Rays - 000 002 100 - 3 7 0 Red Sox - 320 011 00x - 7 12 0After three straight losses, five runs in the first two innings off Tampa starter Chris Archer (4.1-8-6-3-6, 84) was extremely welcome. So was an excellent outing from Rick Porcello (7-6-3-1-9, 111), who became only the sixth Red Sox pitcher in the last 100 years to strikeout 7+ batters in each of his first three starts of a season.
David Ortiz doubled twice and drove in three runs. Mookie Betts reached base four times, scored three runs, and drilled a two-run line-drive home run to left. Jackie Bradley was on base three times and Travis Shaw had two hits. Xander Bogaerts went 2-for-3 and scored twice before leaving the game after five innings with left quad tightness. (On the negative side, Christian Vazquez struck out swinging four times.)
Archer - his ERA rose from 5.87 to 7.32 tonight - was tagged as soon as the Red Sox stepped to the plate in the bottom of the first. Betts walked and Pedroia singled to center. Boagerts grounded a run-scoring single to left and Ortiz smoked a double off the Wall for two more runs. In the second, Bradley doubled with one out and jogged home when Betts hit his third "rally killer" of the season.
Ortiz doubled in Bogaerts in the fifth, with X limping slightly as he crossed the plate. Brock Holt moved from left field to shortstop to start the sixth and Chris Young took over in the outfield. Young had an RBI single in the sixth, after Betts singled, stole second, and moved to third on a wild pitch.
Porcello retired the first six Rays (striking out four of them) and 11 of the first 12. He stranded two men on base in the fourth and faltered in the sixth, giving up a triple to Logan Forsythe and a home run to Corey Dickerson. Porcello allowed two more hits and a run after retiring the first two hitters in the seventh.
But the most shocking event of the night was the on-point analysis provided throughout the entire game by NESN's Jerry Remy. He was, quite simply, a revelation, offering keen insights into baserunning, the positioning of infielders, and thinking along with the pitcher as a hitter. He talked far more than usual, and was quite animated, and almost everything he said was useful to the viewer. (Dave O'Brien, on the other hand, was not so much fun to hear. I hope to post about that tomorrow.)
Chris Archer / Rick Porcello
Betts, RFJoe Kelly, who was removed from last night's start after four batters, was placed on the disabled list with an impingement in his right shoulder. Boston now has two starters (with Kelly joining Eduardo Rodriguez) on the DL.