#RedSox Game Summary (August 9) Thank you, thank you very much. Sox fans would like to express their appreciation to the Tampa Bay Rays for all the gift runs and scoring opportunities set up by the 2 errors, 2 wild pitches, and passed ball in this game. Not that the Sox didn’t make enough noise to win anyway, but those blunders sure took the pressure off. This was not a heavy hitting game for Boston, though Andrew “Benny” Benintendi went 3-for-5 with a double, Brock Holt also doubled, and Eduardo Núñez provided a couple of clutch hits. Benny drew first blood with his double, scoring on a fielding error by Rays starter Jake Odirizzi. The 5th was the big inning for Boston, as four hits, two intentional walks, a passed ball, and a wild pitch all contributed to a 5 run explosion. In the 8th, Holt’s double set up a score on a throwing error by Tampa Bay first baseman Trevor Plouffe. Sandy Leone, who had reached on that error, scored on a wild pitch by Rays reliever Sergio Romo. Rick Porcello had a solid start, with his only runs yielded in solo jacks by Adeiny Hechavarria and Brad Miller in the 6th inning. In the end, Rick went 6 innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, with 7 Ks. He also had an immaculate inning in the 5th (3 consecutive strikeouts on just 9 pitches total). This game seems to show that when things are going well, they tend to go even better. Boston beat Tampa Bay, 8-2, at Tropicana Field. Record: 65-49. Game 114/48.
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#RedSox Game Summary (August 8) Low priced Sale. Chris Sale was not given much to work with, but he didn’t need much, as he blanked the Rays, and his shutout work was completed by Craig Kimbrel. Sale went 8 shutout innings, giving up just 2 hits and one walk with 13 strikeouts. The first Boston run came in the 4th when Rays starter Austin Pruitt walked Dustin Pedroia. He reached 2nd on an Andrew Benintendi single, got to 3rd on a Mookie Betts fielder’s choice, and scored on another fielder’s choice on Rafael Devers. The second came in the 9th on a series of singles by Xander Bogaerts, Mitch Moreland, and Jackie Bradley, Jr. Boston beat Tampa Bay, 2-0, at Tropicana Field. Record: 64-49. Game 113/49.
#RedSox Game Summary (July 9) Fallen from the tightwire. This was a taut game, a real white knuckler, until the 8th inning, with masterful performances by both Boston’s David Price and Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer, who both ended up with no-decisions. Mookie Betts got things going, by leading off the game with a solo bomb to left center. The Rays came right back in the bottom of the 1st, when Steven Souza, Jr. doubled and scored on a hit by Evan Longoria. The Rays went ahead when Souza walked, advanced to 3rd on a Corey Dickerson double, and scored on a sac fly, to make the score 2-1. In the 7th, Dustin Pedroia rescued the game with a 2 run homer to right, giving Boston a thin 3-2 lead, and ending Archer’s day. But in the bottom of the inning, the Rays tied it up when reliever Matt Barnes walked Mallex Smith, who reached 2nd on a sacrifice bunt, got to 3rd on a Souza single and scored on a sac fly by Dickerson. Score is tied; time to reach for the Maalox. Meanwhile, the Rays bullpen was keeping Boston hitters stifled. Finally, in the bottom of the 8th, fireballer Joe Kelly, who had gotten the last 2 outs of the 7th, was on the mound, and we hoped for a 3 up, 3 down inning. Not so much. First, he walked Logan Morrison. Walking the leadoff hitter is always bad. Then after 2 outs, he hung a curveball to Brad Miller, who lofted it just over the fence in center field. Done, and done. The Sox now enter the All Star break having seemingly lost all their recent momentum, giving up 3 out of 4 to the Tampa Bay Rays. Let’s hope they get their mojo back when play resumes on Friday. Tampa Bay beat Boston, 5-3, at Tropicana Field. Record: 50-39. Game 89/73.
