The Boston Red Sox brought their bats with them to Tropicana Field on Friday.
The Sox scored four runs in the third inning, two of which came on a Dustin Pedroia home run, and Jackie Bradley Jr. followed with another homer the following frame to power Boston to a 8-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Drew Pomeranz, meanwhile, got the win, although he didn’t have his best outing.
With the win, the Red Sox improve to 50-37, while the Rays drop to 45-43.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox had struggled to score runs in their previous two games, but that wasn’t the case Friday night.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Boston tacked on two more insurance runs in the fifth inning. Tampa Bay had just rallied for two runs to make it a three-run game, but the Sox gave themselves some more breathing room in the frame.
ON THE BUMP
— Pomeranz walked Steven Souza Jr. to lead off the bottom of the first inning, but he overcame the early mistake with three straight outs, two of which were strikeouts. He fell victim to a leadoff walk in the second inning, too, and Brad Miller put runners on second and third with a double. But a strikeout and some bad baserunning ended that threat. The left-hander was much more effective in the third with a 1-2-3 inning.
But he ran into trouble in the fourth. The Rays tagged Pomeranz for two runs in the frame, courtesy of Wilson Ramos and Miller, making it a 5-2 ballgame.
Things didn’t get much better in the fifth inning when Tampa Bay loaded the bases with one out, but a Ramos double play ended that threat. Despite some ups and downs, Pomeranz only allowed two earned runs on six hits while walking five and striking out six over six innings.
— Heath Hembree took over in the seventh inning and promptly allowed a Souza solo shot to deep center field, trimming Boston’s lead to 7-3.
— Matt Barnes came on with one out in the inning and got Ramos to ground into another double play. Barnes stayed on in the eighth inning and held Tampa Bay scoreless.
— Craig Kimbrel pitched in a non-save situation in the ninth. He was dominant, per usual.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox broke through in the third inning with three runs off Tampa Bay starter Jake Odorizzi. Mookie Betts drove in the first run on an RBI double, and Andrew Benintendi followed by knocking Betts in on a single to make it 2-0 Sox. Pedroia then put an exclamation point on the inning with a two-run home run, giving Boston an early four-run cushion.
— Bradley also went yard to lead off the fourth inning, making it 5-0 Boston.
— The Red Sox responded to the Rays’ big fourth inning with two more runs of their own in the fifth. The Sox loaded the bases, and Bradley earned another RBI with a walk, while Christian Vazquez’s forceout allowed Mitch Moreland to score and make it 7-2 Boston.
— Hanley Ramirez hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth.
TWEET OF THE DAY
There are footballs in the outfield!
The Red Sox will continue their four-game series against the Rays with a Saturday afternoon game at Tropicana Field. Right-hander Rick Porcello is scheduled to take the mound for Boston opposite Tampa Bay’s Alex Cobb. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images