Final, Red Sox 5-1: It took a while, but the Red Sox finally finished off the Rays.
The Sox came away from the first game of the doubleheader with a 5-1 victory after Craig Breslow pitched a scoreless ninth inning. It ended a game that included a very lengthy rain delay in the fifth inning.
Alfredo Aceves received the win for Boston, while Chris Archer suffered the loss for Tampa. Aceves pitched five innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out two and walking three.
David Ortiz drove in three of Boston’s five runs on a pair of singles. Jacoby Ellsbury (3-for-5) and Shane Victorino (2-for-4) also had multi-hit games for the Red Sox.
There isn’t much time to digest this one. Game 2 of the doubleheader is scheduled for 8:05 p.m.
End 8th, Red Sox 5-1: The Red Sox went down 1-2-3 in the eighth inning, and it’s on to the ninth.
Will Middlebrooks, Stephen Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury were retired in the eighth.
That means Ellsbury’s quest for a cycle will come up short unless the Rays extend this game. Ellsbury, who is now 3-for-5, has a single, double and triple, but he lacks the home run necessary to complete the feat.
Craig Breslow will look to end Game 1 in the ninth inning.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 5-1: The eighth inning wasn’t easy for Koji Uehara — far from it, in fact. But 31 pitches later, he finished off the inning unscathed.
Matt Joyce started the inning with a bang. He drove a 2-2 fastball over Shane Victorino’s head and to the wall in right field for a double.
Desmond Jennings grounded out to short for the inning’s first out, during which Joyce advanced to third base. Joyce would end up being stranded there, although not before Uehara battled.
Ben Zobrist worked a nine-pitch walk to put runners at the corners before Evan Longoria popped out into foul territory along the first base line.
James Loney, whose error led to Boston’s fourth run, then saw nine pitches — fouling off seven off them — as Uehara closed the door with a big strikeout.
End 7th, Red Sox 5-1: Cesar Ramos took over for Tampa in the seventh inning. He worked around a one-out hit to keep the score the same.
David Ortiz struck out against Ramos to begin the inning. It took just three pitches for Ramos to take care of business. The third strike came on a pitch on the outside corner that had good downward movement.
Mike Napoli hit a sinking line drive to left field with one out. Matt Joyce went into a dive in an effort to make a play, but the ball hit his glove and landed for a hit.
Ramos kept Napoli at first base by retiring Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Nava popped out to second baseman Ben Zobrist, and Saltalamacchia struck out swinging. Salty has struck out three times in this game.
Koji Uehara will pitch the eighth inning for Boston.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 5-1: Jose Molina tried to spoil Andrew Miller’s inning, but his home run bid hit high off the left-field wall.
Miller looked sharp in the seventh. He made good use of his slider, striking out both Wil Myers and Luke Scott to begin the inning. Myers went down looking, while Scott waved at a slider that was located low and away.
Molina nearly became strikeout victim No. 3. He hung around, though, and he ended up drilling a 2-2 slider off the Green Monster, missing a home run by a few feet. Since the ball was hit so hard and Molina is so slow, the Rays backstop was held to a long single.
Miller got Yunel Escobar to hit a slow grounder to second base to end the inning.
End 6th, Red Sox 5-1: It’s rare that you see back-to-back triples. Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino combined for that feat in the sixth inning.
Josh Lueke got two quick outs. Will Middlebrooks struck out swinging on a high fastball clocked at 95 mph, and Stephen Drew grounded out to second base.
Ellsbury changed the course of the inning by lining a triple down the right field line. Ellsbury, who is 3-for-4, is now a home run shy of the cycle. He hasn’t hit a home run since April 7 — a span of 250 at-bats — so he’s about due for one.
Victorino knocked Ellsbury in with a triple of his own. He also peppered the right field line, and the ball bounced off the tip of a hustling Wil Myers’ glove after falling in.
Dustin Pedroia struck out to end the inning and strand Victorino at third, but Boston’s lead is up to four runs. Andrew Miller will pitch the seventh inning.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 4-1: Junichi Tazawa looked sharp in his first inning of work.
Tazawa pitched a perfect sixth inning, retiring Ben Zobrist, Evan Longoria and James Loney in order.
Tazawa struck out both Zobrist and Longoria. The right-hander got Zobrist to fan on a pitch down, and he got Longoria looking at an 0-2 forkball.
Loney put good wood on a 2-1 pitch, but his line drive to left field hung up long enough for Daniel Nava to make a play.
End 5th, Red Sox 4-1: Jarrod Saltalamacchia got into a favorable 2-0 count, but Josh Lueke eventually struck him out with a 95-mph fastball to escape the bases-loaded jam.