#RedSox Game Summary (July 8) Cans of corn on Cobb. Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb is not an overpowering pitcher, and his stats are only average, but today he was dominant. Not a big strikeout guy, he was putting the Red Sox away on routine ground balls and cans of corn. But he gave up just 2 hits and 1 walk over 7 2/3rds scoreless innings while whiffing 3, and Alex Colomé’s late breaking sliders for the remaining four outs were enough to shut out Boston at the Trop. Rick Porcello actually had an excellent day himself, giving up just 1 run on 6 hits and no walks over 8 innings while striking out 7, but that one run was all the Rays would need. It came in the 2nd inning, when Steven Souza, Jr. singled to lead off, reached 2nd on a subsequent single, and third on a fielder’s choice. He scored on a sac fly by Jesus Sucre. Evan Longoria doubled in the game, and Mallex Smith tripled, but neither scored. Outstanding fielding plays by Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and Dustin Pedroia helped keep the Rays in check. Mitch Moreland also doubled in the game, off Colomė. Tampa Bay beat Boston, 1-0, at Tropicana Field. Record: 50-38. Game 88/74.
#RedSox Game Summary (July 7) Rays of sunshine. The Red Sox went yard (in Eck terms) against Tampa Bay starter Jake Odorizzi frequently enough to roll over the Rays. They got all the runs they would need in the 3rd inning, when Tzu-Wei Lin singled, Mookie Betts drove him in with a double, and after an Adam Benintendi single scored Betts, Dustin Pedroia capped it off with a 2 run blast to center (La luna!). Jackie Bradley, Jr. added another with a solo bomb in the 4th. In the 5th, the Sox loaded the bases on a single and 2 walks, setting up JBJ with the bases loaded, whom Odorizzi promptly walked to force in a run and earn his exit from the game. A ground out by Christian Vázquez provided another score. Hanley Ramirez put the icing on the cake with a 9th inning solo dinger that provided Boston with an 8th run. Drew Pomeranz turned in a solid start, going 6 innings, while giving up 2 runs on 6 hits and 5 walks, striking out 6. The Tampa Bay runs off Pomeranz came in the 2nd, when Wilson Ramos doubled to drive in one run, and scored on a Brad Miller single. They tacked on a third run in the 7th when Seven Souza, Jr. hit a solo big fly to center off reliever Heath Hembree. Hembree also gave up a double to Corey Dickerson. Miller also doubled in the game off Pomeranz, but did not score. Boston beat Tampa Bay, 8-3, at Tropicana Field. Record: 50-37. Game 87/75.
#RedSox Game Summary (July 6) No Sale. The Sox must have been tired, after piling onto a plane in Dallas and flying to St. Petersburg, arriving at their hotel late, then having to show up at Tropicana Field to play a game. They certainly seemed it, anyway. Chris Sale was not his usual crisp self (although he did get 12 strikeouts), and he got almost no run support. The Rays scored their first run in the 4th, when Wilson Ramos doubled off Sale to drive in a run. In the 5th, Peter Bourjos hit a solo bomb to left. In the 6th, Evan Longoria doubled, and scored on a home run by Wilson Ramos. Logan Morrison doubled off Red Sox reliever Blaine Boyer, but did not score. Boston got its only run in the 3rd when Tampa Bay starter Jacob Faria walked Tzu-Wei Lin, who went 1st to 3rd on a single by Dustin Pedroia, and scored on a Deven Marrero sac fly. Let’s just file this one away and move on. Tampa Bay beat Boston, 4-1, at Tropicana Field. Record: 49-37. Game 86/76.
#RedSox Game Summary (May 13) Shelter from the storm. The Red Sox moved this game from its original 7:10 pm start time to 1:10 pm in order to avoid an impending severe storm that’s expected to pound the region tonight with buckets of rain. Chris Sale also provided some shelter for the Sox with another strong performance that avoided a possible skid (the Sox had lost 3 of the prior 4 games). Mookie Betts also provided much needed firepower, going 2-for-4 with a double and home run. Sales’s only real mistakes rendered the only two hits registered against him, both of which were, unfortunately, homers. The first was a solo job by the Rays’ Logan Morrison in the 2nd, and the other was a 2 run shot by Kevin Kiermaier in the 5th. The Sox started their scoring with a 2 run bomb by Betts in the 3rd off Tampa Bay starter Blake Snell. Then in the 5th, after Kiermaier’s dinger had allowed the Rays to retake the lead, Sandy Leon waked, and Jackie Bradley, Jr. (2-for-3), Deven Marrero, and Betts doubled in succession to drive in 3 runs. Dustin Pedroia turned to a little small ball, moving Betts from 2nd to 3rd with a sacrifice bunt, and Xander Bogaerts drove in Betts with a fielder’s choice. The bullpen came on strong, as Joe Kelly held in the 8th, and Craig Kimberly dispatched the Rays in order in the 9th; 2 by way of the K. Lookin’ good; now if they can just keep it up. Boston beat Tampa Bay, 6-3, at Fenway Park. Record: 19-17. Game 36/126.
