May 31: Rays (23-33) 1, Red Sox (26-29) 7
Boston Red Sox starter Rubby De La Rosa did not disappoint in his first start of the year as he stifled the Tampa Bay Rays in seven scoreless innings. Boston put up seven runs to support the righty’s eight-strikeout performance.
The Red Sox bats starting the scoring in the third with three runs for their young starter. Young lead-off man Brock Holt belted his first career home run with one runner on to give Boston an early 2-0 cushion. A few batters later, with one out, Mike Carp contributed a sacrifice fly ball to center field to extend the lead to three.
Boston wasn’t close to being done as it added another two runs in its next inning on RBI singles Jonathan Herrera and A.J. Pierzynski. Herrera knocked in Grady Sizemore on a bunt ground ball to the pitcher. With two away in the frame, Pierzynski brought Herrera home to score on an RBI base hit to center field.
After yet another 1-2-3 frame from De La Rosa to keep the Rays at bay, Jackie Bradley Jr. stretched the Red Sox lead to seven with his first home run of the year. He connected on a 3-1 sinker from reliever Cesar Ramos for a two-run dinger and a 7-0 Boston lead.
The Rays finally got on the board in one of the most unorthodox ways in the eighth. With De La Rosa out of the game and Alex Wilson on the hill, Kevin Kiermaier hit an inside-the-park home run on a 2-1 pitch. He sent a line drive to left-center that bounced off the Green Monster and outfielder Bradley Jr.’s face. Bradley Jr. fell to the ground with an injury and Kiermaier rounded all the bases for his second homer of the year.
The was all the offense the Rays would get as the Red Sox went on to win 7-1.
Tampa Bay starter Jake Odorizzi struggled in his 3.1 innings, giving up five runs, six hits and fanning six. Ramos pitched the rest of the way, as he finished with 4.2 innings and two earned runs to his credit.
De La Rosa got the win in his first start since being called up from Triple-A. He allowed just four hits and didn’t walk a batter in his seven scoreless frames.