ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Matt Joyce read it and then chanced it, and his audacious bolt for home in the sixth inning helped the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Boston Red Sox 2-1 at Tropicana Field on Wednesday night.
With the game tied 1-1, Joyce hit a liner that deflected off the leg of Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz for an infield single.
Carlos Pena's single moved Joyce to third, and when Luke Scott hit a fly ball to medium right field, Joyce tagged.
Right fielder Cody Ross got himself off balance by slightly overrunning the ball before catching it, and Joyce used the opportunity to race for home. He beat the throw, and the Rays had what would prove to be the winning run.
The Rays won their fourth straight, pushed their American League-best home record to 14-3 and stopped the last-place Red Sox's winning streak at five games.
The game was interrupted by a scary situation in the bottom of the eighth after Rays infielder Will Rhymes was hit in the wrist by a Franklin Morales pitch.
Rhymes tried to stay in the game after being attended to by the Tampa Bay training staff, but after taking first base, he collapsed into the arms of first base coach George Hendrick and then to the ground.
Rhymes appeared to lose consciousness and remained on the ground for some anxious minutes until the medical staff took him off the field on a cart.
Rhymes, who was called up May 1 when third baseman Evan Longoria suffered a partial hamstring tear, is batting .283 with eight doubles and three triples.
Jeremy Hellickson (4-0) allowed just one run on five hits over six innings, and Tampa Bay's bullpen closed the door over the final three innings. Fernando Rodney came on in the ninth to convert his 12th save.
Buchholz (4-2), despite allowing a run early on one of the three balks called against Red Sox pitchers, pitched much better than the 8.31 ERA he entered with. He allowed just the one run on six singles before manager Bobby Valentine pulled him after he was struck by the liner.
The Red Sox missed a chance to jump on Hellickson in the first inning, getting two on with one out before Adrian Gonzalez flied out and Will Middlebrooks was caught looking at a third-strike fastball. That made the run the Rays picked up on a Buchholz balk in the second inning stand out even more.
After Carlos Pena and Luke Scott reached on a single and hit pitch to start the Rays' second, Buchholz rallied to get Sean Rodriguez to ground into a double play.
However, Buchholz walked Will Rhymes to put runners at first and third, and with light-hitting Jose Molina batting, the right-hander committed a balk to score Pena.
Boston tied it 1-1 with a two-out rally in the third that began with a Jarrod Saltalamacchia double to the right field corner. Cody Ross walked, and hot-hitting Daniel Nava hit a flare that fell just beyond the glove of diving left fielder Matt Joyce, scoring Saltalamacchia.
Hellickson, who had retired eight out of nine before Saltalamacchia's double, had to get Mike Aviles to ground out with two runners in scoring position to limit the damage.
NOTES: The Rays acquired outfielder Rich Thompson from the Phillies for outfielder Kyle Hudson, getting much-needed center field depth. Thompson, who was batting .307 for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, was added to the active roster, and outfielder Brandon Guyer (strained left shoulder) was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Tampa Bay has nine players on the DL. ... Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis (strained lower back) began a rehab assignment for Triple-A Pawtucket as the designated hitter, going 1-for-2 with a double and a walk. ... Also for Pawtucket, right-hander Daisuke Matzuzaka (right elbow surgery) will make his fifth rehab start Friday night. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said he doesn't think "Dice-K," who is 0-1 with a 4.34 ERA in four minor league starts, is "all that close" to pitching in the majors. ... Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (partial left hamstring tear) took individual batting practice but hasn't started running yet. ... Rays manager Joe Maddon said he was surprised Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie wasn't suspended for more than four games after slamming his helmet at the feet of umpire Bill Miller on Tuesday night against Tampa Bay. "There was a chance to hit (Miller) in the face, because that thing was bouncing back up," Maddon said. ... The quick two-game series precedes weekend interleague play for both teams. Boston travels to Philadelphia, and Tampa Bay hosts Atlanta.