Cash said that prospect Taj Bradley will be promoted from the minor leagues to start in Wednesday's series finale versus Boston.

The Eflin move will be backdated to April 8, so the right-handed veteran will miss at least two turns in the rotation, including Wednesday's game for the Rays. That said, Cash said that his IL stint should be minimal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.