It seems like three weeks ago, but the Red Sox actually scored a run in the fifth inning. David Ortiz singled into right field to bring home Shane Victorino, who reached on an error by first baseman James Loney.
Junichi Tazawa will indeed pitch the sixth inning for Boston. That means the book is officially closed on both starters.
Alfredo Aceves gave up one run on three hits while striking out two and walking three over five innings. All three walks came in the second inning, which is when Luke Scott gave Tampa Bay its lone run with an RBI double. Aceves threw 75 pitches (43 strikes).
Chris Archer pitched 4 2/3 innings for the Rays. He gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits while striking out five and walking five. He threw 109 pitches (64 strikes).
5:57 p.m.: And we’re back. Jarrod Saltalamacchia digs in.
5:54 p.m.: We’re about ready to start back up.
Josh Lueke will come in to pitch for the Rays, who were actually in the process of making a pitching change before the sky really opened up.
Junichi Tazawa is warming up in the Boston bullpen, and he’ll likely enter the game in the sixth inning.
5:28 p.m.: Good news. The game is expected to resume at 5:55 p.m.
In case you forgot, Jarrod Saltalamacchia is batting with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. The Red Sox lead 4-1.
5:20 p.m.: The Red Sox just announced that Game 1 is expected to resume later this afternoon and Game 2 is expected to begin 35-45 minutes following the conclusion of Game 1.
The Red Sox also said that those sticking around for the conclusion of Game 1 are invited to stay for Game 2 free of charge. Those with tickets to Game 2 can come check out the conclusion of Game 1.
The official start time for Game 2 will be announced immediately following the conclusion of Game 1.
4:57 p.m., Red Sox 4-1: While we continue to wait out this rain delay, I’d like to direct you to some news that may be of interest.
Kevin Youkilis, who was placed on the disabled list on Friday, will undergo back surgery on Thursday, according to the Yankees. He is expected to missed 10-12 weeks.
Youkilis’ first season in the Bronx has been disastrous, and there’s a chance it could already be over. That’s unfortunate to see, no matter how you feel about the Yanks.
4:51 p.m., Red Sox 4-1: Rain delays are the worst. They’re even more problematic, though, when they come during the first game of a doubleheader.
We’ll soon be nearing the two-hour mark of the current delay, and it really leaves the nightcap in question. As of right now, Game 2 is still on, but it’ll almost certainly be a delayed start — if it ends up being played.
For those wondering, MLB Rule 4.13b states: “After the start of the 1st game of a doubleheader, that game shall be completed before the 2nd game shall begin.”
3:52 p.m., Red Sox 4-1: Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day — like one when the Red Sox aren’t playing a doubleheader.
The rain is falling hard at Fenway. Me and some others up in the press box received a flash flood warning on our phones. That’s never a good sign.
A quick glance at the forecast shows that the thunderstorms and showers are expected to end by 6 p.m. Yikes. Doesn’t Mother Nature know that we’ve got two games to squeeze in?
Keep it right here, though. You never know what can happen when it comes to New England weather.
3:27 p.m., Red Sox 4-1: Well, the rain was letting up. It’s now coming down at a decent clip again.
Keep it right here for more updates, though. I’ll do my best to keep you in the loop.
3:14 p.m., Red Sox 4-1: The rain is starting to let up a bit. I’m no meteorologist, but I can’t see this delay lasting too long.
As long as the lightning goes away, we should be good. After all, we don’t need another repeat of this.
3:01 p.m., Red Sox 4-1: Almost immediately after I finished my last update, the rain started coming down in buckets.
The tarp is on the field at Fenway with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning. We’ve got ourselves a rain delay in Game 1 of this doubleheader.
2:58 p.m., Red Sox 4-1: David Ortiz gave the Red Sox their lead. In the fifth inning, he added to it.
Jacoby Ellsbury flied out to right field for the first out, and the offense got going when Shane Victorino hit a slow ground ball to first base. James Loney fielded it cleanly, but his flip to Chris Archer, who was covering the bag, was off the mark. It was a very careless play by Loney, who attempted a rather nonchalant, backhanded toss.
The Rays paid for the miscue, as Dustin Pedroia walked to put runners at first and second before Ortiz singled into right field. Ortiz has driven in three of Boston’s four runs.
Archer bounced back to strike out Mike Napoli with a 97-mph fastball upstairs, but he then walked Daniel Nava. Joe Maddon will turn to the bullpen with the bases loaded and two outs.
Rain has been coming down at Fenway, though, so we could see a delay.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 3-1: Alfredo Aceves has settled down nicely after some early control issues.