#RedSox Game Summary (May 12) A contest of sloppiness. This game featured both fielding blunders, and critical errors on both sides. Rick Porcello had a fair start, but it was ruined by a couple of errors that gave Tampa Bay an ultimately insurmountable advantage. In the 4th inning, the Rays’ Evan Longoria reached on a throwing error by Josh Rutledge, and ultimately scored on a 2 RBI single by Tim Beckham with 2 out, so both runs were unearned. In the 5th, Derek Norris singled and Corey Dickerson drove him in with a double. Then Dickerson scored on Evan Longoria’s 2 RBI homer. In the 7th, the Sox came back on a Chris Young double off Rays starter Alex Cobb, and after Mitch Moreland walked and Rutledge singled to drive in Young, Sandy Leon drove in Moreland and Rutledge with another double. He then scored an a throwing error by Tampa Bay’s Brad Miller that allowed Jackie Bradley, Jr. to reach base. The Sox were almost there, but despite getting 2 on with nobody out in the 8th, they failed to score. The Sox ended up with 2 errors in the game, and despite Tampa Bay’s 3 errors, they prevailed. Tampa Bay beat Boston, 5-4, at Fenway Park. Record: 18-17. Game 35/127.
#RedSox Game Summary (April 17) Comeback kids. Once again, the Red Sox came back from behind to win. This time, Steven Wright struggled in the first inning, giving up 2 runs on a series of three consecutive singles and two fielder’s choices. He settled down after that, holding the Rays at bay until the 7th, when Tim Beckham’s single meant the end of his day. Beckham later advanced to third on a Corey Dickerson double and scored on a single to make Wright’s third earned run. The Sox started the scoring early with a series of singles off Tampa Bay starter Blake Snell. They did their real damage in the 2nd with 2 out to overcome a 2-1 deficit. First, Sandy Leon singled. Then, Marco Hernandez reached on an error, and Dustin Pedroia walked. Andrew Benintendi came up with the bases loaded and did what he does; laced a single to center scoring two runs (Hernandez just barely beat the tag). Mookie Betts drove in the 4th and winning run with another single. Betts also doubled in the 3rd. The Rays also notched doubles by Derek Norris, Brad Miller, Rickie Weeks, Jr., and Corey Dickerson, but did not score those times. Boston beat Tampa Bay, 4-3, at Fenway Park. Record: 8-5. Game 13/149.
#RedSox Game Summary (April 16) Easter hit parade. The Red Sox celebrated the day with a series of timely hits, and despite being behind for most of the game ended up on top. They notched 17 hits altogether, with Andrew Benintendi going 3-for-5 with two doubles, Mookie Betts going 3-for-4, also with a double, Christian Vazquez also going 3-for-4 with a double, and everyone else in the starting lineup getting at least one hit except for Dustin Pedroia. Even Pablo Sandoval got in on the action, and his hit was a home run. This was a rough day for Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb, who gave up 4 runs over 5 innings, and for Danny Farquhar, who was charged with 2 runs over just 1 1/3rd inning for the loss. Drew Pomeranz struggled in the first inning, walking two and giving up a triple to Brad Miller for a quick 2 runs. He seemed to settle down somewhat after that, but did give up a solo jack to Corey Dickerson in the 4th. After another one-run dinger by Tim Beckham in the 5th, followed by a single, he was done for the day. Joe Kelly came on to calm things down, and got the win. This was another outstanding day for the Boston bullpen. The winning run came in the 7th on singles by Benintendi and Betts, followed by a walk to Hanley and a Mitch Moreland single that drove in 2. Unfortunately, Hanley drew up just past second clutching his leg, and had to leave the game with a strained hamstring. Let’s hope it’s not too serious. Boston beat Tampa Bay, 7-5, at Fenway Park. Record: 7-5. Game 12/150.