ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays won their 12th straight game to start the season, one short of the best major league start since 1900, as Randy Arozarena hit a three-run homer in a 9-7 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.

The 1987 Milwaukee Brewers and 1982 Atlanta Braves both opened 13-0. Tampa Bay’s 12-game winning streak matches the team record set in June 2004.

Taj Bradley (1-0) won his major league debut for the Rays. The 22-year-old right-hander, recalled from Triple-A Durham when Zach Eflin went on the injured list, allowed three runs and struck out eight over five innings.

Arozarena made it 3-0 with an opposite-field homer off Chris Sale (1-1) in the first. Tampa Bay leads the majors with 30 home runs, joining the 2019 Seattle Mariners (32) and the 2000 St. Louis Cardinals (31) as the only teams to hit at least 30 homers in their first 12 games of a season.

Contributing to that, the Rays have homered in each of their first 12 games, becoming the first team since the 2020 New York Yankees to start a season with 12 straight games with at least one home run. Since 1901, only the Mariners in 2019 (20 straight), Cleveland in 2002 (14), the Detroit Tigers in 2017 (13) and the Chicago Cubs in 1954 (13) have had longer such streaks to start the season.

Tampa Bay has outscored opponents 92-27.

Rafael Devers, who had been hitless in 10 at-bats with six strikeouts in the series, pulled Boston to 8-7 on a three-run homer off Colin Poche in the seventh.

Arozarena’s sacrifice fly made it 9-7 in the eighth.

Red Sox reliever Zack Kelly left in the fifth with right elbow pain. After throwing a pitch that hit Yandy Diaz, an emotional Kelly went into a squat on the mound and used his hands to cover his face.

Sale (1-1) gave up six runs, five earned, in four innings. His ERA remained at 11.25.

Pete Fairbanks, the fifth Rays reliever, worked the ninth to get his second save.

Wander Franco drove in a pair with a double during a three-run fourth as the Rays took a 6-1 lead.

Alex Verdugo got the first hit off Bradley with a leadoff double in the fourth and scored on Justin Turner‘s single. Enrique Hernandez stopped an 0-for-28 slide with an RBI double in a two-run fifth that cut the deficit to 6-3.

Christian Bethancourt, who entered 2-for-19, got his second hit of the game with an RBI double during a two-run fifth that put Tampa Bay ahead 8-3.

The Associated Press and ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this report.

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Rays move to 12-0, one short of tying best major league start since 1900