June 28, 2016

G77: Red Sox 8, Rays 2

Red Sox - 011 010 302 - 8 11  0
Rays    - 000 100 100 - 2  6  0
Rick Porcello (6-5-1-3-8, 109) gave the Red Sox just what they needed - a solid performance from their starting pitcher - and Travis Shaw drove in five runs with a single, double, and the longest home run of his career.

Porcello's performance was not dominating, however, as he allowed baserunners in each of the first four innings. The only Rays run came during an extended fourth inning in which Porcello threw 39 pitches and walked three men, including one with the bases loaded. It was after that particular walk (to Nick Franklin) that everything could have imploded (yet again) for the Red Sox. Tampa Bay still had three men on base and no outs. But Porcello struck out Hank Conger, got Logan Forsythe to pop to short right, then got Brad Miller looking at strike three.

Porcello then retired the side in order in both the fifth and sixth before turning the ball over to the bullpen. In fact, after Porcello issued that bases-loaded walk in the fourth, the Rays would put only one man on base for the rest of the night (Miller's home run in the seventh). Porcello, Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara, and Matt Barnes retired 18 of the last 19 Tampa Bay batters.

In a refreshing change of pace, the Red Sox scored first, as Shaw led off the second inning by crushing a Chris Archer (6.1-7-4-4-9, 109) pitch an estimated 449 feet to right field for a home run. (Why couldn't they have added a foot to that estimate? 450 sounds much farther.) In the third, Mookie Betts doubled and scored on David Ortiz's double, a high fly to right that may or may not have hit a catwalk. Regardless, Rays right fielder "Lee Harvey" Oswaldo Arcia apparently lost the ball in the grey roof and made a late lunge for it by the foul line and came up empty. A walk to Hanley Ramirez (who reached base five times) and a single by Jackie Bradley loaded the bases for Boston with one out, but Shaw fanned and Bryce Brentz grounded back to the mound.

In the fifth, Ramirez walked with two outs and raced around the bases to score on Bradley's double into the right field corner. Boston broke the game open in the seventh. After Archer allowed a one-out single to Dustin Pedroia, Enny Romero came out of the bullpen. Ortiz singled to right and Ramirez singled to right-center, scoring Pedroia. After Bradley forced Ramirez at second, both he and Ortiz scored on Shaw's double to right. Shaw also added a two-run single in the ninth (Pedroia and Bradley each stolen second base in that session).

Ramirez was 2-for-2 with three walks. ... Pedroia and Bradley each scored two runs. ... The bottom third of Boston's order - Brentz, Christian Vazquez, and Marco Hernandez - went 0-for-13, with seven strikeouts. None of them hit the ball out of the infield.
Rick Porcello / Chris Archer
Betts, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Ramirez, 1B
Bradley, CF
Shaw, 3B
Brentz, LF
Vazquez, C
Hernandez, SS
Eduardo Rodriguez (6 starts, 8.59 ERA) was sent down to Pawtucket after last night's game. The team have recalled reliever Pat Light.

Dustin Pedroia, on what he said during a mound visit to Rodriguez:
What did I say to Eddie? Do you honestly think I'm going to tell you that? ... I was talking to him about baseball. I talk to all my teammates. Every day. That's about it. ... It's baseball, man. That's why you play 162. I remember the first 40 games when we were outscoring them 760 to zero. So, take it easy. That will change.
The Red Sox have been outscored 22-0 in the first innings of their past 15 games.

Manager John Farrell:
We're capable of more. We need to get better, and we had a chance to share that here after the game tonight. We collectively have to get better. To continue to fall behind as much as we are of late, we're more talented than that. We have the capability of executing pitches at a higher rate. We can't continue to expect our offense to climb out of holes, as we've been. We've got to set the tone and lead the way from the mound more than we are.

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