The Boston Red Sox came out on the losing end of their series opener Friday night in Tampa Bay, falling to the Rays at Tropicana Field by a final score of 8-4.
The trip to the Trop also meant a reunion with former Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava, whom the Rays claimed off waivers last month.
“When I was on the other side, I couldn?t stand the Rays,” Nava said before the game, via the Providence Journal. “We got in bench-clearing brawls, they were always really tough to play against. To be on this side, these guys aren?t that bad.”
The 30-year-old, who did not see the field Friday, also took the opportunity to reflect on the defining moment of his Red Sox tenure: his go-ahead home run in the first game at Fenway Park after the Boston Marathon bombing.
“The bombing was one of the more special moments because it meant more than a personal thing,” Nava told reporters. “It was a city experience. Whether I was the guy who hit the home run or anybody else did, to win the game on that day and what it meant to a lot of people, to go visit a lot of those people in the hospital, was a really good reminder that baseball is a game that transcends what just happens on the field. We got to hear that. That was a moment that stood out. I was glad to be a part of it.”
Nava has posted a .227/.363/.303 slash line thus far in 26 games with Tampa Bay.
Some additional notes from Friday’s action:
— Red Sox starter Wade Miley did not factor in the decision after Boston’s bullpen blew a two-run lead in the eighth inning. Miley certainly pitched well enough to win, however, shaking off a three-run first inning to hold the Rays scoreless over his final six frames.
“Wade was great,” acting Red Sox manager Torey Lovullo told reporters after the game, as aired on “Red Sox Extra Innings LIVE.” “Wade had the 29-pitch first inning, and I think that kind of put him behind the eight ball. But the fact that he pitched through seven innings after that long first inning, it was a great outing for him.”
— Brock Holt was deemed day to day after upper back spasms forced him to leave the game in the seventh inning.
“Brock’s doing OK,” Lovullo talk reporters. “He just had some upper back spasms. He was grinding through the latter part of the game for him, and just felt like it was the right thing to do to get him off his feet and get him in here and get some therapy. So, he’ll be day to day.”
— Hanley Ramirez has not played since Aug. 26 as he transitions from left field to first base. Ramirez is making strides, per Lovullo, but still is not ready for game action.
“He’s really encouraged by how he’s feeling,” Lovullo told reporters before the game, as aired on “Red Sox First Pitch.” “Every time I see something or I hear him in a conversation, he’s looking to play first base before the season’s over. But we have to initiate a throwing program, and we have to make sure he’s not in harm’s way with some of the activity. And he feels good. He feels comfortable. And that to us is the most important thing: that he’s bought in, he believes in it and he wants to make it happen before the season’s over.”
— Friday was the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The teams commemorated the occasion with American flag patches on caps and special decals on each base. “9.11.01” also was stenciled into the dirt behind the pitching rubber.
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