Aceves yielded a one-out single in the fifth, but he kept the two-run lead firmly intact. The right-hander is in much more control of this game than he was in the second inning, when he issued three walks as Tampa posted its only run.
Yunel Escobar singled into center field with one down, but Aceves retired Matt Joyce and Desmond Jennings to end the inning.
End 4th, Red Sox 3-1: Chris Archer turned in a good bounce-back inning in the fourth.
Archer, who surrendered two runs in the third, pitched a perfect inning in the fourth. He struck out both Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Stephen Drew in the process.
Salty struck out to begin the fourth inning. He worked a full count before coming up empty on a 3-2 slider.
Drew fanned to end the frame. He was also victimized by a slider, and Archer now has four strikeouts total.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 3-1: Alfredo Aceves was very effective in the fourth inning.
Aceves tossed a 1-2-3 inning, retiring James Loney, Wil Myers and Luke Scott in order.
Loney grounded to Mike Napoli, who flipped to Aceves to complete the first out. Myers, playing in his first big league game, flied out to right field. And Scott, who doubled in Tampa’s lone run, grounded out to Dustin Pedroia at second base.
Aceves needed just nine pitches to complete the fourth inning. He’s tossed 65 pitches (34 strikes) thus far.
2:24 p.m., Red Sox 3-1: It’s become very overcast at Fenway over the last few minutes. Something tells me we could see some T-storms roll in at some point.
End 3rd, Red Sox 3-1: David Ortiz regained the lead for Boston.
Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino hit back-to-back singles to lead off the third inning. Ellsbury singled into left field, and Victorino drilled a base hit into right field that enabled Ellsbury to go from first to third.
Victorino swiped second base with Dustin Pedroia batting. It marked his seventh stolen base of the season, and we saw once again just how difficult the Ellsbury-Victorino tandem can make life for opposing pitchers when the duo gets on base.
Ortiz delivered the inning’s big blow. After Dustin Pedroia lined out sharply to second base, Ortiz singled into center field to plate two runs.
Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava both struck out swinging to end the inning, but Boston is back on top.
Mid 3rd, 1-1: Ben Zobrist hammered a ball over Shane Victorino’s head with two outs, but Alfredo Aceves walked off the mound without any more blemishes.
Aceves got Matt Joyce to ground into the shift at second base to begin the inning, and he struck out Desmond Jennings for the second out. Jennings gave a half-hearted swing on a pitch up and in to complete the K.
Zobrist then smoked a double before Evan Longoria grounded out to his counterpart, Will Middlebrooks, down at third base.
End 2nd, 1-1: The wildness is contagious.
Just minutes after Alfredo Aceves issued three walks in the top of the second inning, Rays starter Chris Archer handed out three free passes in the bottom half of the frame.
The Rays at least put up a run against Aceves, though.
Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava walked to begin things in the second, but a mound visit paid off — as it did for Boston in the top of the inning. Jarrod Saltalamacchia made good contact, but it was right at first baseman James Loney, who fired to second base to kick off a 3-6-1 double play.
The twin killing alleviated a lot of the pressure, although the Red Sox still had an opportunity to score with a runner on third. Will Middlebrooks couldn’t do any damage, as Archer walked him on four pitches, and Stephen Drew grounded to second base to end the inning. Despite three walks, Boston came away empty-handed.
The second inning was certainly a long one. It’s amazing that only one runner crossed the plate.
Mid 2nd, 1-1: Alfredo Aceves was all over the place in the second inning, yet the Rays have just one run to show for it.
Aceves issued three walks in the inning before escaping a bases-loaded situation with a 6-4-3 double play.
Evan Longoria and James Loney walked to begin the second inning. Wil Myers then flied out to shallow center field in his first major league at-bat.
Luke Scott didn’t go down as easily, though. Scott hammered a 3-1 fastball down the right field line for an RBI double.
Aceves followed up the double by walking Jose Molina, which drew a conference at the mound. Whatever was said paid off, as Aceves got Yunel Escobar to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to avoid any additional trouble.
We’re suddenly tied, but the Rays really missed out on a chance to do some serious damage.
End 1st, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox made good contact against Chris Archer in the first inning.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off Boston’s offensive attack with a double off the left-field scoreboard. It was Ellsbury’s 14th double of the season, and he continues to swing the bat well.
Ellsbury tagged up and moved to third base when Shane Victorino drilled a ball to center field. Desmond Jennings needed to range back toward the warning track to make the play, and that made things very easy for Ellsbury.
Ellsbury scored when Dustin Pedroia also smoked a ball to center field. Jennings hauled that one in as well, but it was plenty deep for Ellsbury to tag up and score.
