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Boston Red Sox

Red Sox win seventh straight, beat Rays, 4-0

  • Boston Red Sox's Jon Lester winds up for a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    Boston Red Sox's Jon Lester winds up for a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

  • Boston Red Sox's Jon Lester delivers a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    Boston Red Sox's Jon Lester delivers a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

  • Boston Red Sox's Jon Lester delivers a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    Boston Red Sox's Jon Lester delivers a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

  • Boston Red Sox's Brock Holt advances after hitting a ground rule double off a pitch by Tampa Bay Rays' Erik Bedard in the third inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    Boston Red Sox's Brock Holt advances after hitting a ground rule double off a pitch by Tampa Bay Rays' Erik Bedard in the third inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

  • Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes, right, scores on a sacrifice fly as Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jose Molina, left, is unable to make the play in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes, right, scores on a sacrifice fly as Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jose Molina, left, is unable to make the play in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

  • Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Erik Bedard grimaces as he looks up from the mound after giving up runs to the Boston Red Sox in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Erik Bedard grimaces as he looks up from the mound after giving up runs to the Boston Red Sox in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

  • Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes is welcomed to the dugout after scoring on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes is welcomed to the dugout after scoring on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

  • Boston Red Sox catcher David Ross, left, and Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara, right, hug seconds after the Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0 in a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    Boston Red Sox catcher David Ross, left, and Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara, right, hug seconds after the Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0 in a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

  • Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts throws to first to retire Tampa Bay Rays Sean Rodriguez in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. The Red Sox won 4-0. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts throws to first to retire Tampa Bay Rays Sean Rodriguez in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. The Red Sox won 4-0. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

  • Boston Red Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes catches a fly ball hit by Tampa Bay Rays' Yunel Escobar to end the game in the ninth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. The Red Sox won 4-0. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    Boston Red Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes catches a fly ball hit by Tampa Bay Rays' Yunel Escobar to end the game in the ninth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. The Red Sox won 4-0. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

  • Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes, right, is welcomed Brock Holt, left, after scoring on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. The Red Sox won 4-0. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes, right, is welcomed Brock Holt, left, after scoring on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. The Red Sox won 4-0. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

  • Boston Red Sox's Jon Lester winds up for a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
  • Boston Red Sox's Jon Lester delivers a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
  • Boston Red Sox's Jon Lester delivers a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
  • Boston Red Sox's Brock Holt advances after hitting a ground rule double off a pitch by Tampa Bay Rays' Erik Bedard in the third inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
  • Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes, right, scores on a sacrifice fly as Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jose Molina, left, is unable to make the play in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
  • Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Erik Bedard grimaces as he looks up from the mound after giving up runs to the Boston Red Sox in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
  • Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes is welcomed to the dugout after scoring on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
  • Boston Red Sox catcher David Ross, left, and Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara, right, hug seconds after the Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0 in a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
  • Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts throws to first to retire Tampa Bay Rays Sean Rodriguez in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. The Red Sox won 4-0. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
  • Boston Red Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes catches a fly ball hit by Tampa Bay Rays' Yunel Escobar to end the game in the ninth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. The Red Sox won 4-0. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
  • Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes, right, is welcomed Brock Holt, left, after scoring on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Boston. The Red Sox won 4-0. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

BOSTON – A little infusion of youth and a solid start by Jon Lester kept the Boston Red Sox rolling along.

Lester pitched seven shutout innings and Brock Holt drove in two runs with one of his major league record-tying four doubles to lift the Red Sox to their seventh straight win, completing a three-game sweep of the reeling Tampa Bay Rays with a 4-0 victory yesterday.

Boston’s streak follows a 10-game skid, its longest in 20 years. The Red Sox said that matches a major league record for consecutive wins after a double-digit losing stretch, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau.

The 1989 Detroit Tigers did it after losing 12 in a row, and the 1942 Pittsburgh Pirates also did it after dropping 10 straight.

Rookies Garin Cecchini and Adam Hassen collected their first major league hits to go along with fellow rookie Holt’s big day.

“It’s great. It kind of makes you reminisce of all the good firsts and just how excited they’ll be,” Lester said. “That’s the cool part about this game, to see these guys come up and doing this stuff to help out the team.”

Holt tied a major league record for doubles in a single game one day after he hit his first major league homer in Saturday night’s win. Cecchini added an RBI double for his first major league hit.

“We’re tapping into organization depth and guys are ready to contribute,” Boston Manager John Farrell said. “It is a special day. I don’t know the last time two Red Sox players have gotten their first major league hits in a game.”

Evan Longoria had a pair of singles for the Rays, who dropped their season-high sixth straight. Tampa Bay owns the AL’s worst record at 23-34.

Holt has sparked Boston’s offense by moving into the leadoff spot, which had been a weakness since Jacoby Ellsbury left via free agency during the offseason, signing with the New York Yankees.

“It’s a fun day,” Holt said. “Anytime you can go out and do something like that, I had a little bit of luck on my side, too.”

Lester (6-6) allowed four hits while striking out 12 and walking one. It was the left-hander’s 19th career double-digit strikeout game, coming after he struck out a career-best 15 against the Oakland Athletics on May 3.

The Rays looked punchless for the third straight game.

“It’s been kind of ongoing for a little while now,” Tampa Bay second baseman Logan Forsythe said.

“A team doesn’t stay stagnant for that long. We’re going to get hot, we’re going to get going soon. It’s just a matter of time. We’re putting the work in. Now we just wait and see when it happens, and when it happens, just roll with it.”

Tampa Bay was held to three runs in the series and has scored two or fewer runs in nine of its past 14 games, losing eight of those.

“I really believe that run’s there,” Rays Manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s really pretty much rooted in one component of our game – we’re just not a consistent offensive team right now.”

Edward Mujica and Koji Uehara each pitched an inning to complete the five-hit shutout.

The Red Sox broke ahead 3-0 in the fourth against Erik Bedard (2-4). Hassan singled to center for his first hit after Jonny Gomes singled leading off. Jackie Bradley Jr. then walked before Jonathan Herrera had a sacrifice fly, making it 1-0. Holt followed with his two-run double.

Bedard lasted 4.2 innings, allowing three runs and five hits, walking four and striking out four.

For the second straight day, the clubs were cordial to each other on the field after three Boston managers and a pitcher were ejected in Friday’s game.

Rays starter David Price hit David Ortiz in the first inning and Mike Carp later in the fourth. The Carp one triggered the benches to clear, the second time in less than a week the two teams had a scrum.

Last Sunday in Tropicana Field, players in Boston’s dugout started yelling at Yunel Escobar when he stole third with the Rays up by five runs late.

NOTES

∎ Victor Martinez was the most recent player to get four doubles in a game, coming on June 1, 2010, while with the Red Sox.

∎ The last pair of Red Sox rookies to get their first major league hits in a game were Steve Dillard and Andy Merchant on Sept. 28, 1975.

∎ Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia was back in the lineup after missing Saturday with a sore right hand, but his day was cut short when he was ejected at the end of the third by home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn.

∎ It was Lester’s 233rd career start, moving him into fifth on the club’s all-time list.

∎ Before the game, the Red Sox called up 3B Cecchini from Triple-A Pawtucket and optioned RHP Alex Wilson.

∎ Tampa Bay placed OF Wil Myers on the 15-day DL before the game and recalled 1B/OF Jerry Sands from Triple-A Durham. Sands went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

∎ Rays SS Escobar was out of the starting lineup for the second straight game with a tight left quad, but he pinch hit in the seventh and flied to center.

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