BOSTON -- Jalen Beeks made his major league debut at Fenway Park earlier this season, and it didn't go well. Neither did his next appearance on that mound.
Traded away by Boston last month, Beeks returned Sunday with the Tampa Bay Rays and fared a lot better.
Beeks pitched four strong innings and the Rays limited Boston to two hits, blanking the AL East leaders 2-0.
"I didn't pitch well here the first two times I pitched here, so it felt good here to get the team a win," Beeks said. "It was satisfying."
The 25-year-old lefty was tagged for five runs in the first inning by Detroit on June 7. More than a month later, he allowed three runs in just 2 1/3 innings against Texas, leaving him with a 12.79 ERA for Boston.
That was the end of his career with the Red Sox, who dealt Beeks before the trade deadline for pitcher Nathan Eovaldi.
Facing the team with the best record in the majors, Beeks (2-1) gave up one hit in relief, striking out three and walking two.
"He was throwing harder. I saw 94 (mph)," Boston manager Alex Cora said. "I didn't see that here. Besides that, same cutter, fastball, breaking ball. He did a good job."
The Red Sox has lost only four of their last 21 games. They were shut out for the fifth time this season.
Sergio Romo worked the ninth for his 16th save and 100th of his career. Reliever Diego Castillo started for the Rays, getting five outs. It was the club's 34th time to have a reliever start, and was Castillo's first major league start.
"It's just a different philosophy," Boston's Mookie Betts said. "We have to adjust. We just didn't swing it well. They pitched it well and we didn't swing it well."
Hector Velazquez (7-1) gave up a run and three hits in four innings. He took Chris Sale's turn in the rotation a day after the ace lefty was put on the 10-day disabled list for the second time in nearly three weeks with mild shoulder inflammation.
Wendle hit his homer into Boston's bullpen in the second. Cron hit his 24th off a billboard above the Green Monster seats in the ninth.
Boston's best chance came with two on and no outs in the fourth, but MLB RBI leader J.D. Martinez bounced into a double play.
Martinez went 0 for 3, snapping his streak of reaching base successfully in home games at 51 straight, the third-longest string in club history. Ted Williams owns the record with 69 in 1941 and Joe Foy is next with 54 in 1966.
Rays: C Jesus Sucre returned to the lineup after missing the previous four games with a sore right wrist. He went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and bounced into a DP.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (10-day DL, sprained right ankle) is slated to have a rehab start for Double-A Portland on Monday. ... Knuckleballer Steven Wright (DL, left knee inflammation since late June) is expected to pitch a live batting practice this week.
The Dodgers beat the division-rival Rockies for the second straight night on Tuesday, pushing their NL West lead to 1 1/2 games and prompting manager Dave Roberts to say "Things are coming together at the right time."
The Cubs might have an unorthodox solution to their closer quandary after losing two key relievers: score early, score often and skip saves.
The Los Angeles Angels will look to further endanger the Oakland Athletics' chances of making the playoffs when the teams meet Wednesday night for the second time in a three-game series.
The Chicago Cubs' uninterrupted 30-day march through the stretch drive will finally end with a day away from the park Thursday.
Kaleb Cowart hit a go-ahead grand slam in a six-run sixth inning before adding an RBI triple, and the Los Angeles Angels rallied past the Oakland Athletics 9-7 on Tuesday night.
As the Milwaukee Brewers try to close in on a postseason berth, offense has suddenly become hard to come by.