David Ortiz lined out to left field to end the inning. It sounded like he may have broken his bat.
Mid 1st, 0-0: The Rays went down in order in the first inning.
Will Middlebrooks provided the inning’s highlight. He made a nice lunging play down at third base on a sharply hit bouncer by Desmond Jennings. Middlebrooks needed to stretch out to his left to snag the hard-hit ball, and he delivered a strong throw to first base to complete the out.
Prior to Middlebrooks’ play, Alfredo Aceves struck out Matt Joyce. Aceves almost lost him after jumping ahead 0-2, but he froze Joyce with a 3-2 fastball to pick up the strikeout.
Ben Zobrist flied out to right field to end the inning.
1:06 p.m.: The first pitch of Game 1 is a strike. Let’s do this.
1:02 p.m.: There was some slight confusion a few minutes ago, as Franklin Morales jogged out to the bullpen while Alfredo Aceves was nowhere in sight. Aceves eventually took the field to throw, though, so perhaps he was a little late. Who knows, really?
12:56 p.m.: On the Rays’ side of the fence, Wil Myers will make his major league debut on Tuesday. That’s exciting stuff, as Myers is considered one of the top prospects in baseball.
Myers, who the Rays acquired in a trade with the Royals involving James Shields, was selected from Triple-A Durham on Tuesday after the Rays optioned Ryan Roberts on Sunday.
12:48 p.m.: Clay Buchholz’s much-anticipated throwing session has been pushed back. The right-hander is now scheduled to throw in between games.
If Buchholz feels good while throwing, he’ll throw a bullpen session. Manager John Farrell said that Buchholz would need to throw two bullpen sessions before making a start on Saturday.
There exists the possibility, however, that Buchholz will feel discomfort, at which point the Red Sox would place him on the disabled list.
If Buchholz goes to the DL, the team will have an interesting decision to make regarding whether Rubby De La Rosa or Allen Webster makes a spot start. If the Sox go with Webster, Buchholz’s DL stint can be backdated to June 9 (the day after Buchholz’s last start). If the Sox got with De La Rosa, Buchholz’s DL stint will need to be backdated to June 15 since De La Rosa has been on the active roster since Buchholz last pitched.
In other words, a lot of variables are going into Boston’s decision regarding Buchholz. We should have a clearer picture by the end of Tuesday.
11:57 a.m.: While we await word on Clay Buchholz, the Red Sox did get a double dose of good news on Tuesday morning. Both Mike Napoli and Mike Carp are available.
Napoli, who left Thursday’s game with illness, will start the first game, while Carp, who left Sunday’s game with hamstring tightness, could find himself in the second game.
The complete lineups for Game 1 are below.
Red Sox (42-29)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
Alfredo Aceves, RHP (3-1, 5.58 ERA)
Matt Joyce, LF
Desmond Jennings, CF
Ben Zobrist, 2B
Evan Longoria, 3B
James Loney, 1B
Wil Myers, RF
Luke Scott, DH
Jose Molina, C
Yunel Escobar, SS
Chris Archer, RHP (1-2, 4.80 ERA)
11:30 a.m.: We’re getting closer to knowing Clay Buchholz’s fate.
Buchholz was scheduled to throw at 11 a.m., and the Red Sox will soon determine whether or not he’ll be placed on the disabled list. Buchholz, of course, has been dealing with neck tightness, and he hasn’t pitched since June 8.
If Buchholz feels good after throwing this morning, he’ll throw a bullpen session, which would allow him to start on Saturday. If he’s placed on the disabled list, either Allen Webster or Rubby De La Rosa will be called up to make a spot start on either Friday or Saturday.
11:15 a.m. ET: The Red Sox had the day off on Monday. They’ll have a long day of baseball on Tuesday, though.
The Red Sox and Rays will play a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday, with the first game kicking off at 1:05 p.m. and the second game starting up at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday’s matinee is the make-up game for April 12′s postponed contest.
This is the third doubleheader of the season for the Red Sox. They were swept in two games against the Royals on April 21, and they split a day-night twin bill against the Angels on June 8.
Alfredo Aceves will take the ball for the first game on Tuesday. He was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to make the spot start, and he’s been added as the 26th player on the active roster for the doubleheader. (Teams are allowed to do such for doubleheaders these days.)
Aceves was very shaky early on this season after beginning the year with the big league club. He’s been showing his value as a depth starter, though, turning in back-to-back wins during two separate stints with the Red Sox. Aceves went six innings and allowed just one run while picking up a victory against the Rays last Wednesday.
Felix Doubront will get the start in Game 2, but the focus right now is on Game 1. Be sure to tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with the live blog.