Boston Red Sox's Brock Holt holds his left leg after stealing second base in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Boston. Holt left the game with an injury. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola
July 08, 2016

BOSTON (AP) The Red Sox are hoping to use their final series before the All-Star break to gain some ground on AL East-leading Baltimore.

Some of their newest additions helped keep that goal intact in a series-opening win over the struggling Tampa Bay Rays.

David Ortiz hit his 21st home run of the season, and recent call-up Bryce Brentz had two hits and broke a tie with an RBI single in the sixth to help the Red Sox beat the Rays 6-5 on Friday night.

Aaron Hill, who was acquired in a trade with the Brewers Thursday, had two RBI hits in his Red Sox debut.

The win was Boston's fourth in five games.

Brentz's RBI came after he entered the game in the fourth inning for an injured Brock Holt. Holt left with a left ankle sprain after getting his leg caught underneath him on a slide while stealing second.

''Honestly, I was hoping he was OK. After that, it's time to go to work,'' said Brentz, who was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on June 24 for his first major league stint since debuting in 2014. ''I just always try to come to the field every day ready. Unfortunately Brock had an incident, so hopefully he gets better. Luckily I was able to do something to help the team out.''

The Red Sox, who have had their share of injuries the past two months, left even more scuffed up.

He was able to walk off the field under his own power, but did have a slight limp. X-rays were negative and he will be re-evaluated on Saturday. Holt just returned to action July 1 after missing 37 games with a concussion.

Hanley Ramirez also limped his way through an eighth inning at-bat after fouling a ball off his left leg. He left the game with a left shin bruise and will get an MRI on Friday.

Hill said the hits helped welcome him to Boston.

''It definitely made me forget that I got up at 4 a.m., that's for sure,'' he said. ''The electricity in this place is always solid. You always wonder on visiting side what it's like over here and being able to get a taste of it is pretty neat.''

Robbie Ross, Jr. (1-1) got the victory for Boston. Koji Uehara picked up his third save.

Red Sox starter Sean O'Sullivan had won in each of his previous three starts, but he allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings.

Tampa Bay's Chris Archer (4-12) took the loss, surrendering five runs and seven hits in six innings.

Evan Longoria had four hits and a home run for the Rays, who have lost four straight and 20 of 23.

Archer entered the night with a 9.50 ERA in the first inning this season - the third-highest in the American League.

He got off to another slow start Friday.

''A little bit more of the same,'' Rays manager Kevin Cash said. ''Tough for us to avoid those first-inning struggles right now. It drives Arch's pitch count up a little bit, or a lot. I wish I had a better explanation for it; I don't. I don't think anybody really does.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rays: OF Kevin Kiermaier (wrist) will go through another batting practice session Saturday, and could start a rehab assignment Monday or Tuesday.

Red Sox: IF Travis Shaw remains day-to-day with a bruised left foot. X-rays on the foot were negative Thursday and he said the swelling has reduced significantly since he left Wednesday's win over the Rangers. ''It's got good color, but the swelling has gone down,'' he said.

SOX ADD MARTINEZ

The Red Sox sent cash to the Cleveland Indians for utilityman Michael Martinez on Friday.

Martinez batted .283 with one home run and three RBIs in 32 games for the Indians this season. He was designated for assignment July 2. A switch-hitter, he played all three outfield positions, second base and third base.

Martinez, 33, has also played for Philadelphia and Pittsburgh over six major league seasons.

UP NEXT

Rays: LHP Matt Moore (5-5, 4.54 ERA) is 3-1 over his last five starts with a 2.43 ERA over that span. Moore threw seven scoreless innings in a 4-0 win at home over the Red Sox on June 29. He is 2-2 with a 4.82 ERA in five games (four starts) at Fenway Park. He will be seeking his first road at Boston since September 2015.

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (10-2, 3.82 ERA) will make his 18th start of the season on Saturday. He is 7-0 in eight starts at Fenway Park this season. In two starts against the Rays this season he is 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA.

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Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/khightower

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